Eukaryot Cell. 2014 Feb 14. [Epub ahead of print]
Infection by Toxoplasma gondii specifically induces host c-Myc and the genes this pivotal transcription factor regulates
Toxoplasma gondii infection has previously been described to cause dramatic changes in the host transcriptome by manipulating key regulators including STATs, NF-κB, and microRNAs. Here, we report that Toxoplasma tachyzoites also mediate rapid and sustained induction of another pivotal regulator of host cell transcription, c-Myc. This induction is seen in cells infected with all three canonical Types of Toxoplasma but not the closely related Apicomplexan parasite, Neospora caninum. Coinfection of cells with both Toxoplasma and Neospora still results in an increase in host c-Myc, showing that c-Myc is actively upregulated by Toxoplasma infection (rather than repressed by Neospora). We further demonstrate that this upregulation may be mediated through JNK kinase and is unlikely to be a non-specific host response as heat-killed Toxoplasma parasites do not induce this increase and neither do nonviable parasites inside the host cell. Finally, we show that the induced c-Myc is active and that transcripts dependent on its function are upregulated, as predicted. Hence, c-Myc represents an additional way in which Toxoplasma tachyzoites have evolved to specifically alter host cell functions during intracellular growth.
- [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]