Microsporidia are ubiquitous obligate intracellular pathogens of animals. These parasites often infect hosts through an oral route, but little is known about the function of host intestinal proteins that facilitate microsporidia invasion. To identify such factors necessary for infection by Nematocida parisii, a natural microsporidian pathogen of Caenorhabditis elegans, we performed a forward genetic screen to identify mutant animals that have a Fitness Advantage with Nematocida (Fawn). We isolated four fawn mutants that are resistant to Nematocida infection and contain mutations in T14E8.4, which we renamed aaim-1 (Antibacterial and Aids invasion by Microsporidia). Expression of AAIM-1 in the intestine of aaim-1 animals restores N. parisii infectivity and this rescue of infectivity is dependent upon AAIM-1 secretion. N. parisii spores in aaim-1 animals are improperly oriented in the intestinal lumen, leading to reduced levels of parasite invasion. Conversely, aaim-1 mutants display both increased colonization and susceptibility to the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa and overexpression of AAIM-1 reduces P. aeruginosa colonization. Competitive fitness assays show that aaim-1 mutants are favoured in the presence of N. parisii but disadvantaged on P. aeruginosa compared to wild type animals. Together, this work demonstrates how microsporidia exploits a secreted protein to promote host invasion. Our results also suggest evolutionary trade-offs may exist to optimizing host defense against multiple classes of pathogens.
All data generated during this study have been uploaded as source data files for each figure.
- Aaron W Reinke
- Aaron W Reinke
- Emily R Troemel
- Emily R Troemel
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Sebastian Lourido, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, United States
- Received: July 23, 2021
- Preprint posted: December 13, 2021 (view preprint)
- Accepted: January 6, 2022
- Accepted Manuscript published: January 7, 2022 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: February 1, 2022 (version 2)
- Version of Record updated: February 11, 2022 (version 3)
- Version of Record updated: March 25, 2022 (version 4)
© 2022, Tamim El Jarkass 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.
African trypanosomes evade host immune clearance by antigenic variation, causing persistent infections in humans and animals. These parasites express a homogeneous surface coat of variant surface glycoproteins (VSGs). They transcribe one out of hundreds of VSG genes at a time from telomeric expression sites (ESs) and periodically change the VSG expressed by transcriptional switching or recombination. The mechanisms underlying the control of VSG switching and its developmental silencing remain elusive. We report that telomeric ES activation and silencing entail an on/off genetic switch controlled by a nuclear phosphoinositide signaling system. This system includes a nuclear phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphatase (PIP5Pase), its substrate PI(3,4,5)P3, and the repressor-activator protein 1 (RAP1). RAP1 binds to ES sequences flanking VSG genes via its DNA binding domains and represses VSG transcription. In contrast, PI(3,4,5)P3 binds to the N-terminus of RAP1 and controls its DNA binding activity. Transient inactivation of PIP5Pase results in the accumulation of nuclear PI(3,4,5)P3, which binds RAP1 and displaces it from ESs, activating transcription of silent ESs and VSG switching. The system is also required for the developmental silencing of VSG genes. The data provides a mechanism controlling reversible telomere silencing essential for the periodic switching in VSG expression and its developmental regulation.
Purinergic signaling activated by extracellular nucleotides and their derivative nucleosides trigger sophisticated signaling networks. The outcome of these pathways determine the capacity of the organism to survive under challenging conditions. Both extracellular ATP (eATP) and Adenosine (eAdo) act as primary messengers in mammals, essential for immunosuppressive responses. Despite the clear role of eATP as a plant damage-associated molecular pattern, the function of its nucleoside, eAdo, and of the eAdo/eATP balance in plant stress response remain to be fully elucidated. This is particularly relevant in the context of plant-microbe interaction, where the intruder manipulates the extracellular matrix. Here, we identify Ado as a main molecule secreted by the vascular fungus Fusarium oxysporum. We show that eAdo modulates the plant's susceptibility to fungal colonization by altering the eATP-mediated apoplastic pH homeostasis, an essential physiological player during the infection of this pathogen. Our work indicates that plant pathogens actively imbalance the apoplastic eAdo/eATP levels as a virulence mechanism.