Hostile takeover: Manipulation of HIF-1 signaling in pathogen-associated cancers (Review).
Zhu Caixia,Zhu Qing,Wang Chong,Zhang Liming,Wei Fang,Cai Qiliang
International journal of oncology
Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1 is a central regulator in the adaptation process of cell response to hypoxia (low oxygen). Emerging evidence has demonstrated that HIF-1 plays an important role in the development and progression of many types of human diseases, including pathogen-associated cancers. In the present review, we summarize the recent understandings of how human pathogenic agents including viruses, bacteria and parasites deregulate cellular HIF-1 signaling pathway in their associated cancer cells, and highlight the common molecular mechanisms of HIF-1 signaling activated by these pathogenic infection, which could act as potential diagnostic markers and new therapeutic strategies against human infectious cancers.
A novel progesterone receptor membrane component (PGRMC) in the human and swine parasite Taenia solium: implications to the host-parasite relationship.
Aguilar-Díaz Hugo,Nava-Castro Karen E,Escobedo Galileo,Domínguez-Ramírez Lenin,García-Varela Martín,Del Río-Araiza Víctor H,Palacios-Arreola Margarita I,Morales-Montor Jorge
Parasites & vectors
BACKGROUND:We have previously reported that progesterone (P) has a direct in vitro effect on the scolex evagination and growth of Taenia solium cysticerci. Here, we explored the hypothesis that the P direct effect on T. solium might be mediated by a novel steroid-binding parasite protein. METHODS:By way of using immunofluorescent confocal microscopy, flow cytometry analysis, double-dimension electrophoresis analysis, and sequencing the corresponding protein spot, we detected a novel PGRMC in T. solium. Molecular modeling studies accompanied by computer docking using the sequenced protein, together with phylogenetic analysis and sequence alignment clearly demonstrated that T. solium PGRMC is from parasite origin. RESULTS:Our results show that P in vitro increases parasite evagination and scolex size. Using immunofluorescent confocal microscopy, we detected that parasite cells showed expression of a P-binding like protein exclusively located at the cysticercus subtegumental tissue. Presence of the P-binding protein in cyst cells was also confirmed by flow cytometry. Double-dimension electrophoresis analysis, followed by sequencing the corresponding protein spot, revealed a protein that was previously reported in the T. solium genome belonging to a membrane-associated progesterone receptor component (PGRMC). Molecular modeling studies accompanied by computer docking using the sequenced protein showed that PGRMC is potentially able to bind steroid hormones such as progesterone, estradiol, testosterone and dihydrodrotestosterone with different affinities. Phylogenetic analysis and sequence alignment clearly demonstrated that T. solium PGRMC is related to a steroid-binding protein of Echinoccocus granulosus, both of them being nested within a cluster including similar proteins present in platyhelminths such as Schistocephalus solidus and Schistosoma haematobium. CONCLUSION:Progesterone may directly act upon T. solium cysticerci probably by binding to PGRMC. This research has implications in the field of host-parasite co-evolution as well as the sex-associated susceptibility to this infection. In a more practical matter, present results may contribute to the molecular design of new drugs with anti-parasite actions.
Down regulation of gene related sex hormone synthesis pathway in mouse testes by miroestrol and deoxymiroestrol.
Udomsuk Latiporn,Juengwatanatrakul Thaweesak,Putalun Waraporn,Jarukamjorn Kanokwan
Miroestrol and deoxymiroestrol are phytoestrogens isolated from tuberous root of Pueraria candollei var. mirifica. Modulatory effects of miroestrol and deoxymiroestrol on enzymes involved in sex-hormone synthesis pathway in male C57BL/6 mice were investigated using semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Miroestrol and deoxymiroestrol suppressed the expressions of 3β-HSD, 17β-HSD1, and CYP17 while CYP19 mRNA expression was slightly decreased. In addition, the expression of 17β-HSD2 was induced in correlation with those did by estradiol. These observations supported that miroestrol and deoxymiroestrol could exhibit the same effect as estradiol regarding regulation of testicular gene related sex hormone synthesis pathway.
Cloning, characterization and functional expression of Taenia solium 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase.
Aceves-Ramos A,de la Torre P,Hinojosa L,Ponce A,García-Villegas R,Laclette J P,Bobes R J,Romano M C
General and comparative endocrinology
The 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (17β-HSD) are key enzymes involved in the formation (reduction) and inactivation (oxidation) of sex steroids. Several types have been found in vertebrates including fish, as well as in invertebrates like Caenorhabditis elegans, Ciona intestinalis and Haliotis diversicolor supertexta. To date limited information is available about this enzyme in parasites. We showed previously that Taenia solium cysticerci are able to synthesize sex steroid hormones in vitro when precursors are provided in the culture medium. Here, we identified a T. solium 17β-HSD through in silico blast searches in the T. solium genome database. This coding sequence was amplified by RT-PCR and cloned into the pcDNA 3.1(+) expression vector. The full length cDNA contains 957bp, corresponding to an open reading frame coding for 319 aa. The highest identity (84%) at the protein level was found with the Echinococcus multilocularis 17β-HSD although significant similarities were also found with other invertebrate and vertebrate 17β-HSD sequences. The T. solium Tsol-17βHSD belongs to the short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR) protein superfamily. HEK293T cells transiently transfected with Tsol17β-HSD induced expression of Tsol17β-HSD that transformed 3H-androstenedione into testosterone. In contrast, 3H-estrone was not significantly transformed into estradiol. In conclusion, T. solium cysticerci express a 17β-HSD that catalyzes the androgen reduction. The enzyme belongs to the short chain dehydrogenases/reductase family and shares motifs and activity with the type 3 enzyme of some other species.
Host immune responses during Taenia solium Neurocysticercosis infection and treatment.
Prodjinotho Ulrich Fabien,Lema Jakobo,Lacorcia Matthew,Schmidt Veronika,Vejzagic Nermina,Sikasunge Chummy,Ngowi Bernard,Winkler Andrea Sylvia,Prazeres da Costa Clarissa
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Taenia solium cysticercosis and taeniasis (TSCT), caused by the tapeworm T. solium, is a foodborne and zoonotic disease classified since 2010 by WHO as a neglected tropical isease. It causes considerable impact on health and economy and is one of the leading causes of acquired epilepsy in most endemic countries of Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia. There is some evidence that the prevalence of TSCT in high-income countries has recently increased, mainly due to immigration from endemic areas. In regions endemic for TSCT, human cysticercosis can manifest clinically as neurocysticercosis (NCC), resulting in epileptic seizures and severe progressive headaches, amongst other neurological signs and/or symptoms. The development of these symptoms results from a complex interplay between anatomical cyst localization, environmental factors, parasite's infective potential, host genetics, and, especially, host immune responses. Treatment of individuals with active NCC (presence of viable cerebral cysts) with anthelmintic drugs together with steroids is usually effective and, in the majority, reduces the number and/or size of cerebral lesions as well as the neurological symptoms. However, in some cases, treatment may profoundly enhance anthelmintic inflammatory responses with ensuing symptoms, which, otherwise, would have remained silent as long as the cysts are viable. This intriguing silencing process is not yet fully understood but may involve active modulation of host responses by cyst-derived immunomodulatory components released directly into the surrounding brain tissue or by the induction of regulatory networks including regulatory T cells (Treg) or regulatory B cells (Breg). These processes might be disturbed once the cysts undergo treatment-induced apoptosis and necrosis or in a coinfection setting such as HIV. Herein, we review the current literature regarding the immunology and pathogenesis of NCC with a highlight on the mobilization of immune cells during human NCC and their interaction with viable and degenerating cysticerci. Moreover, the immunological parameters associated with NCC in people living with HIV/AIDS and treatments are discussed. Eventually, we propose open questions to understand the role of the immune system and its impact in this intriguing host-parasite crosstalk.
Molecular mechanisms involved in the differential effects of sex steroids on the reproduction and infectivity of Taenia crassiceps.
Escobedo Galileo,Larralde Carlos,Chavarria Anahí,Cerbón Marco A,Morales-Montor Jorge
The Journal of parasitology
The in vitro exposure of Taenia crassiceps cysticerci to 17-beta estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4) stimulated their reproduction and infectivity. Testosterone (T4) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) inhibited their reproduction and reduced their motility and infectivity. E2 and P4 increased, whereas T4 and DHT reduced, the expression of parasite c-fos and c-jun and DNA synthesis. In vitro exposure of cysticerci to sex steroids before their inoculation into recipient noninfected mice resulted in large parasite loads when pretreated with E2 and P4 and in smaller loads when pretreated with T4 and DHT To determine the possible molecular mechanisms by which sex steroids affect T. crassiceps, sex steroid receptors were amplified. Taenia crassiceps expressed estrogen receptors (both alpha and beta isoforms) and androgen receptors but no P4 receptors. These results demonstrate that sex steroids act directly on parasite reproduction by binding to a classic and specific sex steroid receptor on the parasite. The differential response of cysticerci to sex steroids may also be involved in their ability to grow faster in the murine female or feminized male host. This is the first report of direct sex steroid effects on the parasite possibly through sex steroid receptors in the cysticerci.
Adhesion molecules, chemokines and matrix metallo-proteinases response after albendazole and albendazole plus steroid therapy in swine neurocysticercosis.
Singh Satyendra K,Prasad Kashi N,Singh Aloukick K,Gupta Kamlesh K,Singh Amrita,Tripathi Mukesh,Gupta Rakesh K
The treatment of neurocysticercosis (NCC) varies with location, number and stage of the Taenia solium cysticerci (cysts). Albendazole (ABZ) effectively kills cysticerci, and subsequently induces neuro-inflammation facilitated by leukocyte infiltration. We hypothesize that immune response varies around drug responder (degenerating/dying) and non-responder (viable) cysts after ABZ and ABZ plus steroid (ABZS) therapy, which may determine the disease pathogenesis. Twenty cysticercotic swine were treated with ABZ (n = 10; group1) and ABZS (n = 10; group2). Expression of adhesion molecules, chemokines and matrix metallo-proteinases (MMPs) was measured by qRT-PCR (quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction) and ELISA. Gelatin gel zymography was performed to detect the activity of MMP-2 and -9. In group1, ABZ therapy induced higher expressions of ICAM-1 (intercellular adhesion molecule-1), VCAM-1 (vascular cell adhesion molecule-1), E-selectin, MCP-1 (monocyte chemotactic protein-1), Eotaxin-1, MIP-1α (macrophage inflammatory protein-1α), RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted), MMP-2 and MMP-9 around ABZ responder (AR) cysts. Three pigs with cyst burdens ≥10 died following ABZ therapy. However, in group2, moderate expressions of ICAM-1, VCAM-1, E-selectin, RANTES and MMP-9 were associated with ABZS responder (ASR), whereas low expressions of these molecules were associated with ABZS non-responder (ASNR) cysts. In conclusion, ABZ alone therapy is not safe since it causes death of pigs due to higher inflammatory immune response around dying cysts. However, combination therapy is an effective treatment regimen even with the high cyst burden.
Steroid synthesis by Taenia crassiceps WFU cysticerci is regulated by enzyme inhibitors.
Aceves-Ramos A,Valdez R A,Gaona B,Willms K,Romano M C
General and comparative endocrinology
Cysticerci and tapeworms from Taenia crassiceps WFU, ORF and Taenia solium synthesize sex-steroid hormones in vitro. Corticosteroids increase the 17β-estradiol synthesis by T. crassiceps cysticerci. T. crassiceps WFU cysticerci synthesize corticosteroids, mainly 11-deoxycorticosterone (DOC). The aim of this work was to investigate whether classical steroidogenic inhibitors modify the capacity of T. crassiceps WFU cysticerci to synthesize corticosteroids and sex steroid hormones. For this purpose, T. crassiceps WFU cysticerci were obtained from the abdominal cavity of mice, pre-cultured for 24h in DMEM+antibiotics/antimycotics and cultured in the presence of tritiated progesterone ((3)H-P4), androstendione ((3)H-A4), or dehydroepiandrosterone ((3)H-DHEA) plus different doses of the corresponding inhibitors, for different periods. Blanks with the culture media adding the tritiated precursors were simultaneously incubated. At the end of the incubation period, parasites were separated and media extracted with ether. The resulting steroids were separated by thin layer chromatography (TLC). Data were expressed as percent transformation of the tritiated precursors. Results showed that after 2h of exposure of the cysticerci to 100 μM formestane, the (3)H-17β-estradiol synthesis from tritiated androstenedione was significantly inhibited. The incubation of cysticerci in the presence of (3)H-DHEA and danazol (100 nM) resulted in (3)H-androstenediol accumulation and a significant reduction of the 17β-estradiol synthesis. The cysticerci (3)H-DOC synthesis was significantly inhibited when the parasites were cultured in the presence of different ketoconazole dosis. The drug treatments did not affect parasite's viability. The results of this study showed that corticosteroid and sex steroid synthesis in T. crassiceps WFU cysticerci can be modified by steroidogenic enzyme inhibitors. As was shown previously by our laboratory and others, parasite survival and development depends on sex steroids, therefore the inhibition of their synthesis is a good starting point exploited in situations where the inhibition of steroidogenesis could help to control the infection for the development of new treatments, or replacement of the usual therapy in resistant parasite infections. We raise the possibility that these drug actions may be beneficially.
The synthesis of steroids by Taenia crassiceps WFU cysticerci and tapeworms is related to the developmental stages of the parasites.
Patricio-Gómez J M,Valdez R A,Veloz A,Aguilar-Vega L,Zurabian R,Romano M C
General and comparative endocrinology
Taeniids tapeworms are hermaphroditic helminths that gradually develop testis and ovaries in their reproductive units. The larval stage of the tapeworms named cysticercus is a vesicle that contains the scolex and proliferates asexually in the abdominal cavity of mice. Once in the host, they evaginate, attach to the gut and develop into an adult organism, the tapeworm. We have previously reported reported that T. crassiceps ORF and solium cysticerci transform steroid precursors to androgens and estrogens. Taenia crassiceps WFU cysticerci can also synthesize corticosteroids. The aim of the present work is to investigate the relationship between steroid synthesis ability and the developmental stage of the parasite T. crassiceps WFU. To this purpose, cysticerci were obtained from the abdominal cavity of female mice, manually separated in invaginated (IC) and evaginated parasites (EC) and preincubated for 24 h in DMEM plus antibiotics/antimycotics. Next step consisted in incubation for different periods in the fresh media added with tritiated androstenedione (H-A) or progesterone (H-P) and incubated for different periods. Taenia crassiceps WFU tapeworms were recovered from the intestine of golden hamsters that had been orally infected with cysticerci. The worms were pre-cultured in DMEM plus FBS and antibiotics, and then incubated without FBS for different time periods, in the presence of H-A or H-P. At the end of the experiments the media from cysticerci and tapeworms were analyzed by thin layer chromatography. Results showed that testosterone synthesis was significantly higher in the evaginated cysticerci and increased with time in culture. The invaginated and evaginated cysticerci also synthesized small quantities of 17ß-estradiol (E) and estrone. The evaginated cysticerci synthesized twice more H-deoxycorticosterone (H-DOC) than the invaginated parasites, the production increased significantly with time in culture. Taenia crassiceps WFU tapeworms synthesized significant quantities of H-testosterone and small amounts of estrone after only 3 h of culture in the presence of H-A. The tapeworms also transformed H-P to H-DOC and increased its synthesis after 24 h in culture. In summary, our data show the pathways that T. crassiceps WFU cysticerci use to synthesize sexual steroids in both larval developmental stages and reveals the steroidogenic capacity of the tapeworms.
Taenia solium cysticerci synthesize androgens and estrogens in vitro.
Valdéz R A,Jiménez P,Cartas A L,Gómez Y,Romano M C
Cysticerci from Taenia solium develop in the pig muscle and cause severe diseases in humans. Here we report on the capacity of T. solium cysticerci to synthesize sex steroid hormones. T. solium cysticerci were dissected from infected pork meat. Parasites were incubated for different periods in culture media plus antibiotics and tritiated steroid precursors. Blanks and parasite culture media were extracted and analyzed by thin-layer chromatography (TLC) in two different solvent systems. In some experiments, the scoleces were incubated separately. Results showed that T. solium cysticerci transform [(3)H]androstenedione to [(3)H]testosterone in a time-dependent manner. The production was confirmed in two different solvent systems. The incubation with [(3)H]testosterone yielded only small amounts of [(3)H]androstenedione. The recrystallization procedure further demonstrated that the metabolite identified by TLC was testosterone. The isolated scoleces incubated in the presence of [(3)H]androstenedione yielded [(3)H]testosterone and small quantities of [(3)H]17beta-estradiol. The results reported here demonstrate that T. solium cysticerci have the capacity to synthesize steroid hormones.
Metabolism of steroid hormones by Taenia solium and Taenia crassiceps cysticerci.
Jiménez P,Valdez R A,Romano M C
The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology
Previous in vitro experiments showed that both, Taenia crassiceps and Taenia solium cysticerci have the ability to metabolize exogenous androstenedione to testosterone. Here we evaluate on the capacity of both cysticerci to synthesize several sex steroid hormones, using different hormonal precursors. Experiments using thin layer chromatography (TLC) showed that both cysticerci were able to produce (3)H-hydroxyprogesterone, (3)H-androstenedione and (3)H-testosterone when (3)H-progesterone was used as the precursor. They also synthesized (3)H-androstenediol and (3)H-testosterone when (3)H-dehydroepiandrosterone was the precursor. In addition, both cysticerci interconverted (3)H-estradiol and (3)H-estrone. These results, strongly suggest the presence and activity of the Delta4 and Delta5 steroid pathway enzymes, 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/Delta(5-4) isomerase-like enzyme (3beta-HSD), that converts androstenediol into testosterone; and the 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase that interconverts estradiol and estrone, in both types of cysticerci.
Antiparasitic treatment of cerebral cysticercosis: lessons and experiences from China.
Wu Wei,Jia Fengju,Wang Wei,Huang Yixin,Huang Yong
Cysticercosis is a tropical disease caused by infection with the larval stage of the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. Humans and pigs acquire cysticercosis by ingesting T. solium eggs shed in the feces of humans with taeniasis (i.e., infected with an adult intestinal tapeworm). Cerebral cysticercosis occurs when the cysts of T. solium develop within the central nervous system, and it is the primary cause of illness in T. solium infection. Currently, cerebral cysticercosis is endemic worldwide, and it is a leading cause of adult-onset epilepsy in developing countries. However, it is now increasingly detected in developed countries due to the immigration of T. solium carriers from the endemic areas. The antiparasitic treatment of cerebral cysticercosis remains controversial till now. In China, except a few cases who conform to the contraindicated criteria of antiparasitic therapy, most cerebral cysticercosis patients with symptoms and signs are given etiological treatment. This paper reviews the antiparasitic therapy of cerebral cysticercosis in China during the past several decades. Praziquantel treatment with different regimens has been used, and various efficacies are achieved. In the early stage, unsatisfactory therapeutic efficacy was achieved due to small doses and short treatment courses. Afterwards, the therapeutic efficacy became increasingly remarkable in both adults and children with the increases in dosage and courses. Albendazole also presents activity against cysticercosis with slow and moderate action, and it has been widely used in the treatment of the infection. The comparison between praziquantel and albendazole treatments showed that the immediate and short-term effects of albendazole treatment were better than those of praziquantel treatment, but similar mid- and long-term efficacies were observed following albendazole and praziquantel treatments. The combination of albendazole and praziquantel treatments can increase the therapeutic efficacy, and now, from the massive clinical practices, most of Chinese clinical specialists propose the combination therapy of albendazole and praziquantel for cerebral cysticercosis with simultaneous administration of steroids, especially in the first course. In addition, administration of praziquantel at a high dose can become a diagnostic treatment for suspected cerebral cysticercosis and serve as a supplement of the currently available diagnostic methods, such as diagnoses based on the clinical features, immunology, CT and MRI imaging, etc., in some atypical cerebral cysticercosis patients. Praziquantel and albendazole treatments have some adverse reactions, and to control these adverse effects, all the cerebral cysticercosis patients should be treated in hospital. According to the type of cerebral cysticercosis, especially for intracranial hypertension type and meningocephalitis type, the dosages of anti-cysticercus drugs need to follow a gradually increasing pattern. During the period of anti-cysticercosis treatments, steroids and/or dehydrating agents need be administered which can alleviate the intracranial hypertension and so on. Traditional Chinese medicines have been also used in the treatment of cerebral cysticercosis and achieve satisfactory outcomes. However, the compound prescription of traditional Chinese medicines is very complex, and the effective components are not fully clear. Some cerebral cysticercosis patients with very high intracranial tension could not receive antiparasitic treatment immediately, and surgical treatment is required. Chinese surgeons also achieve some successful experiences, but not all the cysticercus can be removed completely during the surgery. Therefore, antiparasitic drugs are still needed after the operation. The rehabilitative treatment is supplementary in the therapy of cerebral cysticercosis. In China, the rehabilitative treatment of cerebral cysticercosis is still at the initial stage. These lessons and experiences in China can be shared with medical staff and researchers from other countries where the disease is endemic.
Taenia crassiceps: in vivo and in vitro models.
Willms Kaethe,Zurabian Rimma
Taenia crassiceps is a cestode parasite of wild and domestic animals that rarely affects humans; it has been widely used as an experimental model. The asexual proliferation by budding is a useful attribute of T. crassiceps cysticerci, which allows the various strains to be maintained indefinitely in the peritoneal cavity of inbred mice. Over the last 50 years, experimental results using larval and adult stages of T. crassiceps have yielded much information on the morphology, infectivity, proliferation dynamics, host immune response, endocrinological responses and vaccine research, all of which have contributed to our knowledge of cestode biology.
Parasite regulation by host hormones: an old mechanism of host exploitation?
Escobedo Galileo,Roberts Craig W,Carrero Julio C,Morales-Montor Jorge
Trends in parasitology
Recent experimental evidence suggests that parasites can not only evade immune responses actively but also exploit the hormonal microenvironment within the host to favor their establishment, growth and reproduction. The benefit for parasites of hormonal exploitation is so great that they have evolved structures similar to the steroid and protein hormone receptors expressed in upper vertebrates that can bind to the hormonal metabolites synthesized by the host. This strategy is exemplified by two parasites that respond to adrenal steroids and sexual steroids, respectively: Schistosoma mansoni and Taenia crassiceps. Understanding how the host endocrine system can, under certain circumstances, favor the establishment of a parasite, and characterizing the parasite hormone receptors that are involved might aid the design of hormonal analogs and drugs that affect the parasite exclusively.
Morphology and biochemistry of the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium.
Current topics in medicinal chemistry
This chapter describes the life cycle, general morphology and ultrastructure of the larval and adult stages of Taenia solium, a parasitic flatworm of humans found in underdeveloped countries. Experimental results describing the role of proteins and glycoproteins in the host-parasite relationship, as well as the various strategies the larval stage has developed to evade the host immune responses are analyzed. Characteristics of the tapeworm attachment site in the hamster intestine and the host inflammatory reaction are reviewed. The general morphology and ultrastructure of the experimental tapeworm is described, with emphasis on muscle fiber distribution, the abundance of cytoplasmic glycogen and its association with gap junctions, the development of testis, structure of mature spermatids and vas efferens. Recent descriptions of T. solium actin, myosin and calreticulin components, metabolic steroid pathways, apoptosis and glucose uptake of tapeworms in the hamster model are reviewed.
Taenia larvae possess distinct acetylcholinesterase profiles with implications for host cholinergic signalling.
de Lange Anja,Prodjinotho Ulrich Fabien,Tomes Hayley,Hagen Jana,Jacobs Brittany-Amber,Smith Katherine,Horsnell William,Sikasunge Chummy,Hockman Dorit,Selkirk Murray E,Prazeres da Costa Clarissa,Raimondo Joseph Valentino
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Larvae of the cestodes Taenia solium and Taenia crassiceps infect the central nervous system of humans. Taenia solium larvae in the brain cause neurocysticercosis, the leading cause of adult-acquired epilepsy worldwide. Relatively little is understood about how cestode-derived products modulate host neural and immune signalling. Acetylcholinesterases, a class of enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, are produced by a host of parasitic worms to aid their survival in the host. Acetylcholine is an important signalling molecule in both the human nervous and immune systems, with powerful modulatory effects on the excitability of cortical networks. Therefore, it is important to establish whether cestode derived acetylcholinesterases may alter host neuronal cholinergic signalling. Here we make use of multiple techniques to profile acetylcholinesterase activity in different extracts of both Taenia crassiceps and Taenia solium larvae. We find that the larvae of both species contain substantial acetylcholinesterase activity. However, acetylcholinesterase activity is lower in Taenia solium as compared to Taenia crassiceps larvae. Further, whilst we observed acetylcholinesterase activity in all fractions of Taenia crassiceps larvae, including on the membrane surface and in the excreted/secreted extracts, we could not identify acetylcholinesterases on the membrane surface or in the excreted/secreted extracts of Taenia solium larvae. Bioinformatic analysis revealed conservation of the functional protein domains in the Taenia solium acetylcholinesterases, when compared to the homologous human sequence. Finally, using whole-cell patch clamp recordings in rat hippocampal brain slice cultures, we demonstrate that Taenia larval derived acetylcholinesterases can break down acetylcholine at a concentration which induces changes in neuronal signalling. Together, these findings highlight the possibility that Taenia larval acetylcholinesterases can interfere with cholinergic signalling in the host, potentially contributing to pathogenesis in neurocysticercosis.
Taenia solium tapeworms synthesize corticosteroids and sex steroids in vitro.
Valdez R A,Jiménez P,Fernández Presas A M,Aguilar L,Willms K,Romano M C
General and comparative endocrinology
Cysticercosis is a disease caused by the larval stage of Taenia solium cestodes that belongs to the family Taeniidae that affects a number of hosts including humans. Taeniids tapeworms are hermaphroditic organisms that have reproductive units called proglottids that gradually mature to develop testis and ovaries. Cysticerci, the larval stage of these parasites synthesize steroids. To our knowledge there is no information about the capacity of T. solium tapeworms to metabolize progesterone or other precursors to steroid hormones. Therefore, the aim of this paper was to investigate if T. solium tapeworms were able to transform steroid precursors to corticosteroids and sex steroids. T. solium tapeworms were recovered from the intestine of golden hamsters that had been orally infected with cysticerci. The worms were cultured in the presence of tritiated progesterone or androstenedione. At the end of the experiments the culture media were analyzed by thin layer chromatography. The experiments described here showed that small amounts of testosterone were synthesized from (3)H-progesterone by complete or segmented tapeworms whereas the incubation of segmented tapeworms with (3)H-androstenedione, instead of (3)H-progesterone, improved their capacity to synthesize testosterone. In addition, the incubation of the parasites with (3)H-progesterone yielded corticosteroids, mainly deoxicorticosterone (DOC) and 11-deoxicortisol. In summary, the results described here, demonstrate that T. solium tapeworms synthesize corticosteroid and sex steroid like metabolites. The capacity of T. solium tapeworms to synthesize steroid hormones may contribute to the physiological functions of the parasite and also to their interaction with the host.
Identification and characterization of Taenia solium enolase as a plasminogen-binding protein.
Ayón-Núñez Dolores A,Fragoso Gladis,Espitia Clara,García-Varela Martín,Soberón Xavier,Rosas Gabriela,Laclette Juan P,Bobes Raúl J
The larval stage of Taenia solium (cysticerci) is the causal agent of human and swine cysticercosis. When ingested by the host, T. solium eggs are activated and hatch in the intestine, releasing oncospheres that migrate to various tissues and evolve into cysticerci. Plasminogen (Plg) receptor proteins have been reported to play a role in migration processes for several pathogens. This work is aimed to identify Plg-binding proteins in T. solium cysticerci and determine whether T. solium recombinant enolase (rTsEnoA) is capable of specifically binding and activating human Plg. To identify Plg-binding proteins, a 2D-SDS-PAGE ligand blotting was performed, and recognized spots were identified by MS/MS. Seven proteins from T. solium cysticerci were found capable of binding Plg: fascicilin-1, fasciclin-2, enolase, MAPK, annexin, actin, and cytosolic malate dehydrogenase. To determine whether rTsEnoA binds human Plg, a ligand blotting was performed and the results were confirmed by ELISA both in the presence and absence of εACA, a competitive Plg inhibitor. Finally, rTsEnoA-bound Plg was activated to plasmin in the presence of tPA. To better understand the evolution of enolase isoforms in T. solium, a phylogenetic inference analysis including 75 enolase amino acid sequences was conducted. The origin of flatworm enolase isoforms, except for Eno4, is independent of their vertebrate counterparts. Therefore, herein we propose to designate tapeworm protein isoforms as A, B, C, and 4. In conclusion, recombinant enolase showed a strong plasminogen binding and activating activity in vitro. T. solium enolase could play a role in parasite invasion along with other plasminogen-binding proteins.
Identification and culture of proliferative cells in abnormal Taenia solium larvae: Role in the development of racemose neurocysticercosis.
Orrego Miguel A,Verastegui Manuela R,Vasquez Carlos M,Koziol Uriel,Laclette Juan P,Garcia Hector H,Nash Theodore E,
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Racemose neurocysticercosis is an aggressive disease caused by the aberrant expansion of the cyst form of Taenia solium within the subarachnoid spaces of the human brain and spinal cord resulting in a mass effect and chronic inflammation. Although expansion is likely caused by the proliferation and growth of the parasite bladder wall, there is little direct evidence of the mechanisms that underlie these processes. Since the development and growth of cysts in related cestodes involves totipotential germinative cells, we hypothesized that the expansive growth of the racemose larvae is organized and maintained by germinative cells. Here, we identified proliferative cells expressing the serine/threonine-protein kinase plk1 by in situ hybridization. Proliferative cells were present within the bladder wall of racemose form and absent from the homologous tissue surrounding the vesicular form. Cyst proliferation in the related model species Taenia crassiceps (ORF strain) occurs normally by budding from the cyst bladder wall and proliferative cells were concentrated within the growth buds. Cells isolated from bladder wall of racemose larvae were established in primary cell culture and insulin stimulated their proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. These findings indicate that the growth of racemose larvae is likely due to abnormal cell proliferation. The different distribution of proliferative cells in the racemose larvae and their sensitivity to insulin may reflect significant changes at the cellular and molecular levels involved in their tumor-like growth. Parasite cell cultures offer a powerful tool to characterize the nature and formation of the racemose form, understand the developmental biology of T. solium, and to identify new effective drugs for treatment.
In vitro model of postoncosphere development, and in vivo infection abilities of Taenia solium and Taenia saginata.
Palma Sandra,Chile Nancy,Carmen-Orozco Rogger P,Trompeter Grace,Fishbeck Kayla,Cooper Virginia,Rapoport Laura,Bernal-Teran Edson G,Condori Beth J,Gilman Robert H,Verastegui Manuela R,
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Taenia solium is known to cause human cysticercosis while T. saginata does not. Comparative in vitro and in vivo studies on the oncosphere and the postoncospheral (PO) forms of T. solium and T. saginata may help to elucidate why cysticercosis can occur from one and not the other. The aim of this study was to use in vitro culture assays and in vivo models to study the differences in the development of the T. solium and T. saginata oncosphere. Furthermore, this study aimed to evaluate the expression of cytokines and metalloproteinases (MMPs) in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), which were stimulated by these oncospheres and PO antigens. T. solium and T. saginata activated oncospheres (AO) were cultured in INT-407 and HCT-8 intestinal cells for 180 days. The T. solium began to die while the T. saginata grew for 180 days and developed to cysticerci in INT-407 cells. Rats were inoculated intracranially with AO and PO forms of either T. saginata or T. solium. Rats infected with T. solium AO and PO forms developed neurocysticercosis (NCC), while those infected with the T. saginata did not. Human PMBCs were stimulated with antigens of AO and PO forms of both species, and the production of cytokines and metalloproteinases (MMPs) was measured. The T. solium AO antigen stimulated a higher production of IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IFN-γ, and IL-2 cytokines compared to T. saginata AO. In the PO form, the T. saginata PO antigen increased the production of IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α and IL-12 cytokines compared to T. solium, suggesting that this global immune response stimulated by different forms could permit survival or destruction of the parasite depending of their life-cycle stage. Regarding MMPs, T. solium AO antigen stimulated a higher production of MMP-9 compared to T. saginata AO antigen, which may be responsible for altering the permeability of intestinal cells and facilitating breakdown of the blood-brain barrier during the process of invasion of host tissue.
Unveiling kinome profile and its potential for new therapeutic targets.
Arora Naina,Raj Anand,Anjum Farhan,Kaur Rimanpreet,Rawat Suraj Singh,Kumar Rajiv,Tripathi Shweta,Singh Gagandeep,Prasad Amit
Expert review of proteomics
: Helminth infections cause widespread morbidity and are a significant global disease burden. One among them is Neurocysticercosis, a central nervous system infection caused by the larvae , leading to epilepsy. Helminths are strong immune modulators and can survive for a long time in adverse host environments. Kinases are molecular switches and are essential to initiate/propagate signaling cascades and are detrimental to the regulation of homeostasis. They have been implicated in the progression of many diseases and are potentially lucrative drug targets.: To identify kinases in proteome and prioritize them as drug targets.: A Hidden Markov Model (HMM) was used to curate and classify kinases into families based on sequence homology to model organisms followed by phylogenetic analysis of each family. To predict potential drug targets, kinases were identified based on a homologically lethal relationship to but non-lethal to humans. Kinases thus selected were searched for matching ligands in SARFkinase and DrugBank databases.: kinases make up 1.8% of its proteome, CMGC is the largest kinase family and RGC is the smallest and catalytically inactive family. We predict 23-potential kinases to be drug targets for .[Figure: see text].
Taenia solium and Taenia crassiceps: miRNomes of the larvae and effects of miR-10-5p and let-7-5p on murine peritoneal macrophages.
Landa Abraham,Navarro Luz,Ochoa-Sánchez Alicia,Jiménez Lucía
Neurocysticercosis (NCC), a major cause of neurological morbidity worldwide, is caused by the larvae of Taenia solium. Cestodes secrete molecules that block the Th1 response of their hosts and induce a Th2 response permissive to their establishment. Mature microRNAs (miRs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression and participate in immunological processes. To determine the participation of Taenia miRs in the immune response against cysticercosis, we constructed small RNA (sRNA) libraries from larvae of Taenia solium and Taenia crassiceps. A total of 12074504 and 11779456 sequencing reads for T. solium and T. crassiceps, respectively, were mapped to the genomes of T. solium and other helminths. Both larvae shared similar miRNome, and miR-10-5p was the most abundant in both species, followed by let-7-5p in T. solium and miR-4989-3p in T. crassiceps, whereas among the genus-specific miRs, miR-001-3p was the most abundant in both, followed by miR-002-3p in T. solium and miR-003a-3p in T. crassiceps. The sequences of these miRs were identical in both. Structure and target prediction analyses revealed that these pre-miRs formed a hairpin and had more than one target involved in immunoregulation. Culture of macrophages, RT-PCR and ELISA assays showed that cells internalized miR-10-5p and let-7-5p into the cytoplasm and the miRs strongly decreased interleukin 16 (Il6) expression, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and IL-12 secretion, and moderately decreased nitric oxide synthase inducible (Nos2) and Il1b expression (pro-inflammatory cytokines) in M(IFN-γ) macrophages and expression of Tgf1b, and the secretion of IL-10 (anti-inflammatory cytokines) in M(IL-4) macrophages. These findings could help us understand the role of miRs in the host-Taenia relationship.
Zoonotic Taenia infections with focus on cysticercosis due to Taenia solium in swine and humans.
Mendlovic Fela,Fleury Agnes,Flisser Ana
Research in veterinary science
Zoonotic taeniasis caused by the adult stage of Taenia solium, Taenia saginata or Taenia asiatica are considered neglected tropical diseases by the World Health Organization. The life cycle of these 3 metazoan species is very similar and includes an intermediate host: pigs in the case of T. solium and T. asiatica, and cattle in the case of T. saginata. By eating meat (pork/T. solium, T. asiatica; beef/T. saginata) containing live cysticerci, humans develop taeniasis, which is practically asymptomatic but is the main risk factor for intermediate hosts to become infected. T. saginata causes bovine cysticercosis, while T. solium and T. asiatica cause swine cysticercosis, of veterinary and economic importance. T. solium cysticerci cause neurological disease in humans: neurocysticercosis. Cysticerci develop after ingesting microscopic eggs released from a human tapeworm carrier. Here we describe the life stages of the parasites, diagnosis, pathogenesis, symptomatology of neurocysticercosis, and prevention and control measures. Highlighting the need to validate diagnostic tools, treatments and vaccination in endemic areas, with the challenge of addressing the most vulnerable populations that lack resources. If people understand the transmission route, avoid eating uncooked or insufficiently cooked meat and have adequate hygienic habits, the life cycle of the 3 zoonotic Taenia species may be interrupted. In addition, we describe the growing field of immune response and immunomodulation elicited by the parasites, which may provide essential tools for diagnosis, treatment, control of taeniasis/cysticercosis, as well as for identification of parasite-derived immunomodulators that could aid in the treatment of emerging inflammatory diseases worldwide.
Taenia solium taeniasis/cysticercosis: From parasite biology and immunology to diagnosis and control.
Dixon Matthew A,Winskill Peter,Harrison Wendy E,Basáñez Maria-Gloria
Advances in parasitology
Infection with the pork tapeworm (Taenia solium) is responsible for a substantial global burden of disease, not only restricted to its impact on human health, but also resulting in a considerable economic burden to smallholder pig farmers due to pig cysticercosis infection. The life-cycle, parasitology and immunology of T. solium are complex, involving pigs (the intermediate host, harbouring the larval metacestode stage), humans (the definitive host, harbouring the adult tapeworm, in addition to acting as accidental intermediate hosts) and the environment (the source of infection with eggs/proglottids). We review the parasitology, immunology, and epidemiology of the infection associated with each of the T. solium life-cycle stages, including the pre-adult/adult tapeworm responsible for human taeniasis; post-oncosphere and cysticercus associated with porcine and human cysticercosis, and the biological characteristics of eggs in the environment. We discuss the burden associated, in endemic settings, with neurocysticercosis (NCC) in humans, and the broader cross-sectoral economic impact associated both with NCC and porcine cysticercosis, the latter impacting food-value chains. Existing tools for diagnostics and control interventions that target different stages of the T. solium transmission cycle are reviewed and their limitations discussed. Currently, no national T. solium control programmes have been established in endemic areas, with further work required to identify optimal strategies according to epidemiological setting. There is increasing evidence suggesting that cross-sectoral interventions which target the parasite in both the human and pig host provide the most effective approaches for achieving control and ultimately elimination. We discuss future avenues for research on T. solium to support the attainment of the goals proposed in the revised World Health Organisation neglected tropical diseases roadmap for 2021-2030 adopted at the 73rd World Health Assembly in November 2020.
Metabolic Cooperation of Glucose and Glutamine Is Essential for the Lytic Cycle of Obligate Intracellular Parasite Toxoplasma gondii.
Nitzsche Richard,Zagoriy Vyacheslav,Lucius Richard,Gupta Nishith
The Journal of biological chemistry
Toxoplasma gondii is a widespread protozoan parasite infecting nearly all warm-blooded organisms. Asexual reproduction of the parasite within its host cells is achieved by consecutive lytic cycles, which necessitates biogenesis of significant energy and biomass. Here we show that glucose and glutamine are the two major physiologically important nutrients used for the synthesis of macromolecules (ATP, nucleic acid, proteins, and lipids) in T. gondii, and either of them is sufficient to ensure the parasite survival. The parasite can counteract genetic ablation of its glucose transporter by increasing the flux of glutamine-derived carbon through the tricarboxylic acid cycle and by concurrently activating gluconeogenesis, which guarantee a continued biogenesis of ATP and biomass for host-cell invasion and parasite replication, respectively. In accord, a pharmacological inhibition of glutaminolysis or oxidative phosphorylation arrests the lytic cycle of the glycolysis-deficient mutant, which is primarily a consequence of impaired invasion due to depletion of ATP. Unexpectedly, however, intracellular parasites continue to proliferate, albeit slower, notwithstanding a simultaneous deprivation of glucose and glutamine. A growth defect in the glycolysis-impaired mutant is caused by a compromised synthesis of lipids, which cannot be counterbalanced by glutamine but can be restored by acetate. Consistently, supplementation of parasite cultures with exogenous acetate can amend the lytic cycle of the glucose transport mutant. Such plasticity in the parasite's carbon flux enables a growth-and-survival trade-off in assorted nutrient milieus, which may underlie the promiscuous survival of T. gondii tachyzoites in diverse host cells. Our results also indicate a convergence of parasite metabolism with cancer cells.