Changes in the N-glycome, glycoproteins with Asn-linked glycans, of Giardia lamblia with differentiation from trophozoites to cysts.
ABSTRACT: Giardia lamblia is present in the intestinal lumen as a binucleate, flagellated trophozoite or a quadranucleate, immotile cyst. Here we used the plant lectin wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), which binds to the disaccharide di-N-acetyl-chitobiose (GlcNAc(2)), which is the truncated Asn-linked glycan (N-glycan) of Giardia, to affinity purify the N-glycomes (glycoproteins with N-glycans) of trophozoites and cysts. Fluorescent WGA bound to the perinuclear membranes, peripheral acidified vesicles, and plasma membranes of trophozoites. In contrast, WGA bound strongly to membranes adjacent to the wall of Giardia cysts and less strongly to the endoplasmic reticulum and acidified vesicles. WGA lectin-affinity chromatography dramatically enriched secreted and membrane proteins of Giardia, including proteases and acid phosphatases that retain their activities. With mass spectroscopy, we identified 91 glycopeptides with N-glycans and 194 trophozoite-secreted and membrane proteins, including 42 unique proteins. The Giardia oligosaccharyltransferase, which contains a single catalytic subunit, preferred N glycosylation sites with Thr to those with Ser in vivo but had no preference for flanking amino acids. The most-abundant glycoproteins in the N-glycome of trophozoites were lysosomal enzymes, folding-associated proteins, and unique transmembrane proteins with Cys-, Leu-, or Gly-rich repeats. We identified 157 secreted and membrane proteins in the Giardia cysts, including 20 unique proteins. Compared to trophozoites, cysts were enriched in Gly-rich repeat transmembrane proteins, cyst wall proteins, and unique membrane proteins but had relatively fewer Leu-rich repeat proteins, folding-associated proteins, and unique secreted proteins. In summary, there are major changes in the Giardia N-glycome with the differentiation from trophozoites to cysts.
Project description:Compared with many protists, Giardia lamblia has a simple life cycle alternating between cyst and trophozoite. Most research on the molecular biology of Giardia parasites has focused on trophozoites and the processes of excystation and encystation, whereas cysts have attracted less interest. The striking morphological differences between the dormant cyst and the rapidly dividing and motile trophozoite implies profound changes in the metabolism as the parasite encysts in the host's intestine and excysts upon ingestion by a new host.To investigate the magnitude of the transcriptional changes occurring during the G. lamblia life cycle we compared the transcriptome of G. lamblia trophozoites and cysts using single-color oligonucleotide microarrays. Cysts were found to possess a much smaller transcriptome, both in terms of mRNA diversity and abundance. Genes encoding proteins related to ribosomal functions are highly over-represented. The comparison of the transcriptome of cysts generated in culture or extracted from feces revealed little overlap, raising the possibility of significant biological differences between the two types of cysts.The comparison of the G. lamblia cyst and trophozoite transcriptome showed that transcripts of most genes are present at a lower level in cysts. This global view of the cyst and trophozoite transcriptome complements studies focused on the expression of selected genes during trophozoite multiplication, encystation and excystation.
Project description:Giardia duodenalis is responsible for the majority of parasitic gastroenteritis in humans worldwide. Host-parasite interaction models in vitro provide insights into disease and virulence and help us to understand pathogenesis. Using HT-29 intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) as a model we have demonstrated that initial sensitisation by host secretions reduces proclivity for trophozoite attachment, while inducing virulence factors. Host soluble factors triggered up-regulation of membrane and secreted proteins, including Tenascins, Cathepsin-B precursor, cystatin, and numerous Variant-specific Surface Proteins (VSPs). By comparison, host-cell attached trophozoites up-regulated intracellular pathways for ubiquitination, reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxification and production of pyridoxal phosphate (PLP). We reason that these results demonstrate early pathogenesis in Giardia involves two independent host-parasite interactions. Motile trophozoites respond to soluble secreted signals, which deter attachment and induce expression of virulence factors. Trophozoites attached to host cells, in contrast, respond by up-regulating intracellular pathways involved in clearance of ROS, thus anticipating the host defence response.
Project description:We quantified mRNA abundance from 10 stages in the Giardia lamblia life cycle in vitro using Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE). 163 abundant transcripts were expressed constitutively. 71 transcripts were upregulated specifically during excystation and 42 during encystation. Nonetheless, the transcriptomes of cysts and trophozoites showed major differences. SAGE detected co-expressed clusters of 284 transcripts differentially expressed in cysts and excyzoites and 287 transcripts in vegetative trophozoites and encysting cells. All clusters included known genes and pathways as well as proteins unique to Giardia or diplomonads. SAGE analysis of the Giardia life cycle identified a number of kinases, phosphatases, and DNA replication proteins involved in excystation and encystation, which could be important for examining the roles of cell signaling in giardial differentiation. Overall, these data pave the way for directed gene discovery and a better understanding of the biology of G. lamblia.
Project description:Giardia lamblia is a flagellated protozoan parasite and a major cause of diarrhoea in humans. Its microtubular cytoskeleton mediates trophozoite motility, attachment and cytokinesis, and is characterised by an attachment disk and eight flagella that are each nucleated in a basal body. To date, only 10 giardial basal body proteins have been identified, including universal signalling proteins that are important for regulating mitosis or differentiation. In this study, we have exploited bioinformatics and proteomic approaches to identify new Giardia basal body proteins and confocal microscopy to confirm their localisation in interphase trophozoites. This approach identified 75 homologs of conserved basal body proteins in the genome including 65 not previously known to be associated with Giardia basal bodies. Thirteen proteins were confirmed to co-localise with centrin to the Giardia basal bodies. We also demonstrate that most basal body proteins localise to additional cytoskeletal structures in interphase trophozoites. This might help to explain the roles of the four pairs of flagella and Giardia-specific organelles in motility and differentiation. A deeper understanding of the composition of the Giardia basal bodies will contribute insights into the complex signalling pathways that regulate its unique cytoskeleton and the biological divergence of these conserved organelles.
Project description:Since the Giardia lamblia cyst wall is necessary for survival in the environment and host infection, we tested the hypothesis that it contains proteins other than the three known cyst wall proteins. Serial analysis of gene expression during growth and encystation revealed a gene, "HCNCp" (High Cysteine Non-variant Cyst protein), that was upregulated late in encystation, and that resembled the classic Giardia variable surface proteins (VSPs) that cover the trophozoite plasmalemma. HCNCp is 13.9% cysteine, with many "CxxC" tetrapeptide motifs and a transmembrane sequence near the C-terminus. However, HCNCp has multiple "CxC" motifs rarely found in VSPs, and does not localize to the trophozoite plasmalemma. Moreover, the HCNCp C-terminus differed from the canonical VSP signature. Full-length epitope-tagged HCNCp expressed under its own promoter was upregulated during encystation with highest expression in cysts, including 42 and 21 kDa C-terminal fragments. Tagged HCNCp targeted to the nuclear envelope in trophozoites, and co-localized with cyst proteins to encystation-specific secretory vesicles during encystation. HCNCp defined a novel trafficking pathway as it localized to the wall and body of cysts, while the cyst proteins were exclusively in the wall. Unlike VSPs, HCNCp is expressed in at least five giardial strains and four WB subclones expressing different VSPs. Bioinformatics identified 60 additional large high cysteine membrane proteins (HCMp) containing > or = 20 CxxC/CxC's lacking the VSP-specific C-terminal CRGKA. HCMp were absent or rare in other model or parasite genomes, except for Tetrahymena thermophila with 30. MEME analysis classified the 61 gHCMp genes into nine groups with similar internal motifs. Our data suggest that HCNCp is a novel invariant cyst protein belonging to a new HCMp family that is abundant in the Giardia genome. HCNCp and the other HCMp provide a rich source for developing parasite-specific diagnostic reagents, vaccine candidates, and subjects for further research into Giardia biology.
Project description:Giardia lamblia is a flagellated, unicellular parasite of mammals infecting over one billion people worldwide. Giardia's two-stage life cycle includes a motile trophozoite stage that colonizes the host small intestine and an infectious cyst form that can persist in the environment. Similar to many eukaryotic cells, Giardia contains several complex microtubule arrays that are involved in motility, chromosome segregation, organelle transport, maintenance of cell shape and transformation between the two life cycle stages. Giardia trophozoites also possess a unique spiral microtubule array, the ventral disc, made of approximately 50 parallel microtubules and associated microribbons, as well as a variety of associated proteins. The ventral disc maintains trophozoite attachment to the host intestinal epithelium. With the help of a combined SEM/microtome based slice and view method called 3View® (Gatan Inc., Pleasanton, CA), we present an entire trophozoite cell reconstruction and describe the arrangement of the major cytoskeletal elements. To aid in future analyses of disc-mediated attachment, we used electron-tomography of freeze-substituted, plastic-embedded trophozoites to explore the detailed architecture of ventral disc microtubules and their associated components. Lastly, we examined the disc microtubule array in three dimensions in unprecedented detail using cryo-electron tomography combined with internal sub-tomogram volume averaging of repetitive domains. We discovered details of protein complexes stabilizing microtubules by attachment to their inner and outer wall. A unique tri-laminar microribbon structure is attached vertically to the disc microtubules and is connected to neighboring microribbons via crossbridges. This work provides novel insight into the structure of the ventral disc microtubules, microribbons and associated proteins. Knowledge of the components comprising these structures and their three-dimensional organization is crucial toward understanding how attachment via the ventral disc occurs in vivo.
Project description:To investigate the magnitude of the transcriptional changes occurring during the life cycle of Giardia lamblia we compared the transcriptome of trophozoites and cysts. Cysts were found to possess a much smaller transcriptome, both in terms of mRNA diversity and abundance. Genes encoding proteins related to ribosomal functions are highly over-represented. In cysts which have lost infectivity the transcriptome is further depleted. In contrast, exposure of cysts to conditions which promote excystation induced transcription. Overall design: Six cysts and three trophozoites life cycle stages were analyzed.
Project description:To investigate the magnitude of the transcriptional changes occurring during the life cycle of Giardia lamblia we compared the transcriptome of trophozoites and cysts. Cysts were found to possess a much smaller transcriptome, both in terms of mRNA diversity and abundance. Genes encoding proteins related to ribosomal functions are highly over-represented. In cysts which have lost infectivity the transcriptome is further depleted. In contrast, exposure of cysts to conditions which promote excystation induced transcription. Six cysts and three trophozoites life cycle stages were analyzed.
Project description:Proteolytic activity is important in the lifecycles of parasites and their interactions with hosts. Cysteine proteases have been best studied in Giardia, but other protease classes have been implicated in growth and/or differentiation. In this study, we employed bioinformatics to reveal the complete set of putative proteases in the Giardia genome. We identified 73 peptidase homologs distributed over 5 catalytic classes in the genome. Serial analysis of gene expression of the G. lamblia lifecycle found thirteen protease genes with significant transcriptional variation over the lifecycle, with only one serine protease transcript upregulated late in encystation. The translated gene sequence of this encystation-specific transcript was most similar to eukaryotic subtilisin-like proprotein convertases (SPC), although the typical catalytic triad was not identified. Epitope-tagged gSPC protein expressed in Giardia under its own promoter was upregulated during encystation with highest expression in cysts and it localized to encystation-specific secretory vesicles (ESV). Total gSPC from encysting cells produced proteolysis in gelatin gels that co-migrated with the epitope-tagged protease in immunoblots. Immuno-purified gSPC also had gelatinase activity. To test whether endogenous gSPC activity is involved in differentiation, trophozoites and cysts were exposed to the specific serine proteinase inhibitor 4-(2-aminoethyl)-benzenesulfonyl fluoride hydrochloride (AEBSF). After 21 h encystation, a significant decrease in ESV was observed with 1mM AEBSF and by 42 h the number of cysts was significantly reduced, but trophozoite growth was not inhibited. Concurrently, levels of cyst wall proteins 1 and 2, and AU1-tagged gSPC protein itself were decreased. Excystation of G. muris cysts was also significantly reduced in the presence of AEBSF. These results support the idea that serine protease activity is essential for Giardia encystation and excystation.
Project description:The protozoan parasite Giardia intestinalis (also known as Giardia lamblia) is a major waterborne pathogen. During its life cycle, Giardia alternates between the actively growing trophozoite, which has two diploid nuclei with low levels of allelic heterozygosity, and the infectious cyst, which has four nuclei and a tough outer wall. Although the formation of the cyst wall has been studied extensively, we still lack basic knowledge about many fundamental aspects of the cyst, including the sources of the four nuclei and their distribution during the transformation from cyst into trophozoite. In this study, we tracked the identities of the nuclei in the trophozoite and cyst using integrated nuclear markers and immunofluorescence staining. We demonstrate that the cyst is formed from a single trophozoite by a mitotic division without cytokinesis and not by the fusion of two trophozoites. During excystation, the cell completes cytokinesis to form two daughter trophozoites. The non-identical nuclear pairs derived from the parent trophozoite remain associated in the cyst and are distributed to daughter cells during excystation as pairs. Thus, nuclear sorting (such that each daughter cell receives a pair of identical nuclei) does not appear to be a mechanism by which Giardia reduces heterozygosity between its nuclei. Rather, we show that the cyst nuclei exchange chromosomal genetic material, perhaps as a way to reduce heterozygosity in the absence of meiosis and sex, which have not been described in Giardia. These results shed light on fundamental aspects of the Giardia life cycle and have implications for our understanding of the population genetics and cell biology of this binucleate parasite.