PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e60215. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060215. Epub 2013 Mar 20.
Toxoplasma gondii Triggers Phosphorylation and Nuclear Translocation of Dendritic Cell STAT1 while Simultaneously Blocking IFNγ-Induced STAT1 Transcriptional Activity
Schneider AG, Abi Abdallah DS, Butcher BA, Denkers EY.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States of America.
The protozoan Toxoplasma gondii actively modulates cytokine-induced JAK/STAT signaling pathways to facilitate survival within the host, including blocking IFNγ-mediated STAT1-dependent proinflammatory gene expression. We sought to further characterize inhibition of STAT1 signaling in infected murine dendritic cells (DC) because this cell type has not previously been examined, yet is known to serve as an early target of in vivo infection. Unexpectedly, we discovered that T. gondii infection alone induced sustained STAT1 phosphorylation and nuclear translocation in DC in a parasite strain-independent manner. Maintenance of STAT1 phosphorylation required active invasion but intracellular parasite replication was dispensable. The parasite rhoptry protein ROP16, recently shown to mediate STAT3 and STAT6 phosphorylation, was not required for STAT1 phosphorylation. In combination with IFNγ, T. gondii induced synergistic STAT1 phosphorylation and binding of aberrant STAT1-containing complexes to IFNγ consensus sequence oligonucleotides. Despite these findings, parasite infection blocked STAT1 binding to the native promoters of the IFNγ-inducible genes Irf-1 and Lrg47, along with subsequent gene expression. These results reinforce the importance of parasite-mediated blockade of IFNγ responses in dendritic cells, while simultaneously showing that T. gondii alone induces STAT1 phosphorylation.
PMID: 23527309 [PubMed - in process]