[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The previous release of our Full-parasites database (http://fullmal.hgc.jp/) brought enhanced functionality, an expanded full-length cDNA content, and new RNA-Seq datasets from several important apicomplexan parasites. The 2015 update witnesses the major shift in the databases content with focus on diverse transcriptomes of the apicomplexan parasites. The content of the database was substantially enriched with transcriptome information for new apicomplexan parasites. The latest version covers a total of 17 species, with addition of our newly generated RNA-Seq data of a total of 909 150 388 tags. Moreover, we have generated and included two novel and unique datasets, which represent diverse nature of transcriptomes in individual parasites in vivo and in vitro. One is the data collected from 116 Indonesian patients infected with Plasmodium falciparum. The other is a series of transcriptome data collected from a total of 38 single cells of P. falciparum cultured in vitro. We believe that with the recent advances our database becomes an even better resource and a unique platform in the analysis of apicomplexan parasites and their interaction with their hosts. To adequately reflect the recent modifications and the current content we have changed the database name to DB-AT—DataBase of Apicomplexa Transcriptomes.
Nucleic Acids Research 01/2015; · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toxoplasma gondii is the causative pathogen for Toxoplasmosis. Bumped kinase inhibitor 1NM-PP1 inhibits the growth of T. gondii by targeting TgCDPK1. However, we recently reported that resistance to 1NM-PP1 can be acquired via a mutation in T. gondii mitogen-activated protein kinase like 1 (TgMAPKL-1). Further characterization of how this TgMAPKL-1 mutation restores the inhibitory effect of 1NM-PP1 would shed further light on the function of TgMAPKL-1 in the parasite life cycle. Therefore, we made parasite clones with TgMAPKL-1 mutated at the gatekeeper residue Ser 191, which is critical for 1NM-PP1 susceptibility. Host cell lysis of RH/ku80-/HA-TgMAPKL-1S191A was completely inhibited at 250 nM 1NM-PP1, whereas that of RH/ku80-/HA-TgMAPKL-1S191Y was not. By comparing 1NM-PP1-sensitive (RH/ku80-/HA-TgMAPKL-1S191A) and -resistant (RH/ku80-/HA-TgMAPKL-1S191Y) clones, we observed that inhibition of TgMAPKL-1 blocked cell cycle progression after DNA duplication. Morphological analysis revealed that TgMAPKL-1 inhibition caused enlarged parasite cells with many daughter cell scaffolds and imcomplete cytokinesis. We conclude that the mutation in TgMAPKL-1 restored the cell cycle-arresting effect of 1NM-PP1 on T. gondii endodyogeny. Given that endodyogeny is the primary mechanism of cell division for both the tachyzoite and bradyzoite stages of this parasite, TgMAPKL-1 may be a promising target for drug development. Exploration of the signals that regulate TgMAPKL-1 will provide further insights into the unique mode of T. gondii cell division.
International Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and Drug Resistance. 12/2014; 13.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A total of 231 serum samples were collected from sheep (n=9), goats (n=99) and cattle (n=123) in northeastern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Trypanosome infection was detected using Trypanosoma brucei brucei crude antigen (TbbCA) and T. congolense crude antigen (TcoCA) ELISA assays. Recombinant antigen (T. evansi GM6 which consisted of 4 repeat domains, TeGM6-4r) ELISA and immunochromatographic test (ICT) were also used. Crude antigen ELISA, TeGM6-4r-ELISA and ICT detected 27.3%, 29% and 19.9% of trypanosome seropositive samples, respectively. Trypanosome infection prevalence in cattle and goats was 35.8-46.3% and 0-9.1%, respectively. Out of 9 sheep serum samples, 2-4 sera (22.2-44.4%) were positive. The detection performance of crude and recombinant antigen ELISAs was relatively similar (K=0.6-0.7); both are recommended for reference diagnosis and large scale epidemiological surveys. There is potential application for ICT in on-site diagnosis, but its sensitivity should be improved.
The Journal of veterinary medical science / the Japanese Society of Veterinary Science. 10/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bovine babesiosis is a livestock disease known to cause economic losses in endemic areas. The apicomplexan parasite Babesia bovis is able to invade and destroy the host's erythrocytes leading to the serious pathologies of the disease, such as anemia and hemoglobinuria. Understanding the egress mechanisms of this parasite is therefore a key step to develop new therapeutic strategies. In this study, the possible involvement of Ca(2+) in the egress of B. bovis merozoites from infected erythrocytes was investigated. Egress was artificially induced in vitro using calcium ionophore A23187 and thapsigargin to increase Ca(2+) concentration in the cytosol of the parasite cells. The increased intracellular Ca(2+) concentration following these treatments was confirmed using live cell Ca(2+) imaging with confocal laser scanning microscopy. Based on our findings, we suggest a Ca(2+) signalling pathway in the egress of B. bovis merozoites.
The Journal of veterinary medical science / the Japanese Society of Veterinary Science. 10/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phenotypic observation of thioredoxin peroxidase-1 (TPx-1) gene-disrupted Plasmodium berghei (TPx-1 KO) in the liver-stage was performed with an in vitro infection system in order to investigate defective liver-stage development in a mouse infection model. Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy assay with anti-circumsporozoite protein antibody revealed that in the liver schizont stage, TPx-1 KO parasite cells were significantly smaller than cells of the wild-type parent strain (WT). Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy assay with anti-merozoite surface protein 1 antibody, which was used to evaluate late schizont-stage development, indicated that TPx-1 KO schizont development was similar to WT strain development towards the merozoite-forming stage (mature schizont). However, fewer merozoites were produced in the mature TPx-1 KO schizont than in the mature WT schizont. Taken together, the results suggest that TPx-1 may be involved in merozoite formation during liver schizont development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malaria parasites are under oxidative attack throughout their life cycle in human body and mosquito vector. Therefore, Plasmodium antioxidant defenses are crucial for its survival and being considered as interesting target for antimalarial drug design. Plasmodium knowlesi has emerged recently from its simian host to human in Southeast Asia and has been recognized as the fifth Plasmodium species that can cause human malaria. In this study, we cloned and characterized thioredoxin peroxidase 1 from P. knowlesi (PkTPx-1). PkTPx-1 gene was cloned, and recombinant protein was produced by heterologous overexpression in Escherichia coli. The recombinant protein was used for evaluation of enzymatic activity and polyclonal antibody production. Using the recombinant PkTPx-1 protein, its antioxidant activity was confirmed in a mixed-function oxidation assay where PkTPx-1 prevented nicking of DNA by hydroxyl radicals. PkTPx-1 was able to bind to double-strand DNA and RNA and had RNA chaperone activity in a nucleic acid melting assay indicating new function of PkTPx-1 other than antioxidant activity. Using specific polyclonal antibodies, it was indicated that PkTPx-1 is expressed in the cytoplasm of the parasite. Altogether, these results suggest that PkTPx-1 not only protects the parasite from the adverse effects of reactive oxygen species but also has RNA chaperone activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Animal African trypanosomosis (AAT), caused by Trypanosoma congolense, is widespread throughout sub-Saharan Africa. There are significant concerns related to the current drugs available for the treatment of AAT due to their limited effectiveness across species and their adverse effects. Moreover, drug resistant trypanosomes have recently been reported in the field. High throughput screening (HTS) of large chemical compound library collections is a promising approach for identifying novel drug candidates. While HTS for Trypanozoon trypanosomes, T. brucei sspp. and T. evansi is well established, no assays have been developed for T. congolense. In the present study, the authors developed an ATP-based luciferase viability assay for T. congolense in a 96-well plate format. The calculated 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) values for pentamidine and diminazene were 10-100 times higher in T. congolense than in T. brucei. This result suggests that the transporters for the two tested compounds differ between T. congolense and T. brucei. This assay could further be applied to screen novel chemical compounds for the treatment of AAT caused by T. congolense.
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 07/2014; · 0.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toxoplasma gondii can differentiate into tachyzoites or bradyzoites. To accelerate the investigation of bradyzoite differentiation mechanisms, we constructed a reporter parasite, PLK/DLUC_1C9, for a high-throughput assay. PLK/DLUC_1C9 expressed firefly luciferase under the bradyzoite-specific BAG1 promoter. Firefly luciferase activity was detected with a minimum of 10(2) parasites induced by pH 8.1. To normalize bradyzoite differentiation, PLK/DLUC_1C9 expressed Renilla luciferase under the parasite's alpha-tubulin promoter. Renilla luciferase activity was detected with at least 10(2) parasites. By using PLK/DLUC_1C9 with this 96-well format screening system, we found that the protein kinase inhibitor analogs "bumped kinase inhibitors 1NM-PP1, 3MB-PP1, and 3BrB-PP1, had bradyzoite-inducing effects.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plasmodium falciparum malaria imposes a serious public health concern throughout the tropics. Although genetic tools are principally important to fully investigate malaria parasites, currently available forward and reverse tools are fairly limited. It is expected that parasites with a high mutation rate can readily acquire novel phenotypes/traits; however, they remain an untapped tool for malaria biology. Here, we generated a mutator malaria parasite (hereinafter called a 'malaria mutator'), using site-directed mutagenesis and gene transfection techniques. A mutator Plasmodium berghei line with a defective proofreading 3' → 5' exonuclease activity in DNA polymerase δ (referred to as PbMut) and a control P. berghei line with wild-type DNA polymerase δ (referred to as PbCtl) were maintained by weekly passage in ddY mice for 122 weeks. High-throughput genome sequencing analysis revealed that two PbMut lines had 175-178 mutations and a 86- to 90-fold higher mutation rate than that of a PbCtl line. PbMut, PbCtl, and their parent strain, PbWT, showed similar course of infection. Interestingly, PbMut lost the ability to form gametocytes during serial passages. We believe that the malaria mutator system could provide a novel and useful tool to investigate malaria biology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma congolense is a major livestock pathogen in Africa, causing large economic losses with serious effects on animal health. Reliable serodiagnostic tests are therefore urgently needed to control T. congolense infection. In this study, we have identified one T. congolense protein as a new candidate serodiagnostic antigen. The 46.4 kDa protein (TcP46, Gene ID: TcIL3000.0.25950) is expressed 5.36 times higher in metacyclic forms than epimastigote forms. The complete nucleotide sequences of TcP46 contained an open reading frame of 1,218 bp. Southern blot analysis indicated that at least two copies of the TcP46 gene were tandemly-arranged in the T. congolense genome. The recombinant TcP46 (rTcP46) was expressed in Escherichia coli as a glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion protein. Western blot analysis and confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed that the native TcP46 protein is expressed in the cytoplasm during all life-cycle stages of the parasite. Moreover, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on rTcP46 detected the specific antibodies as early as 8 days post-infection from mice experimentally infected with T. congolense. No cross-reactivity was observed in the rTcP46-based ELISA against serum samples from cattle experimentally infected with Babesia bigemina, B. bovis, and Anaplasma marginale. These results suggest that rTcP46 could be used as a serodiagnostic antigen for T. congolense infection.
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 02/2014; · 0.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma evansi infection, or surra, is currently affecting various species of animals, especially water buffaloes. Since diagnosis is an important aspect of surra control, development of novel diagnostic antigens is of interest to implement and improve the currently utilized methods. Our study evaluated the tandem repeat antigen TeGM6-4r in T. evansi antibody detection in water buffaloes. TeGM6-4r-based ELISA was performed with 20 positive and 8 negative controls and 484 field samples from water buffaloes in Northern Vietnam. To examine cross-reactivity, sera from Japanese cattle that had been experimentally infected with Theileria orientalis (n=10), Babesia bovis (n=3), Babesia bigemina (n=7) and Trypanosoma theileri (n=59) were included in the study. The sensitivity of the test was 80%. TeGM6-4r did not react with Theileria or Babesia infected sera, however it showed cross reactivity with 11/59 T. theileri infected samples. The reference test, CATT/T. evansi also reacted with 3/59 T. theileri infected sera. The lysate antigen-based ELISA reacted with 4/59 T. theileri, 9/10 Theileria and 3/10 Babesia infected sera. In contrast, TeGM6-4r-based ELISA was 86.3% sensitive and 58.3% specific in the screening of field samples. The average seroprevalence of T. evansi infection among water buffaloes in Northern Vietnam was 27.1% by CATT/T. evansi and 53.7% by TeGM6-4r. Seroprevalence in the five surveyed provinces ranged from 17.4% to 39.8% in the reference test, and 47.3% to 67.3% in the recombinant antigen based test. The finding indicated that the disease is still widely endemic in the area and that surveillance programs need to be carried out regularly to better control surra. We proposed TeGM6-4r as a useful serodiagnostic antigen for the detection and epidemiological surveillance of T. evansi infection among water buffaloes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malaria is the most important parasitic disease with global concern. Plasmodium knowlesi recently has emerged from its natural simian host as a significant cause of human malaria, particularly in Malaysian Borneo. Therefore, it has been added as the fifth human Plasmodium specie which is widely distributed in Southeast Asia. Recent developments of new molecular tools enhanced our understanding about the key features of this malaria parasite. Here, we review some of the ways in which molecular approaches might be used for epidemiology of P. knowlesi and finally lead to an efficient control of malaria.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plasmodium falciparum spends most of its asexual life cycle within human erythrocytes, where proliferation and maturation occur. Development into the mature forms of P. falciparum causes severe symptoms due to its distinctive sequestration capability. However, the physiological roles and the molecular mechanisms of signaling pathways that govern development are poorly understood. Our previous study showed that P. falciparum exhibits stage-specific spontaneous Calcium (Ca2+) oscillations in ring and early trophozoites, and the latter was essential for parasite development. In this study, we show that luzindole (LZ), a selective melatonin receptor antagonist, inhibits parasite growth. Analyses of development and morphology of LZ-treated P. falciparum revealed that LZ severely disrupted intraerythrocytic maturation, resulting in parasite death. When LZ was added at ring stage, the parasite could not undergo further development, whereas LZ added at the trophozoite stage inhibited development from early into late schizonts. Live-cell Ca2+ imaging showed that LZ treatment completely abolished Ca2+ oscillation in the ring forms while having little effect on early trophozoites. Further, the melatonin-induced cAMP increase observed at ring and late trophozoite stage was attenuated by LZ treatment. These suggest that a complex interplay between IP3-Ca2+ and cAMP signaling pathways is involved in intraerythrocytic development of P. falciparum.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 01/2014; · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Digestive enzymes in tsetse fly midgut are thought to modulate the development of African trypanosome which is a causative agent of trypanosomosis in human and animal. Cathepsin B is induced after the first blood meal ingestion and being higher in trypanosome infected flies. A DNA fragment encoding pro-cathepsin B (930 bp) (Accession No. AF329480_1) was cloned and expressed in E. coli and P. pastoris protein expression systems. An active recombinant cathepsin B (rGmcathB) produced by P. pastoris was migrating from 35 to 45 kDa under reducing condition, rGmcathB exhibited the highest proteolytic activity at pH 4.0 with wide range temperature 25-30 degrees C, also degraded bovine hemoglobin and serum albumin. rGmcathB exhibited hydrolysis preference for Z-Arg-Arg-MCA (K(cat)/K(M) 7.58 mM(-1)sec(-1)) and bovine hemoglobin (K(cat)/K(M) 3.77 x 10(3) mM(-1)sec(-1)). The proteolytic activity of rGmcathB was inhibited by specific cysteine protease inhibitor (E-64) confirmed belonging to papain-like cysteine protease family. These results indicated that rGmcathB shows the activity of cathepsin B and have high affinity with blood protein referring a role in blood meal digestion. In this study, the recombinant protein expressed by E. coli expression system was not enzymatically active as shown in the recombinant protein expressed by P. pastoris expression system. This finding implies that P. pastoris expression system is more suitable for expressing enzymatically active recombinant proteases than E. coli expression system.
The Japanese journal of veterinary research 11/2013; 61(4):137-47. · 0.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is known that gene expression in kinetoplastida is regulated post-transcriptionally. Several previous studies have shown that stage-specific gene expression in trypanosomes is regulated by cis-elements located in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of each mRNA and also by RNA binding proteins. Our previous study revealed that gene expression of congolense epimastigote specific protein (cesp) was regulated by cis-elements located in the 3'UTR. In the present study, we identified the adenosine and uridine rich region in the cesp 3'UTR. Using transgenic trypanosome cell lines with different egfp expression cassettes, we showed that this adenosine and uridine rich region is one of the regulatory elements for epimastigote form (EMF) stage-specific gene expression via the regulatory cis-element of the eukaryotic AU rich element (ARE). Therefore this required element within the cesp 3'UTR was designated as T. congolense ARE. This required cis-element might selectively stabilize mRNA in the EMF stage and destabilize mRNA in other stages. By RNA electro mobility shift assay, unknown stage-specific RNA binding proteins (RBPs) whose sequences specifically interacted with the required cis-element were found. These results indicate that EMF stage specific cis-element and RBP complexes might specifically stabilize cesp mRNA in EMF.
Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 09/2013; · 2.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Peroxiredoxins (Prxs) are a family of antioxidant enzymes. Here, we cloned a 2-Cys Prx, BgTPx-1, from the canine Babesia parasite B. gibsoni. Sequence identity between BgTPx-1 and 2-Cys Prx of B. bovis was 81% at the amino acid level. Enzyme activity assay by using recombinant BgTPx-1 (rBgTPx-1) indicated that BgTPx-1 has antioxidant activity. Antiserum from a mouse immunized with rBgTPx-1 reacted with parasite lysates and detect a protein with a monomeric size of 22 kDa and also a 44 kDa protein, which might be an inefficiently reduced dimer. BgTPx-1 was expressed in the cytoplasm of B. gibsoni merozoites. These results suggest that the BgTPx-1 may play a role to control redox balance in the cytoplasm of B. gibsoni.
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 09/2013; · 0.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Animal African trypanosomosis is a serious constraint to livestock sector development in sub-Saharan Africa. The disease, mainly caused by Trypanosoma congolense, has a limitation in its diagnosis and treatment. There is urgent need for a simple, rapid detection technique to replace the few available serological tests that are of variable sensitivity and specificity. Currently, there is a promising use of recombinant proteins to improve on the trypanosome lysate to detect antibodies. In this respect, we have identified a stage-specific gene that is relatively highly expressed in metacyclic and blood trypomastigotes of T. congolense. According to previously obtained differential protein expression data, the gene TcIL3000.0.38630 (1,236 bp) is by 8.5 times more expressed in metacyclic and blood trypomastigotes than in procyclic trypomastigotes and epimastigotes. The same stage specific expression pattern was shown in Western blot analysis. In addition, in confocal laser scanning microscopy the Tc38630 protein was present in the cytosol and on the cell surface of metacyclic and blood trypomastigotes. Through bioinformatics, the Tc38630 had N-terminal signal sequence, hydrophilic extracellular domain, single transmembrane alpha-helix and short cytoplasmic domain, which is characteristic of the Trypanosoma brucei invariant surface glycoprotein. However, unlike T. brucei invariant surface glycoprotein, the Tc38630 existed as a single copy gene with a probable allelic polymorphism at the Nar I restriction site. The recombinant Tc38630-based ELISA detected antibodies against Tc38630 as early as 7 days post infection in experimentally infected mouse model. Taken together, our results suggest that the Tc38630 is a novel potential diagnostic antigen of Animal African trypanosomosis.
Parasitology Research 07/2013; · 2.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prompt and accurate diagnosis of malarial patients is a crucial factor in controlling the morbidity and mortality of the disease. Effective treatment decisions require a correct diagnosis among mixed-species malarial patients. Differential diagnosis is particularly important in cases of Plasmodium vivax, a species that shares endemicity with P. falciparum in most endemic areas. Moreover, it is difficult to identify P. knowlesi on the basis of morphology alone, and rapid diagnostic tests are still not available for this malaria species. Therefore, the development of diagnostic tests applicable to the field is urgently needed. 1-Cys peroxiredoxin (1-Cys-Prx) in P. falciparum is abundantly expressed in the mature asexual stages, making it a promising candidate as a diagnostic antigen. In this study, we produced five monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against P. falciparum 1-Cys-Prx (Pf1-Cys-Prx) by immunizing BALB/c mice with recombinant Pf1-Cys-Prx and subsequent hybridoma production. Cross reactivity of established mAbs with the orthologous molecule of Pf1-Cys-Prx in P. vivax (Pv1-Cys-Prx) and P. knowlesi (Pk1-Cys-Prx) was examined. Western blot analyses showed that three mAbs reacted with Pv1-Cys-Prx and Pk1-Cys-Prx but two mAbs did not. These results indicate that the two mAbs were effective in differentiating P. falciparum from P. vivax and P. knowlesi and could be used in differential diagnosis as well as comparative molecular studies of human Plasmodium species.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plasmodium falciparum is one of the causative agents of malaria in humans. This parasite causes the most severe forms of the disease. In order to combat the disease, it is important to have knowledge about the parasite and its interaction with its host. In this study, we profiled 74 patients admitted to hospital in Tagum, Davao, Philippines who were confirmed to be infected with P. falciparum. We correlated the age, sex and parasite load with malaria severity and show that among these, only sex is correlated with disease severity in this population. In addition, we profiled the MSP-1 block 2 allele distribution in the population and found that the most abundant allele form was K1, followed by MAD20. The RO33 allele form was the rarest allele in this population.