Transient transfection and expression of foreign and endogenous genes in the intracellular stages of Trypanosoma cruzi

Prasad K. Padmanabhan, Rafael B. Polidoro, Natasha S. Barteneva, Ricardo T. Gazzinelli, Barbara A. Burleigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The capacity for rapid localization of epitope-tagged or fluorescent fusion proteins in cells is an important tool for biological discovery and functional analysis. For Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan parasite that causes human Chagas disease, visualization of ectopically-expressed proteins in the clinically-relevant mammalian stages is hindered by the necessity to first perform transfection and lengthy selection procedures in the insect vector form of the parasite. Here, we demonstrate the ability to by-pass the insect stage with the delivery of plasmid DNA to non-dividing, tissue culture trypomastigotes such that upon host cell infection, transgenes are expressed and rapidly localized in intracellular T. cruzi amastigotes. The inclusion of a sorting step prior to host cell infection by trypomastigotes greatly enriches (>90%) the number of transgene-expressing amastigotes observed in mammalian host cells. This is a significant methodological advance that has the potential to accelerate the pace of discovery in the Chagas disease field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-103
Number of pages4
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Volume198
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

Keywords

  • Fluorescence-activated cell sorting
  • Mammalian cell infection
  • Trypanosoma cruzi
  • Trypomastigote transfection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Molecular Biology

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