Major surface glycoproteins of insect forms of Trypanosoma brucei are not essential for cyclical transmission by tsetse

Vassella, Erik; Oberle, Michael; Urwyler, Simon; Renggli, Christina Kunz; Studer, Erwin; Hemphill, Andrew; Fragoso, Cristina; Bütikofer, Peter; Brun, Reto; Roditi, Isabel (2009). Major surface glycoproteins of insect forms of Trypanosoma brucei are not essential for cyclical transmission by tsetse. PLoS ONE, 4(2), e4493. Lawrence, Kans.: Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0004493

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Procyclic forms of Trypanosoma brucei reside in the midgut of tsetse flies where they are covered by several million copies of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins known as procyclins. It has been proposed that procyclins protect parasites against proteases and/or participate in tropism, directing them from the midgut to the salivary glands. There are four different procyclin genes, each subject to elaborate levels of regulation. To determine if procyclins are essential for survival and transmission of T. brucei, all four genes were deleted and parasite fitness was compared in vitro and in vivo. When co-cultured in vitro, the null mutant and wild type trypanosomes (tagged with cyan fluorescent protein) maintained a near-constant equilibrium. In contrast, when flies were infected with the same mixture, the null mutant was rapidly overgrown in the midgut, reflecting a reduction in fitness in vivo. Although the null mutant is patently defective in competition with procyclin-positive parasites, on its own it can complete the life cycle and generate infectious metacyclic forms. The procyclic form of T. brucei thus differs strikingly from the bloodstream form, which does not tolerate any perturbation of its variant surface glycoprotein coat, and from other parasites such as Plasmodium berghei, which requires the circumsporozoite protein for successful transmission to a new host.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Pathology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Parasitology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Cell Biology

UniBE Contributor:

Vassella, Erik; Hemphill, Andrew; Bütikofer, Peter and Roditi, Isabel

ISSN:

1932-6203

Publisher:

Public Library of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:11

Last Modified:

16 Nov 2015 14:26

Publisher DOI:

10.1371/journal.pone.0004493

PubMed ID:

19223969

Web of Science ID:

000265485800005

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.31446

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/31446 (FactScience: 196007)

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