Parasite-mediated remodeling of the host microfilament cytoskeleton enables rapid egress of Trypanosoma cruzi following membrane rupture

Ferreira, Eden R., Bonfim-Melo, Alexis, Burleigh, Barbara A., Costales, Jaime A., Tyler, Kevin M. ORCID: and Mortara, Renato A. (2021) Parasite-mediated remodeling of the host microfilament cytoskeleton enables rapid egress of Trypanosoma cruzi following membrane rupture. mBIO, 12 (3). ISSN 2150-7511

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Chagas’ disease arises as a direct consequence of the lytic cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in the mammalian host. While invasion is well studied for this patho-gen, study of egress has been largely neglected. Here, we provide the first description of T. cruzi egress documenting a coordinated mechanism by which T. cruzi engineers its escape from host cells in which it has proliferated and which is essential for mainte-nance of infection and pathogenesis. Our results indicate that this parasite egress is a sudden event involving coordinated remodeling of host cell cytoskeleton and subsequent rupture of host cell plasma membrane. We document that host cells maintain plasma membrane integrity until immediately prior to parasite release and report the sequential transformation of the host cell’s actin cytoskeleton from normal meshwork in noninfected cells to spheroidal cages—a process initiated shortly after amastigogenesis. Quantification revealed gradual reduction in F-actin over the course of infection, and using cytoskeletal preparations and electron microscopy, we were able to observe disruption of the F-actin proximal to intracellular trypomastigotes. Finally, Western blotting experiments suggest actin degradation driven by parasite proteases, suggesting that degradation of cytoskeleton is a principal component controlling the initiation of egress. Our results provide the first description of the cellular mechanism that regulates the lytic component of the T. cruzi lytic cycle. We show graphically how it is possible to pre-serve the envelope of host cell plasma membrane during intracellular proliferation of the parasite and how, in cells packed with amastigotes, differentiation into trypomasti-gotes may trigger sudden egress.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: The authors thank the financial support of FAPESP (2016/1500-4; 2016/16918-5-; 2019/04264-9) and CAPES. Renato Mortara is the recipient of a CNPq fellowship (302068/2016-3). We thank André Aguilera and Rita Coimbra from the Electron Microscopy Center (EPM-UNIFESP) for sample processing and SEM image acquisition.
Uncontrolled Keywords: chagas’ disease,trypanosoma cruzi,amastigote,cell invasion,egress,host-parasite relationship,lytic cycle,microfilament,protozoan,stage-regulated,trypomastigote,microfilament,protozoan,egress,lytic cycle,stage-regulated,cell invasion,host-parasite relationship,trypomastigote,amastigote,virology,microbiology,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2400/2406
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Centres > Metabolic Health
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2021 00:11
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2023 02:59
DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00988-21


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