Commitment to cyst formation in Giardia

Sulemana, A, Paget, Timothy and Jarroll, EL (2014) Commitment to cyst formation in Giardia. Microbiology, 160 (2). pp. 330-339. ISSN 1350-0872

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Giardia trophozoites differentiate into infectious cysts (encystment) in response to physiological stimuli; encystment is crucial for Giardia’s transmission, survival and pathogenesis. In vitro, Giardia encysts when bile sequesters lipids necessary for this lipid auxotroph, and in vivo they encyst to infect new hosts. In this study, we investigated, for the first time, commitment to encystment in Giardia using both molecular and cellular techniques. We show that after 3–6 h in inducing conditions, encysting trophozoites continue to encyst regardless of whether the inducing stimulus remains. We propose that a trophozoite’s inability to revert to a growing or dividing trophozoite represents a commitment to encystment. The onset of commitment correlated with the appearance of encystment specific vesicles (ESVs) and encystment specific protein synthesis. These observations suggest the involvement of regulatory pathways with the ability to ‘remember’
a transient signal long after its removal; a property that enables encysting trophozoites to complete the encystment process should the unfavourable triggering condition(s) change. The ability to form cysts in response to transient signals or, as we have highlighted in this paper, the
ability of a small percentage of the population to form cysts without an inducer is vital for the maintenance of infection within populations.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing
Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Medicine
Depositing User: Timothy Paget
Date Deposited: 09 May 2018 09:15
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 16:06
ORCID for Timothy Paget: ORCID iD

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