Expression and Single-step Purification of GRA8 Antigen of Toxoplasma gondii in Escherichia coli.
ABSTRACT: Diagnosis of Toxoplasma gondii (T.gondii) infection is of great medical importance especially for pregnant women and immunosuppressed patients. Numerous studies have shown that the recombinant production of several toxoplasma antigens, including dense granule antigens (GRAs) has a great potential as diagnostic reagents. Previous studies reported expression of amino terminal GRA8 protein in fusion with large tags. In the present study, we produced truncated GRA8 (GRA8), excluded from the signal peptide and C-terminal transmembrane domain, with a short fusion tag in Escherichia coli (E.coli). GRA8 was purified using an optimized single-step Immobilized Metal ion Affinity Chromatography (IMAC). The purity and yield of GRA8 was highest at pH = 9.25. At this pH, 13.6 mg of GRA8 was obtained with the purity of 97.97%. Immunogenicity of the protein was evaluated in Western blot analysis showing the serum sample from a rabbit immunized with GRA8 recognized a single antigen of T.gondii tachyzoite at the expected molecular weight of native GRA8. To diagnosis acute toxoplasma infection in pregnant women, an indirect immunoglobulin M (IgM) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed using GRA8 resulting in a test specificity and sensitivity of 97.1% and 60.6%, respectively. These results demonstrated that immunogenic GRA8 can be produced in fusion with a short tag and purified near to homogeneity using an optimized IMAC. GRA8-IgM-ELISA was useful for detection of acute toxoplasma infection.
Project description:To improve serodiagnostic methods for the diagnosis of acute toxoplasmosis during pregnancy, a new test system has been developed and evaluated based on the use of recombinant antigens. Five recombinant Toxoplasma gondii antigens (ROP1, MAG1, SAG1, GRA7, and GRA8) were cloned in Escherichia coli, purified, and applied directly onto nitrocellulose membranes in a line assay (recomLine Toxoplasma). A panel of 102 sera from 25 pregnant women with supposed recent toxoplasmosis and from two symptomatic children was compared to a panel of 71 sera from individuals with past infection. Both panels were analyzed using a recombinant line assay for immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgM, and IgA antibodies and a reference enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Within the IgM-positive samples, antibodies against ROP1 were predominant regardless of the infection state. In IgG analysis a characteristic antibody pattern was found for very recent infections. This pattern changed to a different one during the time course of infection: antibodies against GRA7 and GRA8 were characteristic for very early IgG, whereas antibodies against SAG1 and MAG1 appeared significantly later. These results were further confirmed by determination of the IgG antibody avidity for every single recombinant antigen. In the time course of infection, IgG antibodies against the early recognized antigens matured significantly earlier than those directed against the later antigens did. The IgA patterns did not give reliable information about the infection time points. The data revealed that the recombinant line assay provides valuable information on the actual state of infection, especially during the early infection time points.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Primary infection by Toxoplasma gondii in pregnant women can result in serious outcomes for the foetus. A false-positive IgG result during pregnancy can lead to a misdiagnosis of past infection and to stopping preventive measures. We collected 189 sera with positive Architect® Toxo IgG assay (Abbott Laboratories) and negative IgG results with at least two other serological tests, in order to find an explanation for the suspected false-positive IgG results. We used the recomLine Toxoplasma IgG® immunoblot (Mikrogen Diagnostik) to search for specific antigenic reactivities of the sera, and the LDBio Toxo II IgG® immunoblot (LDBio Diagnostics) as a confirmatory test. RESULTS:The bands GRA8 and/or GRA7 were positive for 148 samples (78.3%). GRA8 was the most frequent band, appearing in 133 patterns (70.4%), whereas GRA7 was present for 49 samples (25.9%). Of the 81 samples tested with LDBio®, 23 (28.4%) turned out to be positive. Of the 58 negative LDBio® tests (71.6%) (real false-positive Architect® IgG), 23 samples (39.6%) did not show either a GRA8 or p30 band by recomLine®. Their false positivity with Architect® remains unexplained since Abbott uses these two recombinant antigens for their assay. CONCLUSIONS:The Architect® IgG false positivity for T. gondii seems to be due to reactivity against GRA8 for the majority of the sera and GRA7 to a lesser extent. The hypothesis of past contact with parasites genetically close to T. gondii such as Hammondia hammondi or Neospora caninum seems promising and should be assessed further.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Toxoplasmosis, being one of the TORCH's infections in pregnant women, is caused by Toxoplasma gondii, an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite. This parasitic infection in pregnancy congenitally causes severe outcomes to their fetus and newborn. This study aimed to determine the seroprevalence and stages of Toxoplasma infection in pregnant women and its associated risks exposures. METHODS: The study was conducted within the pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic (ANC) at Songklanagarind hospital, Hat Yai, Songkhla province, Thailand. The sera of a total of 760 consecutive pregnant women were screened using standard commercial ELISA kits for detection of anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies. IgG avidity in the seropositive for both anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies were also assessed. The pregnant women's socio-demographic, obstetrics and risk factors associated with Toxoplasma seropositivity data were analyzed using univariate and multivariate analyses. RESULTS: From the total 760 pregnant women, 190 (25%, 95% CI = 22.05-28.20) were positive for anti-Toxoplasma antibodies. Of these, 167 (22.0%, 95% CI = 19.0-25.0) were positive for only anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibody and 23 (3.0%, 95% CI = 2.0-4.0) were positive for both anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies. All these samples were high avidity, indicated the infection occured prior to four to five months. By applying statistical univariate analysis, age group, occupation and sources of drinking water showed a significant association with Toxoplasma seropositivity (p < 0.05). Multivariate logistic regression analysis further indicated that the significant factors associated with Toxoplasma seropositivity are age ?26 (OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.11-2.44), working as laborer (OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.13-2.18) and drinking unclean (piped/tap/rain) water (OR = 1.75, 95% CI = 1.08-2.84). CONCLUSION: The pregnant women in the active age group, working as laborers and exposure to unclean drinking water from various sources were at higher risk of Toxoplasma infection. Therefore, health education and the awareness of risk exposures regarding this parasitic disease are required to minimize the effects of this parasitic infection in pregnant women as well as in the general population.
Project description:Toxoplasma gondii primary infection in pregnancy is associated with poor obstetric outcomes. This study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma infection in pregnant migrant and refugee women from Myanmar attending antenatal care in Thailand. A random selection of 199 residual blood samples from first antenatal screen in 2014-2015 was tested for Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma infection was 31.7% (95% confidence interval = 25.6-38.4). Avidity testing in the three positive IgM cases indicated all were past infections. Multiparity (? 3 children) was significantly associated with higher Toxoplasma seropositivity rates. Seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in this pregnant population is similar to the only other report from Myanmar, where multiparity was also identified as a significant association. Toxoplasma infection is important in pregnant women. Nevertheless, in this marginalized population, this infection may be given less priority, due to resource constraints in providing the most basic components of safe motherhood programs.
Project description:The intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii has unique dense granule antigens (GRAs) that are crucial for host infection. Emerging evidence suggests that GRA8 of T. gondii is a promising serodiagnostic marker in toxoplasmosis. However, little is known about the intracellular regulatory mechanisms involved in GRA8-induced host responses. We found that GRA8 interacts with host proteins involved in mitochondria activation and might be useful as a therapeutic strategy for sepsis. Here, we show that protein kinase-C? (PKC?)-mediated phosphorylation of T. gondii GRA8 (Thr220) is required for mitochondrial trafficking and regulates the interaction of C terminal of GRA8 with nucleotide binding domain of ATP5A1. Furthermore, GRA8 interacts with SIRT3 in mitochondria, facilitating ATP5A1 deacetylation (K506 and K531), adenosine triphosphate production and subsequent anti-septic activity in vivo. Taken together, these results demonstrate a new anti-sepsis therapeutic strategy using T. gondii GRA8-induced mitochondrial metabolic resuscitation. This strategy represents an urgently needed paradigm shift for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:We describe a new method for affinity purification of recombinant proteins using a dual protease protocol. Escherichia coli maltose binding protein (MBP) is employed as an N-terminal tag to increase the yield and solubility of its fusion partners. The MBP moiety is then removed by rhinovirus 3C protease, prior to purification, to yield an N-terminally His6-tagged protein. Proteins that are only temporarily rendered soluble by fusing them to MBP are readily identified at this stage because they will precipitate after the MBP tag is removed by 3C protease. The remaining soluble His6-tagged protein, if any, is subsequently purified by immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC). Finally, the N-terminal His6 tag is removed by His6-tagged tobacco etch virus (TEV) protease to yield the native recombinant protein, and the His6-tagged contaminants are removed by adsorption during a second round of IMAC, leaving only the untagged recombinant protein in the column effluent. The generic strategy described here saves time and effort by removing insoluble aggregates at an early stage in the process while also reducing the tendency of MBP to "stick" to its fusion partners during affinity purification.
Project description:The yeast transcriptional adaptor GCN5 functions as a histone acetyltransferase, directly linking chromatin modification to transcriptional regulation. Homologues of yeast GCN5 have been found in Tetrahymena, Drosophila, Arabidopsis and human, suggesting that this pathway of chromatin remodelling is evolutionarily conserved. Consistent with this view, we have identified the Toxoplasma gondii homologue, referred to here as TgGCN5. The gene codes for a protein of 474 amino acids with an estimated molecular mass of 53 kDa. The protein reveals two regions of close similarity with the GCN5 family members, the HAT domain and the bromodomain. Tg GCN5 occurs in a single copy in the T.gondii genome. The introduction of a second copy of TgGCN5 in T.gondii tachyzoites is toxic unless the HAT activity is disrupted by a single point mutation. Full TgGCN5 does not complement the growth defect in a yeast gcn5 (-)mutant strain, but a chimera comprising the T.gondii HAT domain fused to the remainder of yGCN5 does. These data show that T.gondii GNC5 is a histone acetyltransferase attesting to the significance of chromatin remodelling in gene regulation of Apicomplexa.
Project description:Background:One of the consequences of toxoplasmosis is the risk of passing it from mother to fetus and the onset of congenital toxoplasmosis during pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the B1 gene of Toxoplasma gondii in the placental tissues of pregnant women with acute toxoplasmosis. Materials and Methods:The study was a cross-sectional study. Serum samples of pregnant women who attended to Fatemieh Hospital of Hamadan University of Medical Sciences were tested for immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against T. gondii by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Then, polymerase chain reaction was used to identify the specific B1 gene of T. gondii in IgG seropositive women. The placental tissues of the pregnant women with positive serum B1 gene examined for this gene. Anti-Toxoplasma immunoglobulin M (IgM) was performed on the umbilical cord and neonate blood. Results:Anti-Toxoplasma IgG was detected in 167 out of 653 (25.6%) pregnant women. T. gondii B1 gene was identified in 36 out of 167 (21.6%) of IgG seropositive women. After delivery, the B1 gene was evaluated in 15 out of 36 (41.7%) patients' placental tissues, 13 of which were positive for this gene (86.7%). Anti-Toxoplasma IgM was detected neither in any umbilical cord nor in neonatal blood samples. All newborns, with the exception of one case, were born with normal birth weight and in term birth. Conclusion:The B1 gene was detected in 86.7% of the placental tissue of women who were involved in acute toxoplasmosis during pregnancy.
Project description:Recombinant His-tagged proteins expressed in Escherichia coli and purified by immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC) are commonly coeluted with native E. coli proteins, especially if the recombinant protein is expressed at a low level. The E. coli contaminants display high affinity to divalent nickel or cobalt ions, mainly due to the presence of clustered histidine residues or biologically relevant metal binding sites. To improve the final purity of expressed His-tagged protein, we engineered E. coli BL21(DE3) expression strains in which the most recurring contaminants are either expressed with an alternative tag or mutated to decrease their affinity to divalent cations. The current study presents the design, engineering, and characterization of two E. coli BL21(DE3) derivatives, NiCo21(DE3) and NiCo22(DE3), which express the endogenous proteins SlyD, Can, ArnA, and (optionally) AceE fused at their C terminus to a chitin binding domain (CBD) and the protein GlmS, with six surface histidines replaced by alanines. We show that each E. coli CBD-tagged protein remains active and can be efficiently eliminated from an IMAC elution fraction using a chitin column flowthrough step, while the modification of GlmS results in loss of affinity for nickel-containing resin. The "NiCo" strains uniquely complement existing methods for improving the purity of recombinant His-tagged protein.
Project description:Toxoplasma gondii infections are prevalent in a wide range of mammalian hosts including humans. Infection in pregnant women may cause the transmission of parasite to the fetus that makes serious problems. IgM antibodies against Toxoplasma (Toxo-IgM) have been believed to be significant indicators for both recently acquired and congenital toxoplasmosis. So far, however, there has not been any recognized protein of T. gondii that specifically reacts to IgM antibodies. Here, an antigen exclusively for detection of IgM antibodies screened by two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry has been reported. The study identified 13 Toxoplasma proteins probed by IgG antibodies and one (rhpotry protein 2 [ROP2]) by IgM antibodies with human sera of Toxo-IgM(-)-IgG(+) and -IgM(+)-IgG(-), respectively, which had been prescreened by Toxo-IgM and -IgG commercial kits from the suspected cases. Following cloning, expression, and purification of the fragment of ROP2(186-533), an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with rROP2(186-533) to measure IgM and IgG antibodies was developed. As a result, 100%(48/48) of sera with Toxo-IgM(+)-IgG(-)showed positive Toxo-IgM but none of them (0%) showed positive Toxo-IgG when rROP2(186-533) was used as antigen. Neither Toxo-IgG nor Toxo-IgM antibodies were found when tested with 59 sera of Toxo-IgM(-)-IgG(+). These results indicate that rROP2(186-533) could be used as an antigen that specifically capture Toxo-IgM antibodies and may have a high potential in the serological diagnosis of both acute acquired and congenital toxoplasmosis.