[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parasitic manipulations of host behaviour are known from a wide range of host-parasite associations. However, the understanding of these phenomena is far from complete and detailed investigation of their proximate causes is needed. Many studies report behavioural modifications, such as altered feeding rates in tsetse fly (Glossina) infected with the mature transmissible stage (i.e. metacyclic) of the trypanosomes. Here, bidimensional (2D) gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry were employed to analyse and compare the head proteome between four Glossina palpalis gambiensis categories (uninfected, refractory, mature infection, immature infection). Twenty-four protein spots specifically present or absent in the head of metacyclic-infected flies were observed. These protein spots were subsequently identified and functionally classified as glycolitic, neurotransmiter synthesis, signalling, molecular chaperone and transcriptional regulation proteins. Our results indicate altered energy metabolism in the head of metacyclic-infected tsetse flies. Some of the proteins identified, such as casein kinase 2 and jun kinase have previously been shown to play critical roles in apoptosis in insect neurones. In addition, we found two pyridoxal-dependent decarboxylases (dopa decarboxylase and alpha methyldopa hypersensitive protein), suggesting a modification of serotonin and/or dopamine in the brain of metacyclic-infected tsetse flies. Our data pave the way for future investigation of the alteration of the glossina central nervous system during infection by trypanosomes.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2008 · Insect Molecular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite increasing evidence of host phenotypic manipulation by parasites, the underlying mechanisms causing infected hosts to act in ways that benefit the parasite remain enigmatic in most cases. Here, we used proteomics tools to identify the biochemical alterations that occur in the head of the cricket Nemobius sylvestris when it is driven to water by the hairworm Paragordius tricuspidatus. We characterized host and parasite proteomes during the expression of the water-seeking behaviour. We found that the parasite produces molecules from the Wnt family that may act directly on the development of the central nervous system (CNS). In the head of manipulated cricket, we found differential expression of proteins specifically linked to neurogenesis, circadian rhythm and neurotransmitter activities. We also detected proteins for which the function(s) are still unknown. This proteomics study on the biochemical pathways altered by hairworms has also allowed us to tackle questions of physiological and molecular convergence in the mechanism(s) causing the alteration of orthoptera behaviour. The two hairworm species produce effective molecules acting directly on the CNS of their orthoptera hosts.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2007 · Insect Molecular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One of the most fascinating anti-predator responses displayed by parasites is that of hairworms (Nematomorpha). Following the ingestion of the insect host by fish or frogs, the parasitic worm is able to actively exit both its host and the gut of the predator. Using as a model the hairworm, Paragordius tricuspidatus, (parasitizing the cricket Nemobius sylvestris) and the fish predator Micropterus salmoïdes, we explored, with proteomics tools, the physiological basis of this anti-predator response. By examining the proteome of the parasitic worm, we detected a differential expression of 27 protein spots in those worms able to escape the predator. Peptide Mass Fingerprints of candidate protein spots suggest the existence of an intense muscular activity in escaping worms, which functions in parallel with their distinctive biology. In a second step, we attempted to determine whether the energy expended by worms to escape the predator is traded off against its reproductive potential. Remarkably, the number of offspring produced by worms having escaped a predator was not reduced compared with controls.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phylogenetically unrelated parasites often increase the chances of their transmission by inducing similar phenotypic changes in their hosts. However, it is not known whether these convergent strategies rely on the same biochemical precursors. In this paper, we explored such aspects by studying two gammarid species (Gammarus insensibilis and Gammarus pulex; Crustacea: Amphipoda: Gammaridae) serving as intermediate hosts in the life cycle of two distantly related parasites: the trematode, Microphallus papillorobustus and the acanthocephalan, Polymorphus minutus. Both these parasite species are known to manipulate the behaviour of their amphipod hosts, bringing them towards the water surface, where they are preferentially eaten by aquatic birds (definitive hosts). By studying and comparing the brains of infected G. insensibilis and G. pulex with proteomics tools, we have elucidated some of the proximate causes involved in the parasite-induced alterations of host behaviour for each system. Protein identifications suggest that altered physiological compartments in hosts can be similar (e.g. immunoneural connexions) or different (e.g. vision process), and hence specific to the host-parasite association considered. Moreover, proteins required to alter the same physiological compartment can be specific or conversely common in both systems, illustrating in the latter case a molecular convergence in the proximate mechanisms of manipulation.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2006 · Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report on the modification of the Aedes aegypti larval proteome following infection by the microsporidian parasite Vavraia culicis. Mosquito larvae were sampled at 5 and 15 days of age to compare the effects of infection when the parasite was in two different developmental stages. Modifications of the host proteome due to the stress of infection were distinguished from those of a more general nature by treatments involving hypoxia. We found that the major reaction to stress was the suppression of particular protein spots. Older (15 days) larvae reacted more strongly to infection by V. culicis (46% of the total number of spots affected; 17% for 5 days larvae), while the strongest reaction of younger (5 days) larvae was to hypoxia for pH range 5-8 and to combined effects of infection and hypoxia for pH range 3-6. MALDI-TOF results indicate that proteins induced or suppressed by infection are involved directly or indirectly in defense against microorganisms. Finally, our MALDI-TOF results suggest that A. aegypti larvae try to control or clear V. culicis infection and also that V. culicis probably impairs the immune defense of this host via arginases-NOS competition.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2005 · International Journal for Parasitology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The parasitic Nematomorph hairworm, Spinochordodes tellinii (Camerano) develops inside the terrestrial grasshopper, Meconema thalassinum (De Geer) (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae), changing the insect's responses to water. The resulting aberrant behaviour makes infected insects more likely to jump into an aquatic environment where the adult parasite reproduces. We used proteomics tools (i.e. two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE), computer assisted comparative analysis of host and parasite protein spots and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry) to identify these proteins and to explore the mechanisms underlying this subtle behavioural modification. We characterized simultaneously the host (brain) and the parasite proteomes at three stages of the manipulative process, i.e. before, during and after manipulation. For the host, there was a differential proteomic expression in relation to different effects such as the circadian cycle, the parasitic status, the manipulative period itself, and worm emergence. For the parasite, a differential proteomics expression allowed characterization of the parasitic and the free-living stages, the manipulative period and the emergence of the worm from the host. The findings suggest that the adult worm alters the normal functions of the grasshopper's central nervous system (CNS) by producing certain 'effective' molecules. In addition, in the brain of manipulated insects, there was found to be a differential expression of proteins specifically linked to neurotransmitter activities. The evidence obtained also suggested that the parasite produces molecules from the family Wnt acting directly on the development of the CNS. These proteins show important similarities with those known in other insects, suggesting a case of molecular mimicry. Finally, we found many proteins in the host's CNS as well as in the parasite for which the function(s) are still unknown in the published literature (www) protein databases. These results support the hypothesis that host behavioural changes are mediated by a mix of direct and indirect chemical manipulation.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2005 · Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The proteome of most parasite species is currently unknown. Hairworms (Nematomorpha), 300 species distributed around the world, are parasitic in arthropods (mainly terrestrial species) when juveniles, but they are free-living in aquatic environments when adult. Most aspects of their systematics and biology are currently unknown. The aim of this paper was (i) to report a novel and reproducible protocol for the analysis of the proteome of hairworms using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DGE) and mass spectrometry (matrix laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF)) and (ii) to determine the level of proteomic divergence between two sympatric but taxonomically unrelated nematomorph species in the adult stage, Paragordius tricuspidatus Dufour (Nematomorpha, Gordiidae) and Spinochordodes tellinii Camerano (Nematomorpha, Gordiidae). In total, 689 protein spots were observed for P. tricuspidatus, 575 for S. tellinii. Only 36.2% spots were shared between the two species. Quantitative analysis of the proteins which are common to both parasite species reveals substantial differences in the pattern of protein expression. These results suggest a rapid evolutionary divergence between these two nematomorph families. Also, to test the value of our MALDI-TOF protocol, we used Actin-2 (Act-2), a protein highly conserved in the course of evolution. Peptide mass fingerprint (PMF) data obtained for Act-2 of P. tricuspidatus and S. tellinii suggest a very high homology with Act-2 of different worms species belonging to the Bilateria phylum (Annelida and Nematoda) and more specifically to Lumbricus terrestris (Annelida, Lumbricidae) and Caenorhabditis elegans (Nematoda, Rhabditidae). We discuss our results in relationship with current ideas concerning the use of proteomics in systematics.