bims-toxgon Biomed News
on Toxoplasma gondii metabolism
Issue of 2023‒05‒21
ten papers selected by
Lakesh Kumar
BITS Pilani

  1. Microbiol Spectr. 2023 May 18. e0010423
      Here, we report that the inhibition of the PP2A subfamily by okadaic acid results in an accumulation of polysaccharides in the acute infection stage (tachyzoites) of Toxoplasma gondii, which is a protozoan of global zoonotic importance and a model for the apicomplexan parasites. The loss of the catalytic subunit α of PP2A (ΔPP2Acα) in RHΔku80 leads to the polysaccharide accumulation phenotype in the base of tachyzoites as well as residual bodies and significantly compromises the intracellular growth in vitro and the virulence in vivo. A metabolomic analysis revealed that the accumulated polysaccharides in ΔPP2Acα are derived from interrupted glucose metabolism, which affects the production of ATP and energy homeostasis in the T. gondii knockout. The assembly of the PP2Acα holoenzyme complex involved in the amylopectin metabolism in tachyzoites is possibly not regulated by LCMT1 or PME1, and this finding contributes to the identification of the regulatory B subunit (B'/PR61). The loss of B'/PR61 results in the accumulation of polysaccharide granules in the tachyzoites as well as reduced plaque formation ability, exactly the same as ΔPP2Acα. Taken together, we have identified a PP2Acα-B'/PR61 holoenzyme complex that plays a crucial role in the carbohydrate metabolism and viability in T. gondii, and its deficiency in function remarkably suppresses the growth and virulence of this important zoonotic parasite both in vitro and in vivo. Hence, rendering the PP2Acα-B'/PR61 holoenzyme functionless should be a promising strategy for the intervention of Toxoplasma acute infection and toxoplasmosis. IMPORTANCE Toxoplasma gondii switches back and forth between acute and chronic infections, mainly in response to host immunologic status, which is characterized by flexible but specific energy metabolism. Polysaccharide granules are accumulated in the acute infection stage of T. gondii that have been exposed to a chemical inhibitor of the PP2A subfamily. The genetic depletion of the catalytic subunit α of PP2A leads to this phenotype and significantly affects the cell metabolism, energy production, and viability. Further, a regulatory B subunit PR61 is necessary for the PP2A holoenzyme to function in glucose metabolism and in the intracellular growth of T. gondii tachyzoites. A deficiency of this PP2A holoenzyme complex (PP2Acα-B'/PR61) in T. gondii knockouts results in the abnormal accumulation of polysaccharides and the disruption of energy metabolism, suppressing their growth and virulence. These findings provide novel insights into cell metabolism and identify a potential target for an intervention against a T. gondii acute infection.
    Keywords:  B′/PR61 subunit; PP2Acα; Toxoplasma gondii; amylopectin metabolism; virulence
  2. Front Pharmacol. 2023 ;14 1178070
      Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is a nucleated intracellular parasitic protozoan with a broad host selectivity. It causes toxoplasmosis in immunocompromised or immunodeficient patients. The currently available treatments for toxoplasmosis have significant side effects as well as certain limitations, and the development of vaccines remains to be explored. Animal venoms are considered to be an important source of novel antimicrobial agents. Some peptides from animal venoms have amphipathic alpha-helix structures. They inhibit the growth of pathogens by targeting membranes to produce lethal pores and cause membrane rupture. Venom molecules generally possess immunomodulatory properties and play key roles in the suppression of pathogenic organisms. Here, we summarized literatures of the last 15 years on the interaction of animal venom peptides with T. gondii and attempt to explore the mechanisms of their interaction with parasites that involve membrane and organelle damage, immune response regulation and ion homeostasis. Finally, we analyzed some limitations of venom peptides for drug therapy and some insights into their development in future studies. It is hoped that more research will be stimulated to turn attention to the medical value of animal venoms in toxoplasmosis.
    Keywords:  Toxoplasma gondii; animal venoms; perspective; potential mechanism; venom peptides
  3. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Apr 28. pii: 8047. [Epub ahead of print]24(9):
      Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a critical cofactor essential for various cellular processes. Abnormalities in NAD+ metabolism have also been associated with a number of metabolic disorders. The regulation and interconnection of NAD+ metabolic pathways are not yet completely understood. By employing an NAD+ intermediate-specific genetic system established in the model organism S. cerevisiae, we show that histone deacetylases (HDACs) Hst1 and Rpd3 link the regulation of the de novo NAD+ metabolism-mediating BNA genes with certain aspects of the phosphate (Pi)-sensing PHO pathway. Our genetic and gene expression studies suggest that the Bas1-Pho2 and Pho2-Pho4 transcription activator complexes play a role in this co-regulation. Our results suggest a model in which competition for Pho2 usage between the BNA-activating Bas1-Pho2 complex and the PHO-activating Pho2-Pho4 complex helps balance de novo activity with PHO activity in response to NAD+ or phosphate depletion. Interestingly, both the Bas1-Pho2 and Pho2-Pho4 complexes appear to also regulate the expression of the salvage-mediating PNC1 gene negatively. These results suggest a mechanism for the inverse regulation between the NAD+ salvage pathways and the de novo pathway observed in our genetic models. Our findings help provide a molecular basis for the complex interplay of two different aspects of cellular metabolism.
    Keywords:  NAD+ metabolism; gene regulation; histone deacetylase; yeast genetics
  4. EMBO J. 2023 May 15. e112333
      Enteric bacteria use up to 15% of their cellular energy for ammonium assimilation via glutamine synthetase (GS)/glutamate synthase (GOGAT) and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) in response to varying ammonium availability. However, the sensory mechanisms for effective and appropriate coordination between carbon metabolism and ammonium assimilation have not been fully elucidated. Here, we report that in Salmonella enterica, carbon metabolism coordinates the activities of GS/GDH via functionally reversible protein lysine acetylation. Glucose promotes Pat acetyltransferase-mediated acetylation and activation of adenylylated GS. Simultaneously, glucose induces GDH acetylation to inactivate the enzyme by impeding its catalytic centre, which is reversed upon GDH deacetylation by deacetylase CobB. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations indicate that adenylylation is required for acetylation-dependent activation of GS. We show that acetylation and deacetylation occur within minutes of "glucose shock" to promptly adapt to ammonium/carbon variation and finely balance glutamine/glutamate synthesis. Finally, in a mouse infection model, reduced S. enterica growth caused by the expression of adenylylation-mimetic GS is rescued by acetylation-mimicking mutations. Thus, glucose-driven acetylation integrates signals from ammonium assimilation and carbon metabolism to fine-tune bacterial growth control.
    Keywords:   Salmonella ; acetylation; ammonium assimilation; carbon metabolism; coordination
  5. Biochem Pharmacol. 2023 May 15. pii: S0006-2952(23)00183-1. [Epub ahead of print] 115592
      Ferroptosis is an autophagy-dependent cell death associated with iron accumulation and lipid peroxidation, which plays a crucial part in anticancer activity. Sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) positively regulates autophagy by phosphorylation of activated protein kinase (AMPK). However, whether SIRT3-mediated autophagy can inhibit the cystine/glutamate antiporter (system Xc-) activity by inducing the formation of a BECN1-SLC7A11 complex and consequently promote induction of ferroptosis is unknown. Using both in vitro and in vivo models, we revealed that combination treatment with erastin and TGF-β1 decreased the expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition-related markers and inhibited the invasion and metastasis of breast cancer. Furthermore, TGF-β1 promoted erastin-induced ferroptosis-related indicators in MCF-7 cells and tumor-bearing nude mouse models. Interestingly, the expression of SIRT3, p-AMPK, and autophagy-related markers were significantly elevated after co-treatment with erastin and TGF-β1, suggesting that combination treatment of erastin and TGF-β1 mediated autophagy by the SIRT3/AMPK signaling pathway. In addition, erastin-induced BECN1-SLC7A11 complexes were more abundant after co-treatment with TGF-β1. This effect was inhibited by the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine or siSIRT3, further revealing that combination treatment of erastin and TGF-β1 mediated autophagy-dependent ferroptosis by inducing the formation of BECN1-SLC7A11 complexes. Our results agreed with the concept that BECN1 directly binds to SLC7A11 to inhibit system Xc- activity. In summary, our studies confirmed that SIRT3-mediated autophagy is conducive to ferroptosis-mediated anticancer activity by inducing the formation of BECN1-SLC7A11 complexes, which is a potential therapeutic approach for treating breast cancer.
    Keywords:  Ferroptosis; SIRT3; autophagy; breast cancer; tumor metastasis
  6. Brain Sci. 2023 Apr 18. pii: 674. [Epub ahead of print]13(4):
      The subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is an important cause of death and long-term disability worldwide. As a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent deacetylase, silent information regulator 1 (Sirt1) is a multipotent molecule involved in many pathophysiological processes. A growing number of studies have demonstrated that Sirt1 activation may exert positive effects on SAHs by regulating inflammation, oxidative stress, apoptosis, autophagy, and ferroptosis. Thus, Sirt1 agonists may serve as potential therapeutic drugs for SAHs. In this review, we summarized the current state of our knowledge on the relationship between Sirt1 and SAHs and provided an updated overview of the downstream molecules of Sirt1 in SAHs.
    Keywords:  Sirt1; apoptosis; histone acetylation; inflammation; oxidative stress; subarachnoid hemorrhage
  7. Diagnostics (Basel). 2023 Apr 08. pii: 1375. [Epub ahead of print]13(8):
      Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based biosensors are being fabricated for specific detection of biomolecules or changes in the microenvironment. FRET is a non-radiative transfer of energy from an excited donor fluorophore molecule to a nearby acceptor fluorophore molecule. In a FRET-based biosensor, the donor and acceptor molecules are typically fluorescent proteins or fluorescent nanomaterials such as quantum dots (QDs) or small molecules that are engineered to be in close proximity to each other. When the biomolecule of interest is present, it can cause a change in the distance between the donor and acceptor, leading to a change in the efficiency of FRET and a corresponding change in the fluorescence intensity of the acceptor. This change in fluorescence can be used to detect and quantify the biomolecule of interest. FRET-based biosensors have a wide range of applications, including in the fields of biochemistry, cell biology, and drug discovery. This review article provides a substantial approach on the FRET-based biosensor, principle, applications such as point-of-need diagnosis, wearable, single molecular FRET (smFRET), hard water, ions, pH, tissue-based sensors, immunosensors, and aptasensor. Recent advances such as artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) are used for this type of sensor and challenges.
    Keywords:  FRET; biosensor; fluorescent QDs; fluorophore; foster radius
  8. Proteomics. 2023 May 14. e2200230
      Post-translational methylation of proteins, which occurs in arginines and lysines, modulates several biological processes at different levels of cell signaling. Recently, methylation has been demonstrated in the regulation beyond histones, for example, in the dynamics of protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions. However, the presence and role of non-histone methylation in Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, has not yet been elucidated. Here, we applied mass spectrometry-based-proteomics (LC-MS/MS) to profile the methylproteome of T. cruzi epimastigotes, describing a total of 1252 methyl sites in 824 proteins. Functional enrichment and protein-protein interaction analysis show that protein methylation impacts important biological processes of the parasite, such as translation, RNA and DNA binding, amino acid, and carbohydrate metabolism. In addition, 171 of the methylated proteins were previously reported to bear phosphorylation sites in T. cruzi, including flagellar proteins and RNA binding proteins, indicating that there may be an interplay between these different modifications in non-histone proteins. Our results show that a broad spectrum of functions is affected by methylation in T. cruzi, indicating its potential to impact important processes in the biology of the parasite and other trypanosomes.
    Keywords:  LC-MS/MS; Trypanosoma cruzi; protein methylation; proteomics
  9. Cells. 2023 05 06. pii: 1329. [Epub ahead of print]12(9):
      The mitochondrion has a unique position among other cellular organelles due to its dynamic properties and symbiotic nature, which is reflected in an active exchange of metabolites and cofactors between the rest of the intracellular compartments. The mitochondrial energy metabolism is greatly dependent on nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) as a cofactor that is essential for both the activity of respiratory and TCA cycle enzymes. The NAD level is determined by the rate of NAD synthesis, the activity of NAD-consuming enzymes, and the exchange rate between the individual subcellular compartments. In this review, we discuss the NAD synthesis pathways, the NAD degradation enzymes, and NAD subcellular localization, as well as NAD transport mechanisms with a focus on mitochondria. Finally, the effect of the pathologic depletion of mitochondrial NAD pools on mitochondrial proteins' post-translational modifications and its role in neurodegeneration will be reviewed. Understanding the physiological constraints and mechanisms of NAD maintenance and the exchange between subcellular compartments is critical given NAD's broad effects and roles in health and disease.
    Keywords:  NAD; brain; mitochondria
  10. Sci Adv. 2023 May 19. 9(20): eadg2235
      Cells produce considerable genotoxic formaldehyde from an unknown source. We carry out a genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 genetic screen in metabolically engineered HAP1 cells that are auxotrophic for formaldehyde to find this cellular source. We identify histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) as a regulator of cellular formaldehyde production. HDAC3 regulation requires deacetylase activity, and a secondary genetic screen identifies several components of mitochondrial complex I as mediators of this regulation. Metabolic profiling indicates that this unexpected mitochondrial requirement for formaldehyde detoxification is separate from energy generation. HDAC3 and complex I therefore control the abundance of a ubiquitous genotoxic metabolite.