Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE) was used to quantify transcriptional changes in Giardia intestinalis during its interaction with human intestinal epithelial cells (IECs, HT-29) in serum free M199 medium. Transcriptional changes were compared to those in trophozoites alone in M199 and in TYI-S-33 Giardia growth medium. In total, 90 genes were differentially expressed, mainly those involved in cellular redox homeostasis, metabolism and small molecule transport but also cysteine proteases and structural proteins of the giardin family. Only 29 genes changed their expression due to IEC interaction and the rest were due to M199 medium. Although our findings generated a small dataset, it was consistent with our earlier microarray studies performed under different interaction conditions. This study has confined the number of genes in Giardia to a small subset that specifically change their expression due to interaction with IECs.
We quantified mRNA abundance from 10 stages in the Giardia lamblia life cycle in vitro using Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE). 163 abundant transcripts were expressed constitutively. 71 transcripts were upregulated specifically during excystation and 42 during encystation. Nonetheless, the transcriptomes of cysts and trophozoites showed major differences. SAGE detected co-expressed clusters of 284 transcripts differentially expressed in cysts and excyzoites and 287 transcripts in vegetative trophozoites and encysting cells. All clusters included known genes and pathways as well as proteins unique to Giardia or diplomonads. SAGE analysis of the Giardia life cycle identified a number of kinases, phosphatases, and DNA replication proteins involved in excystation and encystation, which could be important for examining the roles of cell signaling in giardial differentiation. Overall, these data pave the way for directed gene discovery and a better understanding of the biology of G. lamblia.
Infection of the snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, by the free-swimming miracidial stage of the human blood fluke, Schistosoma mansoni, and its subsequent development to the parasitic sporocyst stage is critical to establishment of viable infections and continued human transmission. We performed a genome-wide expression analysis of the S. mansoni miracidia and developing sporocyst using Long Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (LongSAGE). Five cDNA libraries were constructed from miracidia and in vitro cultured 6- and 20-day-old sporocysts maintained in sporocyst medium (SM) or in SM conditioned by previous cultivation with cells of the B. glabrata embryonic (Bge) cell line. We generated 21440 SAGE tags and mapped 13381 to the S. mansoni gene predictions (v4.0e) either by estimating theoretical 3′ UTR lengths or using existing 3′ EST sequence data. Overall, 432 transcripts were found to be differentially expressed amongst all 5 libraries. In total, 172 tags were differentially expressed between miracidia and 6-day conditioned sporocysts and 152 were differentially expressed between miracidia and 6-day unconditioned sporocysts. In addition, 53 and 45 tags, respectively, were differentially expressed in 6-day and 20-day cultured sporocysts, due to the effects of exposure to Bge cell-conditioned medium.
Authors: Morrison HG, McArthur AG, Gillin FD, Aley SB, Adam RD, Olsen GJ, Best AA, Cande WZ, Chen F, Cipriano MJ, Davids BJ, Dawson SC, Elmendorf HG, Hehl AB, Holder ME, Huse SM, Kim UU, Lasek-Nesselquist E, Manning G, Nigam A, Nixon JE, Palm D, Passamaneck NE, Prabhu A, Reich CI, Reiner DS, Samuelson J, Svard SG, Sogin ML
The genome of the eukaryotic protist Giardia lamblia, an important human intestinal parasite, is compact in structure and content, contains few introns or mitochondrial relics, and has simplified machinery for DNA replication, transcription, RNA processing, and most metabolic pathways. Protein kinases comprise the single largest protein class and reflect Giardia‘s requirement for a complex signal transduction network for coordinating differentiation. Lateral gene transfer from bacterial and archaeal donors has shaped Giardia‘s genome, and previously unknown gene families, for example, cysteine- rich structural proteins, have been discovered. Unexpectedly, the genome shows little evidence of heterozygosity, supporting recent speculations that this organism is sexual. This genome sequence will not only be valuable for investigating the evolution of eukaryotes, but will also be applied to the search for new therapeutics for this parasite.
Davids, B.J., D.S. Reiner, S.R. Birkeland, S.P. Preheim, M.J. Cipriano, A.G. McArthur, & F.D. Gillin. 2006. A new family of giardial cysteine-rich non-VSP protein genes and a novel cyst protein. PLoS ONE, 1, e44.
Since the Giardia lamblia cyst wall is necessary for survival in the environment and host infection, we tested the hypothesis that it contains proteins other than the three known cyst wall proteins. Serial analysis of gene expression during growth and encystation revealed a gene, “HCNCp” (High Cysteine Non-variant Cyst protein), that was upregulated late in encystation, and that resembled the classic Giardia variable surface proteins (VSPs) that cover the trophozoite plasmalemma. HCNCp is 13.9% cysteine, with many “CxxC” tetrapeptide motifs and a transmembrane sequence near the C-terminus. However, HCNCp has multiple “CxC” motifs rarely found in VSPs, and does not localize to the trophozoite plasmalemma. Moreover, the HCNCp C-terminus differed from the canonical VSP signature. Full-length epitope-tagged HCNCp expressed under its own promoter was upregulated during encystation with highest expression in cysts, including 42 and 21 kDa C-terminal fragments. Tagged HCNCp targeted to the nuclear envelope in trophozoites, and co-localized with cyst proteins to encystation-specific secretory vesicles during encystation. HCNCp defined a novel trafficking pathway as it localized to the wall and body of cysts, while the cyst proteins were exclusively in the wall. Unlike VSPs, HCNCp is expressed in at least five giardial strains and four WB subclones expressing different VSPs. Bioinformatics identified 60 additional large high cysteine membrane proteins (HCMp) containing >/=20 CxxC/CxC’s lacking the VSP-specific C-terminal CRGKA. HCMp were absent or rare in other model or parasite genomes, except for Tetrahymena thermophila with 30. MEME analysis classified the 61 gHCMp genes into nine groups with similar internal motifs. Our data suggest that HCNCp is a novel invariant cyst protein belonging to a new HCMp family that is abundant in the Giardia genome. HCNCp and the other HCMp provide a rich source for developing parasite-specific diagnostic reagents, vaccine candidates, and subjects for further research into Giardia biology.
After eight years in Woods Hole, Dr. McArthur and his family have made the decision to return to Canada in late May 2006. Over the 8 years in Woods Hole, Dr. McArthur progressed from Postdoctoral Researcher to Assistant Scientist, during which he established an active research program in Global Infectious Disease with funding from NIH/NIAID and the Ellison Medical Foundation. His examination of molecular approaches to difficult evolutionary questions led him to join the effort to sequence the entire 12 Mbp genome of the protistan parasite Giardia lamblia, hypothesized to be one of the oldest and most primitive eukaryotes alive. He was the lead computational biologist for the Giardia lamblia genome project, and principal investigator on NIH-funded Giardia lamblia, Trypanosoma brucei, and Schistosoma mansoni gene expression projects, which used Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE) to examine global gene expression in the context of parasite life cycles and the origins of virulence.
Thanks to all of our friends and colleagues in Woods Hole for eight wonderful years and special thanks to all of the past and present members of the McArthur lab who made research life at MBL fantastic!