Serial Analysis of Gene Expression in Plasmodium berghei salivary gland sporozoites.
ABSTRACT: The invasion of Anopheles salivary glands by Plasmodium sporozoites is an essential step for transmission of the parasite to the vertebrate host. Salivary gland sporozoites undergo a developmental programme to express genes required for their journey from the site of the mosquito bite to the liver and subsequent invasion of, and development within, hepatocytes. A Serial Analysis of Gene Expression was performed on Anopheles gambiae salivary glands infected or not with Plasmodium berghei and we report here the analysis of the Plasmodium sporozoite transcriptome.Annotation of 530 tag sequences homologous to Plasmodium berghei genomic sequences identified 123 genes expressed in salivary gland sporozoites and these genes were classified according to their transcript abundance. A subset of these genes was further studied by quantitative PCR to determine their expression profiles. This revealed that sporozoites modulate their RNA amounts not only between the midgut and salivary glands, but also during their storage within the latter. Among the 123 genes, the expression of 66 is described for the first time in sporozoites of rodent Plasmodium species.These novel sporozoite expressed genes, especially those expressed at high levels in salivary gland sporozoites, are likely to play a role in Plasmodium infectivity in the mammalian host.
Project description:Accumulation of infectious Plasmodium sporozoites in Anopheles spp. salivary glands marks the final step of the complex development of the malaria parasite in the insect vector. Sporozoites are formed inside midgut-associated oocysts and actively egress into the mosquito hemocoel. Traversal of the salivary gland acinar cells correlates with the sporozoite's capacity to perform continuous gliding motility. Here, we characterized the cellular role of the Plasmodium berghei sporozoite invasion-associated protein 1 (SIAP-1). Intriguingly, SIAP-1 orthologs are found exclusively in apicomplexan hemoprotozoa, parasites that are transmitted by arthropod vectors, e.g., Plasmodium, Babesia, and Theileria species. By fluorescent tagging with mCherry, we show that SIAP-1 is expressed in oocyst-derived and salivary gland-associated sporozoites, where it accumulates at the apical tip. Targeted disruption of SIAP-1 does not affect sporozoite formation but causes a partial defect in sporozoite egress from oocysts and abolishes sporozoite colonization of mosquito salivary glands. Parasites with the siap-1(-) mutation are blocked in their capacity to perform continuous gliding motility. We propose that arthropod-transmitted apicomplexan parasites specifically express secretory factors, such as SIAP-1, that mediate efficient oocyst exit and migration to the salivary glands.
Project description:Plasmodium parasites need to cross the midgut and salivary gland epithelia to complete their life cycle in the mosquito. However, our understanding of the molecular mechanism and the mosquito genes that participate in this process is still very limited.We identified an Anopheles gambiae epithelial serine protease (AgESP) that is constitutively expressed in the submicrovillar region of mosquito midgut epithelial cells and in the basal side of the salivary glands that is critical for Plasmodium parasites to cross these two epithelial barriers. AgESP silencing greatly reduces Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium falciparum midgut invasion and prevents the transcriptional activation of gelsolin, a key regulator of actin remodeling and a reported Plasmodium agonist. AgESP expression is highly induced in midgut cells invaded by Plasmodium, suggesting that this protease also participates in the apoptotic response to invasion. In salivary gland epithelial cells, AgESP is localized on the basal side--the surface with which sporozoites interact. AgESP expression in the salivary gland is also induced in response to P. berghei and P. falciparum sporozoite invasion, and AgESP silencing significantly reduces the number of sporozoites that invade this organ.Our findings indicate that AgESP is required for Plasmodium parasites to effectively traverse the midgut and salivary gland epithelial barriers. Plasmodium parasites need to modify the actin cytoskeleton of mosquito epithelial cells to successfully complete their life cycle in the mosquito and AgESP appears to be a major player in the regulation of this process.
Project description:Malaria is a devastating infectious disease caused by Plasmodium parasites transmitted through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. Salivary glands are the only mosquito tissue invaded by Plasmodium sporozoites, being a key stage for the effective parasite transmission, making the study of Anopheles sialome highly relevant.RNA-sequencing was used to compare differential gene expression in salivary glands of uninfected and Plasmodium berghei-infected Anopheles coluzzii mosquitoes. RNA-seq results were validated by quantitative RT-PCR. The transmembrane glucose transporter gene AGAP007752 was selected for functional analysis by RNA interference. The effect of gene silencing on infection level was evaluated. The putative function and tertiary structure of the protein was assessed.RNA-seq data showed that 2588 genes were differentially expressed in mosquitoes salivary glands in response to P. berghei infection, being 1578 upregulated and 1010 downregulated. Metabolism, Immunity, Replication/Transcription/Translation, Proteolysis and Transport were the mosquito gene functional classes more affected by parasite infection. Endopeptidase coding genes were the most abundant within the differentially expressed genes in infected salivary glands (P?<?0.001). Based on its putative function and expression level, the transmembrane glucose transporter gene, AGAP007752, was selected for functional analysis by RNA interference. The results demonstrated that the number of sporozoites was 44.3% lower in mosquitoes fed on infected mice after AGAPP007752 gene knockdown when compared to control (P?<?0.01).Our hypothesis is that the protein encoded by the gene AGAPP007752 may play a role on An. coluzzii salivary glands infection by Plasmodium parasite, working as a sporozoite receptor and/or promoting a favorable environment for the capacity of sporozoites.
Project description:Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites that develop and mature inside an Anopheles mosquito initiate a malaria infection in humans. Here we report the first proteomic comparison of different parasite stages from the mosquito -- early and late oocysts containing midgut sporozoites, and the mature, infectious salivary gland sporozoites. Despite the morphological similarity between midgut and salivary gland sporozoites, their proteomes are markedly different, in agreement with their increase in hepatocyte infectivity. The different sporozoite proteomes contain a large number of stage specific proteins whose annotation suggest an involvement in sporozoite maturation, motility, infection of the human host and associated metabolic adjustments. Analyses of proteins identified in the P. falciparum sporozoite proteomes by orthologous gene disruption in the rodent malaria parasite, P. berghei, revealed three previously uncharacterized Plasmodium proteins that appear to be essential for sporozoite development at distinct points of maturation in the mosquito. This study sheds light on the development and maturation of the malaria parasite in an Anopheles mosquito and also identifies proteins that may be essential for sporozoite infectivity to humans.
Project description:The malaria parasite sporozoite transmission stage develops and differentiates within parasite oocysts on the Anopheles mosquito midgut. Successful inoculation of the parasite into a mammalian host is critically dependent on the sporozoite's ability to first infect the mosquito salivary glands. Remarkable changes in tissue infection competence are observed as the sporozoites transit from the midgut oocysts to the salivary glands. Our microarray analysis shows that compared to oocyst sporozoites, salivary gland sporozoites upregulate expression of at least 124 unique genes. Conversely, oocyst sporozoites show upregulation of at least 47 genes (upregulated in oocyst sporozoites [UOS genes]) before they infect the salivary glands. Targeted gene deletion of UOS3, encoding a putative transmembrane protein with a thrombospondin repeat that localizes to the sporozoite secretory organelles, rendered oocyst sporozoites unable to infect the mosquito salivary glands but maintained the parasites' liver infection competence. This phenotype demonstrates the significance of differential UOS expression. Thus, the UIS-UOS gene classification provides a framework to elucidate the infectivity and transmission success of Plasmodium sporozoites on a whole-genome scale. Genes identified herein might represent targets for vector-based transmission blocking strategies (UOS genes), as well as strategies that prevent mammalian host infection (UIS genes).
Project description:Malaria is a vector-borne disease caused by the single-cell eukaryote Plasmodium. The infectious parasite forms are sporozoites, which originate from midgut-associated oocysts, where they eventually egress and reach the mosquito hemocoel. Sporozoites actively colonize the salivary glands in order to be transmitted to the mammalian host. Whether residence in the salivary glands provides distinct and vital cues for the development of infectivity remains unsolved. In this study, we systematically compared the infectivity of Plasmodium berghei sporozoites isolated from the mosquito hemocoel and salivary glands. Hemocoel sporozoites display a lower proportion of gliding motility but develop into liver stages when added to cultured hepatoma cells or after intravenous injection into mice. Mice infected by hemocoel sporozoites had blood infections similar to those induced by sporozoites liberated from salivary glands. These infected mice display indistinguishable systemic inflammatory cytokine responses and develop experimental cerebral malaria. When used as metabolically active, live attenuated vaccine, hemocoel sporozoites elicit substantial protection against sporozoite challenge infections. Collectively, these findings show that salivary gland colonization does not influence parasite virulence in the mammalian host when sporozoites are administered intravenously. This conclusion has important implications for in vitro sporozoite production and manufacturing of whole-sporozoite vaccines.
Project description:Malaria infection caused by Plasmodium parasites continues to cause enormous morbidity and mortality in areas where it is endemic, and there is no licensed vaccine capable of inducing sterile protection. Hyperimmunization with attenuated whole sporozoites can induce sterile protective immune responses targeting preerythrocytic antigens. Most animal models of hyperimmunization rely on sporozoites dissected from mosquito salivary glands and injected without further purification. In BALB/c mice, repeated small doses of P. yoelii sporozoites progressively expand the population of sporozoite-specific CD8(+) T cells. In this study, large secondary doses of unpurified sporozoites unexpectedly led to contraction of sporozoite-specific CD8(+) T cell responses in sporozoite-primed mice. While sporozoite-primed CD8(+) T cells alternatively can be expanded by secondary exposure to Listeria monocytogenes expressing recombinant Plasmodium antigens, such expansion was potently inhibited by coinjection of large doses of unpurified sporozoites and by uninfected salivary glands alone. Purification of sporozoites away from mosquito salivary gland debris by density gradient centrifugation eliminated salivary gland-associated inhibition. Thus, the inhibitory effect appears to be due to exposure to uninfected mosquito salivary glands rather than sporozoites. To further assess the effect of salivary gland exposure on later sporozoite vaccinations, mice were immunized with uninfected salivary glands from a single mosquito. Compared to naive mice, salivary gland presensitization reduced subsequent liver burdens by 71%. These data show that a component(s) in mosquito salivary glands reduces liver infection, thereby limiting antigen dose and contributing to lower-magnitude T cell responses. These findings suggest that sporozoite immunogenicity studies be performed using purified sporozoites whenever feasible.
Project description:Malaria is transmitted when an infected Anopheles mosquito deposits Plasmodium sporozoites in the skin during a bite. Sporozoites are formed within oocysts at the mosquito midgut wall and are released into the hemolymph, from where they invade the salivary glands and are subsequently transmitted to the vertebrate host. We found that a thrombospondin-repeat containing sporozoite-specific protein named thrombospondin-releated protein 1 (TRP1) is important for oocyst egress and salivary gland invasion, and hence for the transmission of malaria. We imaged the release of sporozoites from oocysts in situ, which was preceded by active motility. Parasites lacking TRP1 failed to migrate within oocysts and did not egress, suggesting that TRP1 is a vital component of the events that precede intra-oocyst motility and subsequently sporozoite egress and salivary gland invasion.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Invasion of the mosquito salivary glands by Plasmodium is a critical step for malaria transmission. From a SAGE analysis, we previously identified several genes whose expression in salivary glands was regulated coincident with sporozoite invasion of salivary glands. To get insights into the consequences of these salivary gland responses, here we have studied one of the genes, PRS1 (Plasmodium responsive salivary 1), whose expression was upregulated in infected glands, using immunolocalization and functional inactivation approaches. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: PRS1 belongs to a novel insect superfamily of genes encoding proteins with DM9 repeat motifs of uncharacterized function. We show that PRS1 is induced in response to Plasmodium, not only in the salivary glands but also in the midgut, the other epithelial barrier that Plasmodium has to cross to develop in the mosquito. Furthermore, this induction is observed using either the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei or the human pathogen Plasmodium falciparum. In the midgut, PRS1 overexpression is associated with a relocalization of the protein at the periphery of invaded cells. We also find that sporozoite invasion of salivary gland cells occurs sequentially and induces intra-cellular modifications that include an increase in PRS1 expression and a relocalization of the corresponding protein into vesicle-like structures. Importantly, PRS1 knockdown during the onset of midgut and salivary gland invasion demonstrates that PRS1 acts as an agonist for the development of both parasite species in the two epithelia, highlighting shared vector/parasite interactions in both tissues. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: While providing insights into potential functions of DM9 proteins, our results reveal that PRS1 likely contributes to fundamental interactions between Plasmodium and mosquito epithelia, which do not depend on the specific Anopheles/P. falciparum coevolutionary history.
Project description:Plasmodium infection begins with the bite of an anopheline mosquito, when sporozoites along with saliva are injected into a vertebrate host. The role of the host responses to mosquito saliva components in malaria remains unclear. We observed that antisera against Anopheles gambiae salivary glands partially protected mice from mosquito-borne Plasmodium infection. Specifically, antibodies to A. gambiae TRIO (AgTRIO), a mosquito salivary gland antigen, contributed to the protection. Mice administered AgTRIO antiserum showed lower Plasmodium liver burden and decreased parasitemia when exposed to infected mosquitoes. Active immunization with AgTRIO was also partially protective against Plasmodium berghei infection. A combination of AgTRIO antiserum and antibodies against Plasmodium circumsporozoite protein, a vaccine candidate, further decreased P. berghei infection. In humanized mice, AgTRIO antiserum afforded some protection against mosquito-transmitted Plasmodium falciparum. AgTRIO antiserum reduced the movement of sporozoites in the murine dermis. AgTRIO may serve as an arthropod-based target against Plasmodium to combat malaria.