ABSTRACT: Giardiasis is a common diarrheal disease caused by the protozoan parasite Giardia intestinalis. Cysteine proteases (CPs) are acknowledged as virulence factors in Giardia but their specific role in the molecular pathogenesis of disease is not known. Herein, we aimed to characterize the three main secreted CPs (CP14019, CP16160 and CP16779), which were identified by mass spectrometry in the medium during interaction with intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) in vitro. First, the CPs were epitope-tagged and localized to the endoplasmic reticulum and cytoplasmic vesicle-like structures. Second, we showed that recombinant CPs, expressed in Pichia pastoris, are more active in acidic environment (pH 5.5-6) and we determined the kinetic parameters using fluorogenic substrates. Third, excretory-secretory proteins (ESPs) from Giardia trophozoites affect the localization of apical junctional complex (AJC) proteins and recombinant CPs cleave or re-localize the AJC proteins (claudin-1 and -4, occludin, JAM-1, ?-catenin and E-cadherin) of IECs. Finally, we showed that the ESPs and recombinant CPs can degrade several chemokines, including CXCL1, CXCL2, CXCL3, IL-8, CCL2, and CCL20, which are up-regulated in IECs during Giardia-host cell interactions. This is the first study that characterizes the role of specific CPs secreted from Giardia and our results collectively indicate their roles in the disruption of the intestinal epithelial barrier and modulating immune responses during Giardia infections.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Giardia intestinalis is a non-invasive protozoan parasite that causes giardiasis in humans, the most common form of parasite-induced diarrhea. Disease mechanisms are not completely defined and very few virulence factors are known. METHODOLOGY:To identify putative virulence factors and elucidate mechanistic pathways leading to disease, we have used proteomics to identify the major excretory-secretory products (ESPs) when Giardia trophozoites of WB and GS isolates (assemblages A and B, respectively) interact with intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) in vitro. FINDINGS:The main parts of the IEC and parasite secretomes are constitutively released proteins, the majority of which are associated with metabolism but several proteins are released in response to their interaction (87 and 41 WB and GS proteins, respectively, 76 and 45 human proteins in response to the respective isolates). In parasitized IECs, the secretome profile indicated effects on the cell actin cytoskeleton and the induction of immune responses whereas that of Giardia showed anti-oxidation, proteolysis (protease-associated) and induction of encystation responses. The Giardia secretome also contained immunodominant and glycosylated proteins as well as new candidate virulence factors and assemblage-specific differences were identified. A minor part of Giardia ESPs had signal peptides (29% for both isolates) and extracellular vesicles were detected in the ESPs fractions, suggesting alternative secretory pathways. Microscopic analyses showed ESPs binding to IECs and partial internalization. Parasite ESPs reduced ERK1/2 and P38 phosphorylation and NF-?B nuclear translocation. Giardia ESPs altered gene expression in IECs, with a transcriptional profile indicating recruitment of immune cells via chemokines, disturbances in glucose homeostasis, cholesterol and lipid metabolism, cell cycle and induction of apoptosis. CONCLUSIONS:This is the first study identifying Giardia ESPs and evaluating their effects on IECs. It highlights the importance of host and parasite ESPs during interactions and reveals the intricate cellular responses that can explain disease mechanisms and attenuated inflammatory responses during giardiasis.
Project description:The polymeric mucin component of the intestinal mucus barrier changes during nematode infection to provide not only physical protection but also to directly affect pathogenic nematodes and aid expulsion. Despite this, the direct interaction of the nematodes with the mucins and the mucus barrier has not previously been addressed. We used the well-established Trichuris muris nematode model to investigate the effect on mucins of the complex mixture of immunogenic proteins secreted by the nematode called excretory/secretory products (ESPs). Different regimes of T. muris infection were used to simulate chronic (low dose) or acute (high dose) infection. Mucus/mucins isolated from mice and from the human intestinal cell line, LS174T, were treated with ESPs. We demonstrate that serine protease(s) secreted by the nematode have the ability to change the properties of the mucus barrier, making it more porous by degrading the mucin component of the mucus gel. Specifically, the serine protease(s) acted on the N-terminal polymerising domain of the major intestinal mucin Muc2, resulting in depolymerisation of Muc2 polymers. Importantly, the respiratory/gastric mucin Muc5ac, which is induced in the intestine and is critical for worm expulsion, was protected from the depolymerising effect exerted by ESPs. Furthermore, serine protease inhibitors (Serpins) which may protect the mucins, in particular Muc2, from depolymerisation, were highly expressed in mice resistant to chronic infection. Thus, we demonstrate that nematodes secrete serine protease(s) to degrade mucins within the mucus barrier, which may modify the niche of the parasite to prevent clearance from the host or facilitate efficient mating and egg laying from the posterior end of the parasite that is in intimate contact with the mucus barrier. However, during a T(H)2-mediated worm expulsion response, serpins, Muc5ac and increased levels of Muc2 protect the barrier from degradation by the nematode secreted protease(s).
Project description:BACKGROUND: Lactobacillus species are used as bacterial vectors to deliver functional peptides to the intestine because they are delivered live to the intestine, colonize the mucosal surface, and continue to produce the desired protein. Previously, we generated a recombinant Lactobacillus casei secreting the cholera toxin B subunit (CTB), which can translocate into intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) through GM1 ganglioside. Recombinant fusion proteins of CTB with functional peptides have been used as carriers for the delivery of these peptides to IECs because of the high cell permeation capacity of recombinant CTB (rCTB). However, there have been no reports of rCTB fused with peptides expressed or secreted by Lactobacillus species. In this study, we constructed L. casei secreting a recombinant fusion protein of CTB with YVAD (rCTB-YVAD). YVAD is a tetrapeptide (tyrosine-valine-alanine-aspartic acid) that specifically inhibits caspase-1, which catalyzes the production of interleukin (IL)-1?, an inflammatory cytokine, from its inactive precursor. Here, we examined whether rCTB-YVAD secreted by L. casei binds to GM1 ganglioside and inhibits caspase-1 activation in Caco-2 cells used as a model of IECs. RESULTS: We constructed the rCTB-YVAD secretion vector pSCTB-YVAD by modifying the rCTB secretion vector pSCTB. L. casei secreting rCTB-YVAD was generated by transformation with pSCTB-YVAD. Both the culture supernatant of pSCTB-YVAD-transformed L. casei and purified rCTB-YVAD bound to GM1 ganglioside, as did the culture supernatant of pSCTB-transformed L. casei and purified rCTB. Interestingly, although both purified rCTB-YVAD and rCTB translocated into Caco-2 cells, regardless of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), only purified rCTB-YVAD but not rCTB inhibited LPS-induced caspase-1 activation and subsequent IL-1? secretion in Caco-2 cells, without affecting cell viability. CONCLUSIONS: The rCTB protein fused to a functional peptide secreted by L. casei can bind to GM1 ganglioside, like rCTB, and recombinant YVAD secreted by L. casei may exert anti-inflammatory effects in the intestine. Therefore, rCTB secreted by L. casei has potential utility as a vector for the delivery of YVAD to IECs.
Project description:Giardia lamblia, an important cause of diarrheal disease, resides in the small intestinal lumen in close apposition to epithelial cells. Since the disease mechanisms underlying giardiasis are poorly understood, elucidating the specific interactions of the parasite with the host epithelium is likely to provide clues to understanding the pathogenesis. Here we tested the hypothesis that contact of Giardia lamblia with intestinal epithelial cells might lead to release of specific proteins. Using established co-culture models, intestinal ligated loops and a proteomics approach, we identified three G. lamblia proteins (arginine deiminase, ornithine carbamoyl transferase and enolase), previously recognized as immunodominant antigens during acute giardiasis. Release was stimulated by cell-cell interactions, since only small amounts of arginine deiminase and enolase were detected in the medium after culturing of G. lamblia alone. The secreted G. lamblia proteins were localized to the cytoplasm and the inside of the plasma membrane of trophozoites. Furthermore, in vitro studies with recombinant arginine deiminase showed that the secreted Giardia proteins can disable host innate immune factors such as nitric oxide production. These results indicate that contact of Giardia with epithelial cells triggers metabolic enzyme release, which might facilitate effective colonization of the human small intestine.
Project description:Giardia intestinalis is a parasitic protist that causes diarrhea in humans, affecting mainly children of the developing world, elderly and immunocompromised individuals. Humans are infected by two major Giardia assemblages (i.e. genetic subtypes), A and B, with the latter being the most common. So far, there is little information on molecular or cellular changes during infections with assemblage B. Here, we used RNA sequencing to study transcriptional changes in Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) co-incubated with assemblage B (GS isolate) trophozoites for 1.5, 3, and 4.5 h. We aimed to identify early molecular events associated with the establishment of infection and followed cellular protein changes up to 10 h. IEC transcriptomes showed a dominance of immediate early response genes which was sustained across all time points. Transcription of inflammatory cytokines (e.g., cxcl1-3, ccl2, 1l1a, and il1b) peaked at 1.5 and 3 h of infection. Compared to co-incubation with assemblage A Giardia, we identified the induction of novel cytokines (cxcl8, cxcl10, csf1, cx3cl1, il12a, il11) and showed that inflammatory signaling is mediated by Erk1/2 phosphorylation (mitogen activated protein kinase, MAPK), nuclear factor kappa B (NF?B) and adaptor protein-1 (AP-1). We also showed that GS trophozoites attenuate P38 (MAPK) phosphorylation in IECs. Low amounts of IL-8, CXCL1 and CCL20 proteins were measured in the interaction medium, which was attributed to cytokine degradation by trophozoite secreted proteases. Based on the transcriptome, the decay of cytokines mRNA mediated by zinc finger protein 36 might be another mechanism controlling cytokine levels at later time points. IEC transcriptomes suggested homeostatic responses to counter oxidative stress, glucose starvation, and disturbances in amino acid and lipid metabolism. A large group of differentially transcribed genes were associated with cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis, which was validated at protein level. IEC transcriptomes also suggested changes in tight junction's integrity, microvilli structure and the extracellular mucin layer. This is the first study to illuminate transcriptional and protein regulatory events underlying IECs responses and pathogenesis during Giardia assemblage B infection. It highlights differences compared to assemblage A infections which might account for the differences observed in human infections with the two assemblages.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid important in growing individuals and under non-homeostatic conditions/disease. Many pathogens interfere with arginine-utilization in host cells, especially nitric oxide (NO) production, by changing the expression of host enzymes involved in arginine metabolism. Here we used human intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) and three different isolates of the protozoan parasite Giardia intestinalis to investigate the role of arginine and arginine-metabolizing enzymes during intestinal protozoan infections.<h4>Results</h4>RNA expression analyses of major arginine-metabolizing enzymes revealed the arginine-utilizing pathways in human IECs (differentiated Caco-2 cells) grown in vitro. Most genes were constant or down-regulated (e.g. arginase 1 and 2) upon interaction with Giardia, whereas inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) were up-regulated within 6 h of infection. Giardia was shown to suppress cytokine-induced iNOS expression, thus the parasite has both iNOS inducing and suppressive activities. Giardial arginine consumption suppresses NO production and the NO-degrading parasite protein flavohemoglobin is up-regulated in response to host NO. In addition, the secreted, arginine-consuming giardial enzyme arginine deiminase (GiADI) actively reduces T-cell proliferation in vitro. Interestingly, the effects on NO production and T cell proliferation could be reversed by addition of external arginine or citrulline.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Giardia affects the host's arginine metabolism on many different levels. Many of the effects can be reversed by addition of arginine or citrulline, which could be a beneficial supplement in oral rehydration therapy.
Project description:Giardia intestinalis colonizes the upper small intestine of humans and animals, causing the diarrheal disease giardiasis. This unicellular eukaryotic parasite is not invasive but it attaches to the surface of small intestinal epithelial cells (IECs), disrupting the epithelial barrier. Here, we used an in vitro model of the parasite's interaction with host IECs (differentiated Caco-2 cells) and RNA sequencing (RNAseq) to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in Giardia, which might relate to the establishment of infection and disease induction. Giardia trophozoites interacted with differentiated Caco-2 cells for 1.5, 3, and 4.5 h and at each time point, 61, 89, and 148 parasite genes were up-regulated more than twofold, whereas 209, 265, and 313 parasite genes were down-regulated more than twofold. The most abundant DEGs encode hypothetical proteins and members of the High Cysteine Membrane Protein (HCMP) family. Among the up-regulated genes we also observed proteins associated with proteolysis, cellular redox balance, as well as lipid and nucleic acid metabolic pathways. In contrast, genes encoding kinases, regulators of the cell cycle and arginine metabolism and cytoskeletal proteins were down-regulated. Immunofluorescence imaging of selected, up-regulated HCMPs, using C-terminal HA-tagging, showed localization to the plasma membrane and peripheral vesicles (PVs). The expression of the HCMPs was affected by histone acetylation and free iron-levels. In fact, the latter was shown to regulate the expression of many putative giardial virulence factors in subsequent RNAseq experiments. We suggest that the plasma membrane localized and differentially expressed HCMPs play important roles during Giardia-host cell interactions.
Project description:The parasitic protozoan Giardia lamblia is a worldwide cause of diarrhea, but the mechanism of disease remains elusive. The parasite colonizes the small intestinal epithelium, known to be a sensor for the presence of enteric pathogens, without invading or causing severe inflammation. In this study we investigated the epithelial cell response to G. lamblia. Differentiated Caco-2 cells were infected with G. lamblia isolate WB-A11, and the transcriptome of the intestinal cells was analyzed after 1.5, 6, and 18 h of interaction, using oligonucleotide microarrays. A large number of genes displayed changed expression patterns, showing the complexity of the interaction between G. lamblia and intestinal cells. A novel chemokine profile (CCL2, CCL20, CXCL1, CXCL2, and CXCL3) was induced that was different from the response induced by enteric pathogens causing intestinal inflammation. Several genes involved in stress regulation changed their expression. These findings indicate that the intestinal epithelium senses the G. lamblia infection, and this is important for induction of innate and adaptive immunity. The induced stress response can be important in the pathogenesis.
Project description:The apical junctional complex (AJC), which includes tight junctions (TJs) and adherens junctions (AJs), determines the epithelial polarity, cell-cell adhesion and permeability barrier. An intriguing characteristic of a TJ is the dynamic nature of its multiprotein complex. Occludin is the most mobile TJ protein, but its significance in TJ dynamics is poorly understood. On the basis of phosphorylation sites, we distinguished a sequence in the C-terminal domain of occludin as a regulatory motif (ORM). Deletion of ORM and expression of a deletion mutant of occludin in renal and intestinal epithelia reduced the mobility of occludin at the TJs. ORM deletion attenuated Ca2+ depletion, osmotic stress and hydrogen peroxide-induced disruption of TJs, AJs and the cytoskeleton. The double point mutations T403A/T404A, but not T403D/T404D, in occludin mimicked the effects of ORM deletion on occludin mobility and AJC disruption by Ca2+ depletion. Both Y398A/Y402A and Y398D/Y402D double point mutations partially blocked AJC disruption. Expression of a deletion mutant of occludin attenuated collective cell migration in the renal and intestinal epithelia. Overall, this study reveals the role of ORM and its phosphorylation in occludin mobility, AJC dynamics and epithelial cell migration.
Project description:In the field of infectious diseases the multifaceted amino acid arginine has reached special attention as substrate for the hosts production of the antimicrobial agent nitric oxide (NO). A variety of infectious organisms interfere with this part of the host immune response by reducing the availability of arginine. This prompted us to further investigate additional roles of arginine during pathogen infections. As a model we used the intestinal parasite Giardia intestinalis that actively consumes arginine as main energy source and secretes an arginine-consuming enzyme, arginine deiminase (ADI). Reduced intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) proliferation is a common theme during bacterial and viral intestinal infections, but it has never been connected to arginine-consumption. Our specific question was thereby, whether the arginine-consumption by Giardia leads to reduced IEC proliferation, in addition to NO reduction. In vitro cultivation of human IEC lines in arginine-free or arginine/citrulline-complemented medium, as well as in interaction with different G. intestinalis isolates, were used to study effects on host cell replication by MTT assay. IEC proliferation was further analyzed by DNA content analysis, polyamine measurements and expressional analysis of cell cycle regulatory genes. IEC proliferation was reduced upon arginine-withdrawal and also in an arginine-dependent manner upon interaction with G. intestinalis or addition of Giardia ADI. We show that arginine-withdrawal by intestinal pathogens leads to a halt in the cell cycle in IECs through reduced polyamine levels and upregulated cell cycle inhibitory genes. This is of importance with regards to intestinal tissue homeostasis that is affected through reduced cell proliferation. Thus, the slower epithelial cell turnover helps the pathogen to maintain a more stable niche for colonization. This study also shows why supplementation therapy of diarrhea patients with arginine/citrulline is helpful and that citrulline especially should gain further attention in future treatment strategies.