Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are found in plants and some Apicomplexan parasites but not in animals or fungi. CDPKs have been shown to play important roles in various calcium-signaling pathways such as host cell invasion, egress and protein secretion in Toxoplasma gondii. The objectives of the present study were to examine the T. gondii CDPK genes expression patterns during different development stages and stress responses.
We carried out a comprehensive expression analysis of CDPK genes based on previously published microarray datasets, and we also used real time quantitative RT-PCR to study ten T. gondii CDPK genes expression patterns under acid, alkali, high temperature and low temperature conditions.
Microarrays analysis indicated that some TgCDPK genes exhibited different expression levels in IFN-γ stimuli conditions or at different developmental stages, suggesting that CDPK genes may play different roles in these processes. Expression profiles under low temperature, high temperature, acid and alkaline indicated that most CDPK may be involved in regulating high temperature, acid and alkaline signaling pathways.
We present a genome-wide expression analysis of CDPK genes in T. gondii for the first time, and the mRNA levels change with abiotic and biotic stresses, suggesting their functional roles in these processes. These results will provide a solid basis for future functional studies of the CDPK gene family in T. gondii.