Microorganisms (May 2021)

A Single-Pass Type I Membrane Protein from the Apicomplexan Parasite <i>Cryptosporidium parvum</i> with Nanomolar Binding Affinity to Host Cell Surface

  • Tianyu Zhang,
  • Xin Gao,
  • Dongqiang Wang,
  • Jixue Zhao,
  • Nan Zhang,
  • Qiushi Li,
  • Guan Zhu,
  • Jigang Yin

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9, no. 5
p. 1015


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Cryptosporidium parvum is a globally recognized zoonotic parasite of medical and veterinary importance. This parasite mainly infects intestinal epithelial cells and causes mild to severe watery diarrhea that could be deadly in patients with weakened or defect immunity. However, its molecular interactions with hosts and pathogenesis, an important part in adaptation of parasitic lifestyle, remain poorly understood. Here we report the identification and characterization of a C. parvum T-cell immunomodulatory protein homolog (CpTIPH). CpTIPH is a 901-aa single-pass type I membrane protein encoded by cgd5_830 gene that also contains a short Vibrio, Colwellia, Bradyrhizobium and Shewanella (VCBS) repeat and relatively long integrin alpha (ITGA) N-terminus domain. Immunofluorescence assay confirmed the location of CpTIPH on the cell surface of C. parvum sporozoites. In congruence with the presence of VCBS repeat and ITGA domain, CpTIPH displayed high, nanomolar binding affinity to host cell surface (i.e., Kd(App) at 16.2 to 44.7 nM on fixed HCT-8 and CHO-K1 cells, respectively). The involvement of CpTIPH in the parasite invasion is partly supported by experiments showing that an anti-CpTIPH antibody could partially block the invasion of C. parvum sporozoites into host cells. These observations provide a strong basis for further investigation of the roles of CpTIPH in parasite-host cell interactions.