The protein map of the protozoan parasite Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis, Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis and Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum during growth phase transition and temperature stress

Simon Ngao Mule, Joyce Silva Saad, Ismael Pretto Sauter, Livia Rosa Fernandes, Gilberto Santos de Oliveira, Daniel Quina, Fabia Tomie Tano, Deborah Brandt-Almeida, Gabriel Padrón, Beatriz Simonsen Stolf, Martin R. Larsen, Mauro Cortez, Giuseppe Palmisano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Leishmania parasites cause a spectrum of diseases termed leishmaniasis, which manifests in two main clinical forms, cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis. Leishmania promastigotes transit from proliferative exponential to quiescent stationary phases inside the insect vector, a relevant step that recapitulates early molecular events of metacyclogenesis. During the insect blood meal of the mammalian hosts, the released parasites interact initially with the skin, an event marked by temperature changes. Deep knowledge on the molecular events activated during Leishmania-host interactions in each step is crucial to develop better therapies and to understand the pathogenesis. In this study, the proteomes of Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis (La), Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis (Lb), and Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum (syn L. L. chagasi) (Lc) were analyzed using quantitative proteomics to uncover the proteome modulation in three different conditions related to growth phases and temperature shifts: 1) exponential phase (Exp); 2) stationary phase (Sta25) and; 3) stationary phase subjected to heat stress (Sta34). Functional validations were performed using orthogonal techniques, focusing on α-tubulin, gp63 and heat shock proteins (HSPs). Species-specific and condition-specific modulation highlights the plasticity of the Leishmania proteome, showing that pathways related to metabolism and cytoskeleton are significantly modulated from exponential to stationary growth phases, while protein folding, unfolded protein binding, signaling and microtubule-based movement were differentially altered during temperature shifts. This study provides an in-depth proteome analysis of three Leishmania spp., and contributes compelling evidence of the molecular alterations of these parasites in conditions mimicking the interaction of the parasites with the insect vector and vertebrate hosts. 

SIGNIFICANCE: Leishmaniasis disease manifests in two main clinical forms according to the infecting Leishmania species and host immune responses, cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis. In Brazil, cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is associated with L. braziliensis and L. amazonensis, while visceral leishmaniasis, also called kala-azar, is caused by L. infantum. Leishmania parasites remodel their proteomes during growth phase transition and changes in their mileu imposed by the host, including temperature. In this study, we performed a quantitative mass spectrometry-based proteomics to compare the proteome of three New world Leishmania species, L. amazonensis (La), L. braziliensis (Lb) and L. infantum (syn L. chagasi) (Lc) in three conditions: a) exponential phase at 25 °C (Exp); b) stationary phase at 25 °C (Sta25) and; c) stationary phase subjected to temperature stress at 34 °C (Sta34). This study provides an in-depth proteome analysis of three Leishmania spp. with varying pathophysiological outcomes, and contributes compelling evidence of the molecular alterations of these parasites in conditions mimicking the interaction of the parasites with the insect vector and vertebrate hosts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105088
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Proteomics
Volume295
Early online date17 Jan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Exponential and stationary phases
  • Leishmania
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Metacyclogenesis
  • Quantitative proteomics
  • Temperature stress

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