Angela Kaysel Cruz
Ms 6

Tel.: (16) 3315 – 3319


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General outline

The central interest of the laboratory is the study of the regulation of gene expression in the protozoan parasite Leishmania employing global comparative approaches and reverse genetics.


Research Interests

We study processes and factors involved in the control of gene expression in the protozoan parasite Leishmania. We use large-scale approaches and reverse genetics tools to contribute to the understanding of the parasite biology and its interaction with the host. A comparative analysis of transcriptomes of different stages of the parasite led to the computational identification of differentially expressed transcripts, and among them putative noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs). We are evaluating a group of these differentially expressed ncRNAs, to understand the biogenesis of these transcripts and their possible involvement in the regulation of the expression of other genes. In addition, we seek to understand the role of enzymes that act indirectly over the modulation gene expression. These proteins are Arginine Methyl Transferase Proteins (PRMTs) that transfer a methyl group to arginine residues in specific domains (rich in arginine and glycine) modifying mainly histones and RNA binding proteins, which are often involved in the regulation of gene expression. Recently, an investigation on the potential non-canonical role of some ribosomal proteins was started in the laboratory.


Selected publications from the last 5 years:

Ruy, PC*, Monteiro-Teles, NM*, Magalhães, RM, F. Freitas-Castro, L. Dias, T. P. A. Defina, E. J. R.  Vasconcelos, P. J. Myler & A.K. Cruz (2019) Comparative transcriptomics in Leishmania braziliensis: disclosing differential gene expression of coding and putative noncoding RNAs across developmental stages, RNA Biology, 16:5, 639-660, DOI: 10.1080/15476286.2019.1574161

Castro, Felipe F. ; Ruy, Pc ; Zeviani, K.N. ; Santos, Ramon F. ; Toledo, J. S. ; Cruz, Angela K. . Evidence of Putative non-Coding RNAs from Leishmania Untranslated Regions. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology, V. 214, P. 69-74, 2017. 

Mônica Cristina Terrão; Vasconcelos, E.J.R.; Defina, T. A.; Myler, Peter J; Cruz, Ângela K. Disclosing 3′ UTR cis-elements and putative partners involved in gene expression regulation in Leishmania spp. PLoS One 12, p. e0183401, 2017. 

Alves-Ferreira, Eliza V. C.; Toledo, Juliano S.; De Oliveira, Arthur H. C.; Ferreira, Tiago R.; Ruy, Patricia C.; Pinzan, Camila F.; Santos, Ramon F. ; Boaventura, Viviane ; Rojo, David ; López-Gonzálvez, Ángelez ; Rosa, Jose C.; Barbas, Coral; Barral-Netto, Manoel; Barral, Aldina ; Cruz, Angela K. Differential gene expression and Infection profiles of cutaneous and mucosal Leishmania braziliensis isolates from the same patient. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (Online), V. 9, P. E0004018, 2015. 

Ferreira, Tiago R.; Alves-Ferreira, Eliza V. C.; Defina, Tania P. A.; Walrad, Pegine; Papadopoulou, Barbara; Cruz, Angela K. Altered Expression of an RBP-Associated Arginine Methyltransferase 7 in Leishmania major affects parasite infection. Molecular Microbiology (Print), V. 94, P. 1085-1102, 2014.


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