The intracellular parasite Theileria parva protects infected T cells from apoptosis.

Heussler, Volker; Machado, J; Fernandez, P C; Botteron, C; Chen, C G; Pearse, M J; Dobbelaere, D A (1999). The intracellular parasite Theileria parva protects infected T cells from apoptosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America - PNAS, 96(13), pp. 7312-7317. National Academy of Sciences NAS 10.1073/pnas.96.13.7312

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Parasites have evolved a plethora of strategies to ensure their survival. The intracellular parasite Theileria parva secures its propagation and spreads through the infected animal by infecting and transforming T cells, inducing their continuous proliferation and rendering them metastatic. In previous work, we have shown that the parasite induces constitutive activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB, by inducing the constitutive degradation of its cytoplasmic inhibitors. The biological significance of NF-kappaB activation in T. parva-infected cells, however, has not yet been defined. Cells that have been transformed by viruses or oncogenes can persist only if they manage to avoid destruction by the apoptotic mechanisms that are activated on transformation and that contribute to maintain cellular homeostasis. We now demonstrate that parasite-induced NF-kappaB activation plays a crucial role in the survival of T. parva-transformed T cells by conveying protection against an apoptotic signal that accompanies parasite-mediated transformation. Consequently, inhibition of NF-kappaB nuclear translocation and the expression of dominant negative mutant forms of components of the NF-kappaB activation pathway, such as IkappaBalpha or p65, prompt rapid apoptosis of T. parva-transformed T cells. Our findings offer important insights into parasite survival strategies and demonstrate that parasite-induced constitutive NF-kappaB activation is an essential step in maintaining the transformed phenotype of the infected cells.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Heussler, Volker

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science

ISSN:

0027-8424

Publisher:

National Academy of Sciences NAS

Language:

English

Submitter:

Volker Heussler

Date Deposited:

01 Jun 2016 14:32

Last Modified:

01 Jun 2016 14:32

Publisher DOI:

10.1073/pnas.96.13.7312

PubMed ID:

10377411

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.82252

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/82252

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