Social motility of African trypanosomes is a property of a distinct life-cycle stage that occurs early in tsetse fly transmission

Imhof, Simon; Knüsel, Sebastian; Gunasekera, Kapila; Vu Nguyen, Xuan Lan; Roditi, Isabel (2014). Social motility of African trypanosomes is a property of a distinct life-cycle stage that occurs early in tsetse fly transmission. PLoS pathogens, 10(10), e1004493. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004493

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The protozoan pathogen Trypanosoma brucei is transmitted between mammals by tsetse flies. The first compartment colonised by trypanosomes after a blood meal is the fly midgut lumen. Trypanosomes present in the lumen-designated as early procyclic forms-express the stage-specific surface glycoproteins EP and GPEET procyclin. When the trypanosomes establish a mature infection and colonise the ectoperitrophic space, GPEET is down-regulated, and EP becomes the major surface protein of late procyclic forms. A few years ago, it was discovered that procyclic form trypanosomes exhibit social motility (SoMo) when inoculated on a semi-solid surface. We demonstrate that SoMo is a feature of early procyclic forms, and that late procyclic forms are invariably SoMo-negative. In addition, we show that, apart from GPEET, other markers are differentially expressed in these two life-cycle stages, both in culture and in tsetse flies, indicating that they have different biological properties and should be considered distinct stages of the life cycle. Differentially expressed genes include two closely related adenylate cyclases, both hexokinases and calflagins. These findings link the phenomenon of SoMo in vitro to the parasite forms found during the first 4-7 days of a midgut infection. We postulate that ordered group movement on plates reflects the migration of parasites from the midgut lumen into the ectoperitrophic space within the tsetse fly. Moreover, the process can be uncoupled from colonisation of the salivary glands. Although they are the major surface proteins of procyclic forms, EP and GPEET are not essential for SoMo, nor, as shown previously, are they required for near normal colonisation of the fly midgut.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Cell Biology

UniBE Contributor:

Imhof, Simon; Knüsel, Sebastian; Gunasekera, Kapila; Vu Nguyen, Xuan Lan and Roditi, Isabel

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

1553-7366

Publisher:

Public Library of Science

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation
[UNSPECIFIED] Howard Hughes Medical Institute
[UNSPECIFIED] Canton of Bern

Language:

English

Submitter:

Isabel Roditi

Date Deposited:

08 May 2015 11:12

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2016 02:04

Publisher DOI:

10.1371/journal.ppat.1004493

PubMed ID:

25357194

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.68786

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/68786

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