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Lysosome-like compartments of Trypanosoma cruzi trypomastigotes may originate directly from epimastigote reservosomes



Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigote reservosomes store nutrients taken up during the intense endocytic activity exhibited by this developmental form. Reservosomes were classified as pre-lysosomal compartments. In contrast, trypomastigote forms are not able to take up nutrients from the medium. Interestingly, trypomastigotes also have acidic organelles with the same proteases contained in epimastigote reservosomes. Nevertheless, the origin and function of these organelles have not been disclosed so far. Given the similarities between the compartments of epimastigotes and trypomastigotes, the present study aimed to investigate the origin of metacyclic trypomastigote protease-containing organelles by tracking fluorospheres or colloidal gold particles previously stored in epimastigotes’ reservosomes throughout metacyclogenesis. Using three-dimensional reconstruction of serial electron microscopy images, it was possible to find trypomastigote compartments containing the tracer. Our observations demonstrate that the protease-containing compartments from metacyclic trypomastigotes may originate directly from the reservosomes of epimastigotes.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia em Biologia Estrutural e Bioimagens, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. E-mail:


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Lysosome-like compartments of Trypanosoma cruzi trypomastigotes may originate directly from epimastigote reservosomes



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