Article

A Cell-surface Phylome for African Trypanosomes.

Pathogen Genomics Group, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (Impact Factor: 4.49). 03/2013; 7(3):e2121. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002121
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The cell surface of Trypanosoma brucei, like many protistan blood parasites, is crucial for mediating host-parasite interactions and is instrumental to the initiation, maintenance and severity of infection. Previous comparisons with the related trypanosomatid parasites T. cruzi and Leishmania major suggest that the cell-surface proteome of T. brucei is largely taxon-specific. Here we compare genes predicted to encode cell surface proteins of T. brucei with those from two related African trypanosomes, T. congolense and T. vivax. We created a cell surface phylome (CSP) by estimating phylogenies for 79 gene families with putative surface functions to understand the more recent evolution of African trypanosome surface architecture. Our findings demonstrate that the transferrin receptor genes essential for bloodstream survival in T. brucei are conserved in T. congolense but absent from T. vivax and include an expanded gene family of insect stage-specific surface glycoproteins that includes many currently uncharacterized genes. We also identify species-specific features and innovations and confirm that these include most expression site-associated genes (ESAGs) in T. brucei, which are absent from T. congolense and T. vivax. The CSP presents the first global picture of the origins and dynamics of cell surface architecture in African trypanosomes, representing the principal differences in genomic repertoire between African trypanosome species and provides a basis from which to explore the developmental and pathological differences in surface architectures. All data can be accessed at: http://www.genedb.org/Page/trypanosoma_surface_phylome.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
143 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: SUMMARY A decade of genome sequencing has transformed our understanding of how trypanosomatid parasites have evolved and provided fresh impetus to explaining the origins of parasitism in the Kinetoplastida. In this review, I will consider the many ways in which genome sequences have influenced our view of genomic reduction in trypanosomatids; how species-specific genes, and the genomic domains they occupy, have illuminated the innovations in trypanosomatid genomes; and how comparative genomics has exposed the molecular mechanisms responsible for innovation and adaptation to a parasitic lifestyle.
    Parasitology 07/2014; 142(S1):1-17. · 2.36 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Studies on Variant Surface Glycoproteins (VSGs) and antigenic variation in the African trypanosome, Trypanosoma brucei, have yielded a remarkable range of novel and important insights. The features first identified in T. brucei extend from unique to conserved-among-trypanosomatids to conserved-among-eukaryotes. Consequently, much of what we now know about trypanosomatid biology and much of the technology available has its origin in studies related to VSGs. T. brucei is now probably the most advanced early-branched eukaryote in terms of experimental tractability and can be approached as a pathogen, as a model for studies on fundamental processes, as a model for studies on eukaryotic evolution or often all of the above. In terms of antigenic variation itself, substantial progress has been made in understanding the expression and switching of the VSG coat, while outstanding questions continue to stimulate innovative new approaches. There are large numbers of VSG genes in the genome but only one is expressed at a time, always immediately adjacent to a telomere. DNA repair processes allow a new VSG to be copied into the single transcribed locus. A coordinated transcriptional switch can also allow a new VSG gene to be activated without any detectable change in the DNA sequence, thereby maintaining singular expression, also known as allelic exclusion. I review the story behind VSGs; the genes, their expression and switching, their central role in T. brucei virulence, the discoveries that emerged along the way and the persistent questions relating to allelic exclusion in particular.
    Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 05/2014; · 2.24 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Animal African Trypanosomosis (AAT) presents a severe problem for agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa. It is caused by several trypanosome species and current means of diagnosis are expensive and impractical for field use. Our aim was to discover antigens for the detection of antibodies to Trypanosoma congolense, one of the main causative agents of AAT. We took a proteomic approach to identify potential immunodiagnostic parasite protein antigens. One hundred and thirteen proteins were identified which were selectively recognized by infected cattle sera. These were assessed for likelihood of recombinant protein expression in E. coli and fifteen were successfully expressed and assessed for their immunodiagnostic potential by ELISA using pooled pre- and post-infection cattle sera. Three proteins, members of the invariant surface glycoprotein (ISG) family, performed favorably and were then assessed using individual cattle sera. One antigen, Tc38630, evaluated blind with 77 randomized cattle sera in an ELISA assay gave sensitivity and specificity performances of 87.2% and 97.4%, respectively. Cattle immunoreactivity to this antigen diminished significantly following drug-cure, a feature helpful for monitoring the efficacy of drug treatment.
    PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 06/2014; 8(6):e2936. · 4.49 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
61 Downloads
Available from
May 22, 2014