Human microsporidian pathogen Encephalitozoon intestinalis impinges on enterocyte membrane trafficking and signaling

Juan Flores, Peter M. Takvorian, Louis M. Weiss, Ann Cali, Nan Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Microsporidia are a large phylum of obligate intracellular parasites. Approximately a dozen species of microsporidia infect humans, where they are responsible for a variety of diseases and occasionally death, especially in immunocompromised individuals. To better understand the impact of microsporidia on human cells, we infected human colonic Caco2 cells with Encephalitozoon intestinalis, and showed that these enterocyte cultures can be used to recapitulate the life cycle of the parasite, including the spread of infection with infective spores. Using transmission electron microscopy, we describe this lifecycle and demonstrate nuclear, mitochondrial and microvillar alterations by this pathogen. We also analyzed the transcriptome of infected cells to reveal host cell signaling alterations upon infection. These high-resolution imaging and transcriptional profiling analysis shed light on the impact of the microsporidial infection on its primary human target cell type.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first authors of the paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of cell science
Volume134
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 5 2021

Keywords

  • Autoinfective spores
  • Brush border
  • Encephalitozoon intestinalis
  • Enterocyte
  • Host–pathogen interactions
  • Membrane trafficking
  • Microsporidia
  • Mitochondria
  • Transcriptomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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