Project description:Infection of macrophages by the intracellular protozoan Leishmania leads to down-regulation of a number of macrophage innate host defense mechanisms, thereby allowing parasite survival and replication. The underlying molecular mechanisms involved remain largely unknown. In this study, we assessed epigenetic changes in macrophage DNA methylation in response to infection with L. donovani as a possible mechanism for Leishmania driven deactivation of host defense. We quantified and detected genome-wide changes of cytosine methylation status in the macrophage genome resulting from L. donovani infection. A high confidence set of 443 CpG sites was identified with changes in methylation that correlated with live L. donovani infection. These epigenetic changes affected genes that play a critical role in host defense such as the JAK/STAT signaling pathway and the MAPK signaling pathway. These results provide strong support for a new paradigm in host-pathogen responses, where upon infection the pathogen induces epigenetic changes in the host cell genome resulting in downregulation of innate immunity thereby enabling pathogen survival and replication. We therefore propose a model whereby Leishmania induced epigenetic changes result in permanent down regulation of host defense mechanisms to protect intracellular replication and survival of parasitic cells.
Project description:Differential gene expression analysis was carried out in clinical isolates of Leishmania donovani (L. donovani) parasite derived from VL patient before miltefosine treatment, post treatment and patient that relpased after miltefosine treatment Overall design: Organism : Leishmania , Agilent custom Leishmania Gene Expression 8x15k Array (AMADID: 027511) designed by Genotypic Technology Private Limited.
Project description:Promastigote form of Leishmania, an intracellular pathogen, delays phagosome maturation and resides inside macrophages. But till date limited study has been done to manipulate the phagosomal machinery of macrophages to restrict Leishmania growth. Attenuated Leishmania strain exposed RAW 264.7 cells showed a respiratory burst and enhanced production of pro-inflammatory mediators. The augmentation of pro-inflammatory activity is mostly attributed to p38 MAPK and p44/42 MAPK. In our study, these activated macrophages are found to induce phagosome maturation when infected with pathogenic Leishmania donovani. Increased co-localization of carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester labeled pathogenic L. donovani with Lysosome was found. Moreover, increased co-localization was observed between pathogenic L. donovani and late phagosomal markers viz. Rab7, Lysosomal Associated Membrane Protein 1, Cathepsin D, Rab9, and V-ATPase which indicate phagosome maturation. It was also observed that inhibition of V-type ATPase caused significant hindrance in attenuated Leishmania induced phagosome maturation. Finally, it was confirmed that p38 MAPK is the key player in acidification and maturation of phagosome in attenuated Leishmania strain pre-exposed macrophages. To our knowledge, this study for the first time reported an approach to induce phagosome maturation in L. donovani infected macrophages which could potentiate short-term prophylactic response in future.
Project description:Comparative genome analysis of recently sequenced Leishmania (L.) donovani was unexplored so far. The present study deals with the complete scanning of L. (L.) donovani genome revealing its interspecies variations. 60 distinctly present genes in L. (L.) donovani were identified when the whole genome was compared with Leishmania (L.) infantum. Similarly 72, 159, and 265 species specific genes were identified in L. (L.) donovani when compared to Leishmania (L.) major, Leishmania (L.) mexicana and Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis respectively. The cross comparison of L. (L.) donovani in parallel with the other sequenced species of leishmanial led to the identification of 55 genes which are highly specific and expressed exclusively in L. (L.) donovani. We found mainly the discrepancies of surface proteins such as amastins, proteases, and peptidases. Also 415 repeat containing proteins in L. (L.) donovani and their differential distribution in other leishmanial species were identified which might have a potential role during pathogenesis. The genes identified can be evaluated as drug targets for anti-leishmanial treatment, exploring the scope for extensive future investigations.
Project description:Leishmania donovani is a parasitic protist that causes the lethal Kala-azar fever in India and East Africa. Gene expression in <i>Leishmania</i> is regulated by gene copy number variation and inducible translation while RNA synthesis initiates at a small number of sites per chromosome and proceeds through polycistronic transcription units, precluding a gene-specific regulation (C. Clayton and M. Shapira, Mol Biochem Parasitol 156:93-101, 2007, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molbiopara.2007.07.007). Here, we analyze the dynamics of chromatin structure in both life cycle stages of the parasite and find evidence for an additional, epigenetic gene regulation pathway in this early branching eukaryote. The assay for transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq) analysis (J. D. Buenrostro, P. G. Giresi, L. C. Zaba, H. Y. Chang, and W. J. Greenleaf, Nat Methods 10:1213-1218, 2013, https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.2688) predominantly shows euchromatin at transcription start regions in fast-growing promastigotes, but mostly heterochromatin in the slowly proliferating amastigotes, the mammalian stage, reflecting a previously shown increase of histone synthesis in the latter stage. <b>IMPORTANCE</b> <i>Leishmania</i> parasites are important pathogens with a global impact and cause poverty-related illness and death. They are devoid of classic <i>cis</i>- and <i>trans</i>-acting transcription regulators but use regulated translation and gene copy number variations to adapt to hosts and environments. In this work, we show that transcription start regions present as open euchromatin in fast-growing insect stages but as less-accessible heterochromatin in the slowly proliferating amastigote stage, indicating an epigenetic control of gene accessibility in this early branching eukaryotic pathogen. This finding should stimulate renewed interest in the control of RNA synthesis in <i>Leishmania</i> and related parasites.
Project description:Leishmania donovani is an intracellular protozoan parasite that causes visceral leishmaniasis, a major cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. The host plasma membrane serves as the portal of entry for Leishmania to gain access to the cellular interior. Although several host cell membrane receptors have been shown to be involved in the entry of Leishmania donovani into host cells, the endocytic pathway involved in the internalization of the parasite is not known. In this work, we explored the endocytic pathway involved in the entry of Leishmania donovani into host macrophages, utilizing specific inhibitors against two major pathways of internalization, i.e., clathrin- and caveolin-mediated endocytosis. We show that pitstop 2, an inhibitor for clathrin-mediated endocytosis, does not affect the entry of Leishmania donovani promastigotes into host macrophages. Interestingly, a significant reduction in internalization was observed upon treatment with genistein, an inhibitor for caveolin-mediated endocytosis. These results are supported by a similar trend in intracellular amastigote load within host macrophages. These results suggest that Leishmania donovani utilizes caveolin-mediated endocytosis to internalize into host cells. Our results provide novel insight into the mechanism of phagocytosis of Leishmania donovani into host cells and assume relevance in the development of novel therapeutics against leishmanial infection.
Project description:The mRNA expression of antimony resistant strains of Leishmania donovani was compared to the expression of the sensitive Leishmania donovani. The antimony resistant and sensitive Leishmania donovani were grown in complete M199 medium with 10% FCS and Penicillin streptomycin mixture. At stationary phase (5 day culture) cells were harvested in sterile Phosphate buffered saline and used for RNA isolation.