A Theileria annulata DNA binding protein localized to the host cell nucleus alters the phenotype of a bovine macrophage cell line.
ABSTRACT: The apicomplexan parasite Theileria annulata is the only intracellular eukaryote that is known to induce the proliferation of mammalian cells. However, as the parasite undergoes stage differentiation, host cell proliferation is inhibited, and the leukocyte is eventually destroyed. We have isolated a parasite gene (SuAT1) encoding an AT hook DNA binding polypeptide that has a predicted signal peptide, PEST motifs, nuclear localization signals, and domains which indicate interaction with regulatory components of the higher eukaryotic cell cycle. The polypeptide is localized to the nuclei of macroschizont-infected cells and was detected at significant levels in cells that were undergoing parasite stage differentiation. Transfection of an uninfected transformed bovine macrophage cell line, BoMac, demonstrated that SuAT1 can modulate cellular morphology and alter the expression pattern of a cytoskeletal polypeptide in a manner similar to that found during the infection of leukocytes by the parasite. Our findings indicate that Theileria parasite molecules that are transported to the leukocyte nucleus have the potential to modulate the phenotype of infected cells.
Project description:Theileria parasites infect and transform bovine leukocytes. We have analyzed laboratory-established Theileria sp.-infected leukocyte lines and observed that transformed macrophages express CD5. Low-level expression of CD5 by macrophages was further confirmed on three independent Theileria annulata clinical isolates from Tunisia. Interestingly, the fourth CD5(+) clinical isolate (MB2) was morphologically different, expressed surface immunoglobulin M (IgM) and BoLA class II, and had rearranged Ig light-chain genes. To demonstrate that MB2 did indeed contain CD5(+) B cells, individual clonal lines were obtained by limiting dilution, and CD5 expression and Ig gene rearrangement were confirmed. This suggests that in natural infections T. annulata can invade and transform CD5(+) B cells.
Project description:Theileria annulata is a tick-transmitted apicomplexan parasite that infects and transforms bovine leukocytes into disseminating tumours that cause a disease called tropical theileriosis. Using comparative transcriptomics we identified genes transcriptionally perturbed during Theileria-induced leukocyte transformation. Dataset comparisons highlighted a small set of genes associated with Theileria-transformed leukocyte dissemination. The roles of Granzyme A (GZMA) and RAS guanyl-releasing protein 1 (RASGRP1) were verified by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockdown. Knocking down expression of GZMA and RASGRP1 in attenuated macrophages led to a regain in their dissemination in Rag2/?C mice confirming their role as dissemination suppressors in vivo. We further evaluated the roles of GZMA and RASGRP1 in human B lymphomas by comparing the transcriptome of 934 human cancer cell lines to that of Theileria-transformed bovine host cells. We confirmed dampened dissemination potential of human B lymphomas that overexpress GZMA and RASGRP1. Our results provide evidence that GZMA and RASGRP1 have a novel tumour suppressor function in both T. annulata-infected bovine host leukocytes and in human B lymphomas.
Project description:Theileria annulata is a haemoprotozoan parasite that causes a cancer-like illness known as tropical theileriosis in cattle. In the course of analyzing the genetic diversity of T. annulata in Sri Lanka, we observed that merozoite-piroplasm surface antigen (tams1) and surface protein (tasp)-like gene sequences obtained from bovine blood DNA samples, which were PCR-positive for T. annulata, were conserved but shared low identity with T. annulata GenBank sequences. Moreover, the 18S rRNA sequences from the Sri Lankan samples contained ten unique single-nucleotide polymorphisms compared with all known T. annulata sequences. The cytochrome b (cob) gene sequences isolated from the Sri Lankan samples were highly conserved and shared low identity scores with similarly conserved T. annulata sequences from GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the Sri Lankan tams1-like, tasp-like, 18S rRNA, and cob sequences clustered together and formed sister clades to the common ancestors of all known T. annulata and Theileria lestoquardi sequences. These findings demonstrated that the Sri Lankan cattle were not infected with T. annulata but with a new Theileria sp. (designated as Theileria sp. Yokoyama) closely related to T. annulata.
Project description:Theileria annulata, which is part of the Theileria sergenti/Theileria buffeli/Theileria orientalis group, preferentially infects cattle and results in high mortality and morbidity in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Central Asia. The polypeptide Tams1 is an immunodominant major merozoite piroplasm surface antigen of T. annulata that could be used as a marker for epidemiological studies and phylogenetic analysis. In the present study, a total of 155 Tams1 sequences were investigated for genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships through phylogenetic analysis. Results showed that the Tams1 sequences were divided into two major groups and that distribution for some isolates also exhibited geographic specificity. As targeting polymorphic genes for parasite detection may result in underestimation of infection, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay using two different probes targeting tams-1 genes of these two groups can be more credible. In addition, the direction of the spread of the disease was discovered to be from the Mediterranean or the tropical zone to the Eurasian peninsula, Middle East, Southern Asia, and Africa, particularly for Group 2. A similar occurrence was also found between the Ms1 gene of Theileria lestoquardi and the Tams1 gene of T. annulata, which explains cross-immunogenicity to a certain extent. However, no potential glycosylation site in the Tams1 of T. annulata was found in this study, which illustrated that instead of N-glycosylation, other modifications have more significant effects on the immunogenicity of the Tams1 protein.
Project description:HSP90 chaperones are essential regulators of cellular function, as they ensure the appropriate conformation of multiple key client proteins. Four HSP90 isoforms were identified in the protozoan parasite Theileria annulata. Partial characterization was undertaken for three and localization confirmed for cytoplasmic (TA12105), endoplasmic reticulum (TA06470), and apicoplast (TA10720) forms. ATPase activity and binding to the HSP90 inhibitor geldanamycin were demonstrated for recombinant TA12105, and all three native forms could be isolated to varying extents by binding to geldanamycin beads. Because it is essential, HSP90 is considered a potential therapeutic drug target. Resistance to the only specific Theileriacidal drug is increasing, and one challenge for design of drugs that target the parasite is to limit the effect on the host. An in vitro cell culture system that allows comparison between uninfected bovine cells and the T. annulata-infected counterpart was utilized to test the effects of geldanamycin and the derivative 17-AAG. T. annulata-infected cells had greater tolerance to geldanamycin than uninfected cells yet exhibited significantly more sensitivity to 17-AAG. These findings suggest that parasite HSP90 isoform(s) can alter the drug sensitivity of infected host cells and that members of the Theileria HSP90 family are potential targets worthy of further investigation.
Project description:In South Asia, Theileria annulata is known to be less pathogenic to local breeds of Bos indicus cattle comparing to Bos taurus cattle and some of mix breeds between them. Seroepidemiological surveys have revealed high sero-prevalence of T. annulata in asymptomatic local breeds of cattle in Bangladesh. Therefore, these asymptomatic infection in local breeds can be infectious sources to more sensitive breeds. In this study, 59 bloods of cattle showing no symptom were screened by species specific PCRs for hemoto-protozoan parasites, to prove the existence of T. annulata parasite in asymptomatic cattle in Bangladesh. The T. annulata infection was confirmed along with other parasitic species, and this is the first report of T. annulata DNA detection in Bangladesh.
Project description:Host cells infected by Theileria annulata schizonts show the character of permanent proliferation in vitro, also named transformation. To explore the molecular mechanism a T. annulata Cyp1 (TaCyp1) protein potentially involved in regulating cell transformation was used as bait to screen for its interacting proteins by yeast-two-hybrid assay. Additional GST-pull down experiments confirmed that only MED21 specifically interacted with TaCyp1. Moreover, the distribution of TaCyp1 around T. annulata schizonts facilitated interaction with host cell MED21. As a component of mediator complex, MED21 is normally involved in regulating the transcription of nearly all RNA polymerase II-dependent genes. Therefore, to explore its influence on NF-?B signaling MED21 RNA interference and parasite killing with BW720c treatment were performed. Knock down of MED21 resulted in a significant decrease in NF-?B1/2 mRNA expressions, but no significant change in P105, P52 levels, nor detectable alteration in levels of phosphorylated I?B?/?. By contrast, BW720c treatment induced an obvious decrease in the phosphorylation status of P52 and I?B?/?, but no obvious change in that of P105. This suggests that BW720c-induced parasite death had a significant negative influence on NF-?B signaling, whereas knock down of MED21 had no obvious effect on NF-?B signaling. Characterization of TaCyp1 provides information on the function of parasite cyclophilins and leads to a better understanding of the interactions between T. annulata and its host leukocytes.
Project description:Infection of bovine leucocytes by Theileria annulata results in establishment of transformed, infected cells. Infection of the host cell is known to promote constitutive activation of pro-inflammatory transcription factors that have the potential to be beneficial or detrimental. In this study we have compared the effect of LPS activation on uninfected bovine leucocytes (BL20 cells) and their Theileria-infected counterpart (TBL20). Gene expression profiles representing activated uninfected BL20 relative to TBL20 cells were also compared. The results show that while prolonged stimulation with LPS induces cell death and activation of NF-κB in BL20 cells, the viability of Theileria-infected cells was unaffected. Analysis of gene expression networks provided evidence that the parasite establishes tight control over pathways associated with cellular activation by modulating reception of extrinsic stimuli and by significantly altering the expression outcome of genes targeted by infection-activated transcription factors. Pathway analysis of the data set identified novel candidate genes involved in manipulation of cellular functions associated with the infected transformed cell. The data indicate that the T. annulata parasite can irreversibly reconfigure host cell gene expression networks associated with development of inflammatory disease and cancer to generate an outcome that is beneficial to survival and propagation of the infected leucocyte.
Project description:Little is known about how apicomplexan parasites have evolved to infect different host species and cell types. Theileria annulata and Theileria parva invade and transform bovine leukocytes but each species favours a different host cell lineage. Parasite-encoded proteins secreted from the intracellular macroschizont stage within the leukocyte represent a critical interface between host and pathogen systems. Genome sequencing has revealed that several Theileria-specific gene families encoding secreted proteins are positively selected at the inter-species level, indicating diversification between the species. We extend this analysis to the intra-species level, focusing on allelic diversity of two major secretome families. These families represent a well-characterised group of genes implicated in control of the host cell phenotype and a gene family of unknown function. To gain further insight into their evolution and function, this study investigates whether representative genes of these two families are diversifying or constrained within the T. annulata population.Strong evidence is provided that the sub-telomerically encoded SVSP family and the host-nucleus targeted TashAT family have evolved under contrasting pressures within natural T. annulata populations. SVSP genes were found to possess atypical codon usage and be evolving neutrally, with high levels of nucleotide substitutions and multiple indels. No evidence of geographical sub-structuring of allelic sequences was found. In contrast, TashAT family genes, implicated in control of host cell gene expression, are strongly conserved at the protein level and geographically sub-structured allelic sequences were identified among Tunisian and Turkish isolates. Although different copy numbers of DNA binding motifs were identified in alleles of TashAT proteins, motif periodicity was strongly maintained, implying conserved functional activity of these sites.This analysis provides evidence that two distinct secretome genes families have evolved under contrasting selective pressures. The data supports current hypotheses regarding the biological role of TashAT family proteins in the management of host cell phenotype that may have evolved to allow adaptation of T. annulata to a specific host cell lineage. We provide new evidence of extensive allelic diversity in representative members of the enigmatic SVSP gene family, which supports a putative role for the encoded products in subversion of the host immune response.
Project description:The apicomplexan parasite, Theileria annulata, is the causative agent of tropical theileriosis, a devastating lymphoproliferative disease of cattle. The schizont stage transforms bovine leukocytes and provides an intriguing model to study host/pathogen interactions. The genome of T. annulata has been sequenced and transcriptomic data are rapidly accumulating. In contrast, little is known about the proteome of the schizont, the pathogenic, transforming life cycle stage of the parasite. Using one-dimensional (1-D) gel LC-MS/MS, a proteomic analysis of purified T. annulata schizonts was carried out. In whole parasite lysates, 645 proteins were identified. Proteins with transmembrane domains (TMDs) were under-represented and no proteins with more than four TMDs could be detected. To tackle this problem, Triton X-114 treatment was applied, which facilitates the extraction of membrane proteins, followed by 1-D gel LC-MS/MS. This resulted in the identification of an additional 153 proteins. Half of those had one or more TMD and 30 proteins with more than four TMDs were identified. This demonstrates that Triton X-114 treatment can provide a valuable additional tool for the identification of new membrane proteins in proteomic studies. With two exceptions, all proteins involved in glycolysis and the citric acid cycle were identified. For at least 29% of identified proteins, the corresponding transcripts were not present in the existing expressed sequence tag databases. The proteomics data were integrated into the publicly accessible database resource at EuPathDB (www.eupathdb.org) so that mass spectrometry-based protein expression evidence for T. annulata can be queried alongside transcriptional and other genomics data available for these parasites.