Purine salvage in the apicomplexan Sarcocystis neurona, and generation of hypoxanthine-xanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase-deficient clones for positive-negative selection of transgenic parasites

Sriveny Dangoudoubiyam, Zijing Zhang, Daniel K. Howe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sarcocystis neurona is an apicomplexan parasite that causes severe neurological disease in horses and marine mammals. The Apicomplexa are all obligate intracellular parasites that lack purine biosynthesis pathways and rely on the host cell for their purine requirements. Hypoxanthine-xanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HXGPRT) and adenosine kinase (AK) are key enzymes that function in two complementary purine salvage pathways in apicomplexans. Bioinformatic searches of the S. neurona genome revealed genes encoding HXGPRT, AK and all of the major purine salvage enzymes except purine nucleoside phosphorylase. Wild-type S. neurona were able to grow in the presence of mycophenolic acid (MPA) but were inhibited by 6-thioxanthine (6-TX), suggesting that the pathways involving either HXGPRT or AK are functional in this parasite. Prior work with Toxoplasma gondii demonstrated the utility of HXGPRT as a positive-negative selection marker. To enable the use of HXGPRT in S. neurona, the SnHXGPRT gene sequence was determined and a gene-targeting plasmid was transfected into S. neurona. SnHXGPRT-deficient mutants were selected with 6-TX, and single-cell clones were obtained. These SnâHXG parasites were susceptible to MPA and could be complemented using the heterologous T. gondii HXGPRT gene. In summary, S. neurona possesses both purine salvage pathways described in apicomplexans, thus allowing the use of HXGPRT as a positive-negative drug selection marker in this parasite.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1399-1405
Number of pages7
JournalParasitology
Volume141
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Apicomplexa
  • HXGPRT
  • Purine salvage
  • Sarcocystis neurona
  • Transfection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Infectious Diseases

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