Down-regulation of flavin reductase and alcohol dehydrogenase-1 (ADH1) in metronidazole-resistant isolates of Trichomonas vaginalis

David Leitsch*, Mirjana Drinić, Daniel Kolarich, Michael Duchêne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The microaerophilic parasite Trichomonas vaginalis is a causative agent of painful vaginitis or urethritis, termed trichomoniasis, and can also cause preterm delivery or stillbirth. Treatment of trichomoniasis is almost exclusively based on the nitroimidazole drugs metronidazole and tinidazole. Metronidazole resistance in T. vaginalis does occur and is often associated with treatment failure. In most cases, metronidazole-resistant isolates remain susceptible to tinidazole, but cross resistance between the two closely related drugs can be a problem. In this study we measured activities of thioredoxin reductase and flavin reductase in four metronidazole-susceptible and five metronidazole-resistant isolates. These enzyme activities had been previously found to be downregulated in T. vaginalis with high-level metronidazole resistance induced in the laboratory. Further, we aimed at identifying factors causing metronidazole resistance and compared the protein expression profiles of all nine isolates by application of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE). Thioredoxin reductase activity was nearly equal in all strains assayed but flavin reductase activity was clearly down-regulated, or even absent, in metronidazole-resistant strains. Since flavin reductase has been shown to reduce oxygen to hydrogen peroxide, its down-regulation could significantly contribute to the impairment of oxygen scavenging as reported by others for metronidazole-resistant strains. Analysis by 2DE revealed down-regulation of alcohol dehydrogenase 1 (ADH1) in strains with reduced sensitivity to metronidazole, an enzyme that could be involved in detoxification of intracellular acetaldehyde.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-183
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Volume183
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • Alcohol dehydrogenase 1
  • Flavin reductase
  • Metronidazole resistance
  • Thiordoxin reductase
  • Trichomonosis

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