Invasion of human erythrocytes by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is a multi-step process. Previously, a forward genetic screen for P. falciparum host factors identified erythrocyte CD55 as essential for invasion, but its specific role and how it interfaces with the other factors that mediate this complex process are unknown. Using CRISPR-Cas9 editing, antibody-based inhibition, and live cell imaging, here we show that CD55 is specifically required for parasite internalization. Pre-invasion kinetics, erythrocyte deformability, and echinocytosis were not influenced by CD55, but entry was inhibited when CD55 was blocked or absent. Visualization of parasites attached to CD55-null erythrocytes point to a role for CD55 in stability and/or progression of the moving junction. Our findings demonstrate that CD55 acts after discharge of the parasite's rhoptry organelles, and plays a unique role relative to all other invasion receptors. As the requirement for CD55 is strain-transcendent, these results suggest that CD55 or its interacting partners may hold potential as therapeutic targets for malaria.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Elizabeth S Egan
- Bikash Shakya
- Elizabeth S Egan
- Elizabeth S Egan
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Olivier Silvie, Sorbonne Université, UPMC Univ Paris 06, INSERM, CNRS, France
© 2021, Shakya et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Drug resistance remains a major obstacle to malaria control and eradication efforts, necessitating the development of novel therapeutic strategies to treat this disease. Drug combinations based on collateral sensitivity, wherein resistance to one drug causes increased sensitivity to the partner drug, have been proposed as an evolutionary strategy to suppress the emergence of resistance in pathogen populations. In this study, we explore collateral sensitivity between compounds targeting the Plasmodium dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH). We profiled the cross-resistance and collateral sensitivity phenotypes of several DHODH mutant lines to a diverse panel of DHODH inhibitors. We focus on one compound, TCMDC-125334, which was active against all mutant lines tested, including the DHODH C276Y line, which arose in selections with the clinical candidate DSM265. In six selections with TCMDC-125334, the most common mechanism of resistance to this compound was copy number variation of the dhodh locus, although we did identify one mutation, DHODH I263S, which conferred resistance to TCMDC-125334 but not DSM265. We found that selection of the DHODH C276Y mutant with TCMDC-125334 yielded additional genetic changes in the dhodh locus. These double mutant parasites exhibited decreased sensitivity to TCMDC-125334 and were highly resistant to DSM265. Finally, we tested whether collateral sensitivity could be exploited to suppress the emergence of resistance in the context of combination treatment by exposing wildtype parasites to both DSM265 and TCMDC-125334 simultaneously. This selected for parasites with a DHODH V532A mutation which were cross-resistant to both compounds and were as fit as the wildtype parent in vitro. The emergence of these cross-resistant, evolutionarily fit parasites highlights the mutational flexibility of the DHODH enzyme.
An imbalance of the gut microbiota, termed dysbiosis, has a substantial impact on host physiology. However, the mechanism by which host deals with gut dysbiosis to maintain fitness remains largely unknown. In Caenorhabditis elegans, Escherichia coli, which is its bacterial diet, proliferates in its intestinal lumen during aging. Here, we demonstrate that progressive intestinal proliferation of E. coli activates the transcription factor DAF-16, which is required for maintenance of longevity and organismal fitness in worms with age. DAF-16 up-regulates two lysozymes lys-7 and lys-8, thus limiting the bacterial accumulation in the gut of worms during aging. During dysbiosis, the levels of indole produced by E. coli are increased in worms. Indole is involved in the activation of DAF-16 by TRPA-1 in neurons of worms. Our finding demonstrates that indole functions as a microbial signal of gut dysbiosis to promote fitness of the host.