New contribution to the morphology and molecular mechanism of Euplotes encysticus encystment.
ABSTRACT: Ciliated protists are a large group of single-cell eukaryotes, leading to the resting cysts in unfavorable environmental condition. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of encystment in the free-living ciliates is poorly understood. Here we show that the resting cysts are better than the vegetative cells of Euplotes encysticus in adverse survivor with respect to energy metabolism. Therefore scale identification of encystment-related proteins in Euplotes encysticus was investigated by iTRAQ analysis. We analyzed a total of 130 proteins, in which 19 proteins involving 12 upregulated and 7 downregulated proteins were associated with encystment in the resting cysts in comparison with the vegetative cells. Moreover, direct fluorescent labeling analysis showed that the vegetative cells treated with shRNA-?-tubulin recombinant E. coli accumulated a large number of granular materials, and dramatic cell morphology changes. Importantly, the cell membrane rupture phenomenon was observed after three weeks of shRNA-?-tubulin interference as compared to the control group. These results revealed that different proteins might play an important role in the process of the vegetative cells into the resting cysts. These results will help to reveal the morphological changes and molecular mechanism of resting cyst formation of ciliates.
Project description:The transformation of a ciliate into cyst is an advance strategy against an adverse situation. However, the molecular mechanism for the encystation of free-living ciliates is poorly understood. A large-scale identification of the encystment-related proteins and genes in ciliate would provide us with deeper insights into the molecular mechanisms for the encystations of ciliate. We identified the encystment-related proteins and genes in Pseudourostyla cristata with shotgun LC-MS/MS and scale qRT-PCR, respectively, in this report. A total of 668 proteins were detected in the resting cysts, 102 of these proteins were high credible proteins, whereas 88 high credible proteins of the 724 total proteins were found in the vegetative cells. Compared with the vegetative cell, 6 specific proteins were found in the resting cyst. However, the majority of high credible proteins in the resting cyst and the vegetative cell were co-expressed. We compared 47 genes of the co-expressed proteins with known functions in both the cyst and the vegetative cell using scale qRT-PCR. Twenty-seven of 47 genes were differentially expressed in the cyst compared with the vegetative cell. In our identifications, many uncharacterized proteins were also found. These results will help reveal the molecular mechanism for the formation of cyst in ciliates.
Project description:In order to identify and reveal the proteins related to encystment of the ciliate Euplotes encysticus, we analyzed variation in the abundance of the proteins isolated from the resting cyst comparing with proteins in the vegetative cell. 2-D electrophoresis, MALDI-TOF MS techniques and Bioinformatics were used for proteome separation, quantification and identification. The comparative proteomics studies revealed 26 proteins with changes on the expression in the resting cysts, including 12 specific proteins and 14 differential proteins. 12 specific proteins and 10 out of the 14 differential proteins were selected and identified by MALDI-TOF MS. The identified specific proteins with known functions included type II cytoskeletal 1, keratin, Nop16 domain containing protein, protein arginine n-methyltransferase, epsilon-trimethyllysine hydroxylase and calpain-like protein. The identified differential proteins with known functions included Lysozyme C, keratinocyte growth factor, lysozyme homolog AT-2, formate acetyltransferase, alpha S1 casein and cold-shock protein. We discussed the functions of these proteins as well as their contribution in the process of encystment. These identified proteins covered a wide range of molecular functions, including gene regulation, RNA regulation, proteins degradation and oxidation resistance, stress response, material transport and cytoskeleton organization. Therefore, differential expression of these proteins was essential for cell morphological and physiological changes during encystment. This suggested that the peculiar proteins and differential proteins might play important roles in the process of the vegetative cells transforming into the resting cysts. These observations may be novel findings that bring new insights into the detailed mechanisms of dormancy.
Project description:Due to the vital importance of resting cysts in the biology and ecology of many dinoflagellates, a transcriptomic investigation on Scrippsiella trochoidea was conducted with the aim to reveal the molecular processes and relevant functional genes regulating encystment and dormancy in dinoflagellates. We identified via RNA-seq 3,874 (out of 166,575) differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between resting cysts and vegetative cells; a pause of photosynthesis (confirmed via direct measurement of photosynthetic efficiency); an active catabolism including ?-oxidation, glycolysis, glyoxylate pathway, and TCA in resting cysts (tested via measurements of respiration rate); 12 DEGs encoding meiotic recombination proteins and members of MEI2-like family potentially involved in sexual reproduction and encystment; elevated expressions in genes encoding enzymes responding to pathogens (chitin deacetylase) and ROS stress in cysts; and 134 unigenes specifically expressed in cysts. We paid particular attention to genes pertaining to phytohormone signaling and identified 4 key genes regulating abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis and catabolism, with further characterization based on their full-length cDNA obtained via RACE-PCR. The qPCR results demonstrated elevated biosynthesis and repressed catabolism of ABA during the courses of encystment and cyst dormancy, which was significantly enhanced by lower temperature (4 ± 1°C) and darkness. Direct measurements of ABA using UHPLC-MS/MS and ELISA in vegetative cells and cysts both fully supported qPCR results. These results collectively suggest a vital role of ABA in regulating encystment and maintenance of dormancy, akin to its function in seed dormancy of higher plants. Our results provided a critical advancement in understanding molecular processes in resting cysts of dinoflagellates.
Project description:The encystment of many ciliates is an advanced survival strategy against adversity and the most important reason for ciliates existence worldwide. However, the molecular mechanism for the encystment of free-living ciliates is poorly understood. Here, we performed comparative transcriptomic analysis of dormant cysts and trophonts from Pseudourostyla cristata using transcriptomics, qRT-PCR and bioinformatic techniques. We identified 2565 differentially expressed unigenes between the dormant cysts and the trophonts. The total number of differentially expressed genes in GO database was 1752. The differential unigenes noted to the GO terms were 1993. These differential categories were mainly related to polyamine transport, pectin decomposition, cytoplasmic translation, ribosome, respiratory chain, ribosome structure, ion channel activity, and RNA ligation. A total of 224 different pathways were mapped. Among them, 184 pathways were upregulated, while 162 were downregulated. Further investigation showed that the calcium and AMPK signaling pathway had important induction effects on the encystment. In addition, FOXO and ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis signaling pathway jointly regulated the encystment. Based on these findings, we propose a hypothetical signaling network that regulates Pseudourostyla cristata encystment. Overall, these results provide deeper insights into the molecular mechanisms of ciliates encystment and adaptation to adverse environments.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate the expression of target genes in diverse cellular processes and play important roles in different physiological processes. However, little is known about the microRNAome (miRNAome) during encystment of ciliated protozoa. In the current study, we first investigated the differentially expressed miRNAs and relative signaling pathways participating in the transformation of vegetative cells into dormant cysts of Pseudourostyla cristata (P. cristata). A total of 1608 known miRNAs were found in the two libraries. There were 165 miRNAs with 1217 target miRNAs. The total number of differential miRNAs screened between vegetative cells and dormant cysts databases were 449 with p < 0.05 and |log2 fold changes| > 1. Among them, the upregulated and downregulated miRNAs were 243 and 206, respectively. Furthermore, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis revealed that some of the differentially expressed miRNAs were mainly associated with oxidative phosphorylation, two-component system, and biosynthesis of amino acids. Combining with our bioinformatics analyzes, some differentially expressed miRNAs including miR-143, miR-23b-3p, miR-28, and miR-744-5p participates in the encystment of P. cristata. Based on these findings, we propose a hypothetical signaling network of miRNAs regulating or promoting P. cristata encystment. This study shed new lights on the regulatory mechanisms of miRNAs in encystment of ciliated protozoa.
Project description:Acanthamoeba castellanii is a ubiquitous free-living amoeba. Pathogenic strains are causative agents of Acanthamoeba keratitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis. In response to adverse conditions, A. castellanii differentiate into cysts, which are metabolically inactive and resistant cells. This process, also named encystment, involves biochemical and genetic modifications that remain largely unknown. This study characterizes the role of the ACA1_384820 Acanthamoeba gene during encystment. This gene encodes a putative N-acetyltransferase, belonging to the Gcn5-related N-acetyltransferase (GNAT) family. We showed that expression of the ACA1_384820 gene was down-regulated as early as two hours after induction of encystment in A. castellanii. Interestingly, overexpression of the ACA1_384820 gene affects formation of cysts. Unexpectedly, the search of homologs of ACA1_384820 in the Eukaryota gene datasets failed, except for some species in the Acanthamoeba genus. Bioinformatics analysis suggested a possible lateral acquisition of this gene from prokaryotic cells. This study enabled us to describe a new Acanthamoeba gene that is down-regulated during encystment.
Project description:BACKGROUND: There are thousands of very diverse ciliate species from which only a handful mitochondrial genomes have been studied so far. These genomes are rather similar because the ciliates analysed (Tetrahymena spp. and Paramecium aurelia) are closely related. Here we study the mitochondrial genomes of the hypotrichous ciliates Euplotes minuta and Euplotes crassus. These ciliates are only distantly related to Tetrahymena spp. and Paramecium aurelia, but more closely related to Nyctotherus ovalis, which possesses a hydrogenosomal (mitochondrial) genome. RESULTS: The linear mitochondrial genomes of the hypotrichous ciliates Euplotes minuta and Euplotes crassus were sequenced and compared with the mitochondrial genomes of several Tetrahymena species, Paramecium aurelia and the partially sequenced mitochondrial genome of the anaerobic ciliate Nyctotherus ovalis. This study reports new features such as long 5'gene extensions of several mitochondrial genes, extremely long cox1 and cox2 open reading frames and a large repeat in the middle of the linear mitochondrial genome. The repeat separates the open reading frames into two blocks, each having a single direction of transcription, from the repeat towards the ends of the chromosome. Although the Euplotes mitochondrial gene content is almost identical to that of Paramecium and Tetrahymena, the order of the genes is completely different. In contrast, the 33273 bp (excluding the repeat region) piece of the mitochondrial genome that has been sequenced in both Euplotes species exhibits no difference in gene order. Unexpectedly, many of the mitochondrial genes of E. minuta encoding ribosomal proteins possess N-terminal extensions that are similar to mitochondrial targeting signals. CONCLUSION: The mitochondrial genomes of the hypotrichous ciliates Euplotes minuta and Euplotes crassus are rather different from the previously studied genomes. Many genes are extended in size compared to mitochondrial genes from other sources.
Project description:Haematococcus pluvialis is a freshwater species of green algae and is well known for its accumulation of the strong antioxidant astaxanthin, which is used in aquaculture, various pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. High levels of astaxanthin are present in cysts, which rapidly accumulate when the environmental conditions become unfavorable for normal cell growth. It is not understood, however, how accumulation of high levels of astaxanthin, which is soluble in oil, becomes possible during encystment. Here, we performed ultrastructural 3D reconstruction based on over 350 serial sections per cell to visualize the dynamics of astaxanthin accumulation and subcellular changes during the encystment of H. pluvialis. This study showcases the marked changes in subcellular elements, such as chloroplast degeneration, in the transition from green coccoid cells to red cyst cells during encystment. In green coccoid cells, chloroplasts accounted for 41.7% of the total cell volume, whereas the relative volume of astaxanthin was very low (0.2%). In contrast, oil droplets containing astaxanthin predominated in cyst cells (52.2%), in which the total chloroplast volume was markedly decreased (9.7%). Volumetric observations also demonstrated that the relative volumes of the cell wall, starch grains, pyrenoids, mitochondria, the Golgi apparatus, and the nucleus in a cyst cell are smaller than those in green coccid cells. Our data indicated that chloroplasts are degraded, resulting in a net-like morphology, but do not completely disappear, even at the red cyst stage.
Project description:Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins constitute a large protein family that is closely associated with resistance to abiotic stresses in multiple organisms and protect cells against drought and other stresses. Azotobacter vinelandii is a soil bacterium that forms desiccation-resistant cysts. This bacterium possesses two genes, here named lea1 and lea2, coding for avLEA1 and avLEA2 proteins, both containing 20-mer motifs characteristic of eukaryotic plant LEA proteins. In this study, we found that disruption of the lea1 gene caused a loss of the cysts' viability after 3 months of desiccation, whereas at 6 months, wild-type or lea2 mutant strain cysts remained viable. Vegetative cells of the lea1 mutant were more sensitive to osmotic stress; cysts developed by this mutant were also more sensitive to high temperatures than cysts or vegetative cells of the wild type or of the lea2 mutant. Expression of lea1 was induced several fold during encystment. In addition, the protective effects of these proteins were assessed in Escherichia coli cells. We found that E. coli cells overexpressing avLEA1 were more tolerant to salt stress than control cells; finally, in vitro analysis showed that avLEA1 protein was able to prevent the freeze thaw-induced inactivation of lactate dehydrogenase. In conclusion, avLEA1 is essential for the survival of A. vinelandii in dry conditions and for protection against hyper-osmolarity, two major stress factors that bacteria must cope with for survival in the environment. This is the first report on the role of bacterial LEA proteins on the resistance of cysts to desiccation.
Project description:Pfiesteria spp. are mixotrophic armored dinoflagellates populating the Atlantic coastal waters of the United States. They have been a focus of intense research due to their reported association with several fish mortality events. We have now used a clonal culture of Pfiesteria piscicida and several new environmental isolates to describe growth characteristics, feeding, and factors contributing to the encystment and germination of the organism in both laboratory and environmental samples. We also discuss applied methods of detection of the different morphological forms of Pfiesteria in environmental samples. In summary, Pfiesteria, when grown with its algal prey, Rhodomonas sp., presents a typical growth curve with lag, exponential, and stationary phases, followed by encystment. The doubling time in exponential phase is about 12 h. The profiles of proliferation under a standard light cycle and in the dark were similar, although the peak cell densities were markedly lower when cells were grown in the dark. The addition of urea, chicken manure, and soil extracts did not enhance Pfiesteria proliferation, but crude unfiltered spent aquarium water did. Under conditions of food deprivation or cold (4 degrees C), Pfiesteria readily formed harvestable cysts that were further analyzed by PCR and scanning electron microscopy. The germination of Pfiesteria cysts in environmental sediment was enhanced by the presence of live fish: dinospores could be detected 13 to 15 days earlier and reached 5- to 10-times-higher peak cell densities with live fish than with artificial seawater or f/2 medium alone. The addition of ammonia, urea, nitrate, phosphate, or surprisingly, spent fish aquarium water had no effect.