Mammalian cells infected with Toxoplasma gondii are resistant to apoptosis induced by a variety of stimuli. We have demonstrated that the host transcription factor NF-κB plays a pivotal role in the T.-gondii-mediated blockade of apoptosis because inhibition is lost in cells lacking the p65 (RelA) subunit of NF-κB (p65-/-). In the present study, we examined the effects of T. gondii infection on NF-κB activation and the expression of genes involved in the apoptotic cascade. Infection of wild-type mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) with T.-gondii-induced nuclear translocation of the p50 and p65 subunits of NF-κB as examined by immunoblotting of nuclear extracts, immunofluorescence and electrophoretic mobility shift assays. A comparison of apoptotic gene expression profiles from wild-type and p65-/- MEFs revealed distinct patterns of induction in response to T. gondii infection. In particular, the differences seen in the Bcl-2 and IAP families are consistent with the antiapoptotic responses observed in the resistant wild-type cells compared with the sensitive p65-/- fibroblasts. Consistent with NF-κB activation, T. gondii infection promoted phosphorylation of the inhibitor IκB. Interestingly, phosphorylated IκB was concentrated on the parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM), suggesting a parasite-directed event. Results from this study suggest that activation of NF-κB plays an important role in stimulation of antiapoptotic gene expression by T. gondii. Furthermore, recruitment of phosphorylated IκB to the PVM implies the presence of intrinsic factor(s) in T. gondii that might be used to manipulate the NF-κB signaling pathway in the host to elicit a survival response during infection.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of Cell Science|
|State||Published - Nov 1 2003|
- Toxoplasma gondii
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology