Differential Impacts on Host Transcription by ROP and GRA Effectors from the Intracellular Parasite Toxoplasma gondii.
2020; 11 (3)
The intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii employs a vast array of effector proteins from the rhoptry and dense granule organelles to modulate host cell biology; these effectors are known as ROPs and GRAs, respectively. To examine the individual impacts of ROPs and GRAs on host gene expression, we developed a robust, novel protocol to enrich for ultrapure populations of a naturally occurring and reproducible population of host cells called uninfected-injected (U-I) cells, which Toxoplasma injects with ROPs but subsequently fails to invade. We then performed single-cell transcriptomic analysis at 1 to 3h postinfection on U-I cells (as well as on uninfected and infected controls) arising from infection with either wild-type parasites or parasites lacking the MYR1 protein, which is required for soluble GRAs to cross the parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) and reach the host cell cytosol. Based on comparisons of infected and U-I cells, the host's earliest response to infection appears to be driven primarily by the injected ROPs, which appear to induce immune and cellular stress pathways. These ROP-dependent proinflammatory signatures appear to be counteracted by at least some of the MYR1-dependent GRAs and may be enhanced by the MYR-independent GRAs (which are found embedded within the PVM). Finally, signatures detected in uninfected bystander cells from the infected monolayers suggest that MYR1-dependent paracrine effects also counteract inflammatory ROP-dependent processes.IMPORTANCE This work performs transcriptomic analysis of U-I cells, captures the earliest stage of a host cell's interaction with Toxoplasma gondii, and dissects the effects of individual classes of parasite effectors on host cell biology.
View details for DOI 10.1128/mBio.00182-20
View details for PubMedID 32518180
A single-parasite transcriptional atlas of Toxoplasma gondii reveals novel control of antigen expression.
Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan parasite, undergoes a complex and poorly understood developmental process that is critical for establishing a chronic infection in its intermediate hosts. Here, we applied single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) on >5,400 Toxoplasma in both tachyzoite and bradyzoite stages using three widely studied strains to construct a comprehensive atlas of cell-cycle and asexual development, revealing hidden states and transcriptional factors associated with each developmental stage. Analysis of SAG1-related sequence (SRS) antigenic repertoire reveals a highly heterogeneous, sporadic expression pattern unexplained by measurement noise, cell cycle, or asexual development. Furthermore, we identified AP2IX-1 as a transcription factor that controls the switching from the ubiquitous SAG1 to rare surface antigens not previously observed in tachyzoites. In addition, comparative analysis between Toxoplasma and Plasmodium scRNA-seq results reveals concerted expression of gene sets, despite fundamental differences in cell division. Lastly, we built an interactive data-browser for visualization of our atlas resource.
View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.54129
View details for PubMedID 32065584
Translocation of effector proteins into host cells by Toxoplasma gondii.
Current opinion in microbiology
2019; 52: 130–38
The Apicomplexan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, is an obligate intracellular organism that must co-opt its host cell to survive. To this end, Toxoplasma parasites introduce a suite of effector proteins from two secretory compartments called rhoptries and dense granules into the host cells. Once inside, these effectors extensively modify the host cell to facilitate parasite penetration, replication and persistence. In this review, we summarize the most recent advances in current understanding of effector translocation from Toxoplasma's rhoptry and dense granule organelles into the host cell, with comparisons to Plasmodium spp. for broader context.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.mib.2019.07.002
View details for PubMedID 31446366
Identification of a novel protein complex essential for effector translocation across the parasitophorous vacuole membrane of Toxoplasma gondii
2018; 14 (1): e1006828
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that can infect virtually all nucleated cells in warm-blooded animals. The ability of Toxoplasma tachyzoites to infect and successfully manipulate its host is dependent on its ability to transport "GRA" proteins that originate in unique secretory organelles called dense granules into the host cell in which they reside. GRAs have diverse roles in Toxoplasma's intracellular lifecycle, including co-opting crucial host cell functions and proteins, such as the cell cycle, c-Myc and p38 MAP kinase. Some of these GRA proteins, such as GRA16 and GRA24, are secreted into the parasitophorous vacuole (PV) within which Toxoplasma replicates and are transported across the PV membrane (PVM) into the host cell, but the translocation process and its machinery are not well understood. We previously showed that TgMYR1, which is cleaved by TgASP5 into two fragments, localizes to the PVM and is essential for GRA transport into the host cell. To identify additional proteins necessary for effector transport, we screened Toxoplasma mutants defective in c-Myc up-regulation for their ability to export GRA16 and GRA24 to the host cell nucleus. Here we report that novel proteins MYR2 and MYR3 play a crucial role in translocation of a subset of GRAs into the host cell. MYR2 and MYR3 are secreted into the PV space and co-localize with PV membranes and MYR1. Consistent with their predicted transmembrane domains, all three proteins are membrane-associated, and MYR3, but not MYR2, stably associates with MYR1, whose N- and C-terminal fragments are disulfide-linked. We further show that fusing intrinsically disordered effectors to a structured DHFR domain blocks the transport of other effectors, consistent with a translocon-based model of effector transport. Overall, these results reveal a novel complex at the PVM that is essential for effector translocation into the host cell.
View details for PubMedID 29357375
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5794187
RESPONSE OF HOST CELLS TO INJECTION WITH EFFECTOR PROTEINS BY TOXOPLASMA GONDII
AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE. 2017: 390–91
View details for Web of Science ID 000423215203621
Isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 mutations induce BCL-2 dependence in acute myeloid leukemia.
2015; 21 (2): 178-184
Mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) 1 and 2 proteins alter the epigenetic landscape in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells through production of the oncometabolite (R)-2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG). Here we performed a large-scale RNA interference (RNAi) screen to identify genes that are synthetic lethal to the IDH1(R132H) mutation in AML and identified the anti-apoptotic gene BCL-2. IDH1- and IDH2-mutant primary human AML cells were more sensitive than IDH1/2 wild-type cells to ABT-199, a highly specific BCL-2 inhibitor that is currently in clinical trials for hematologic malignancies, both ex vivo and in xenotransplant models. This sensitization effect was induced by (R)-2-HG-mediated inhibition of the activity of cytochrome c oxidase (COX) in the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC); suppression of COX activity lowered the mitochondrial threshold to trigger apoptosis upon BCL-2 inhibition. Our findings indicate that IDH1/2 mutation status may identify patients that are likely to respond to pharmacologic BCL-2 inhibition and form the rational basis for combining agents that disrupt ETC activity with ABT-199 in future clinical studies.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nm.3788
View details for PubMedID 25599133
- Isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 mutations induce BCL-2 dependence in acute myeloid leukemia NATURE MEDICINE 2015; 21 (2): 90-96