Infection with the Intracellular Protozoan Parasite Theileria parva Induces Constitutively High Levels of NF-κ B in Bovine T Lymphocytes.

Ivanov, Vladimir N.; Stein, Bernd; Baumann, Ina; Dobbelaere, Dirk A. E.; Herrlich, Peter; Williams, Richard O.

The intracellular protozoan parasite Theileria parva causes a lymphoproliferative disease of T cells in cattle and uncontrolled lymphocyte proliferation in culture. We have identified and characterized in infected cells the transcriptional activator, NF-κ B, whose recognition motifs have been identified in several gene enhancers important for lymphocyte-specific gene expression. NF-κ B is normally constitutively activated in nuclear extracts derived from B cells and can be induced in T cells and nonlymphoid cells by phorbol esters. Theileria-infected lymphocytes contained constitutively high levels of activated NF-kappa B in nuclear fractions and inactive NF-κ B in cytoplasmic fractions. The inactive cytoplasmic precursor could be activated by treatment of extracts with deoxycholate, which was shown previously to dissociate NF-κ B from an inhibitor, I kappa B. Treatment of lymphocyte extracts with 3 mM GTP stimulated NF-κ B binding to its recognition motif in vitro, thereby distinguishing it from a related nuclear factor, H2-TF1. Selective killing of the parasite, which left the host cells intact, resulted in a rapid loss of NF-κ B from the nuclear fractions and a slower loss from the cytoplasmic fractions. In parasitized cells, NF-κ B could not be further stimulated by treatment with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate whereas in cells treated to remove the parasite, this compound stimulated elevated levels of NF-κ B. We propose that high levels of activated NF-κ B are maintained by the presence of the parasite in infected T cells. Similarly, we propose that the high levels of inactive cytoplasmic precursor are a result of increased synthesis due to the presence of the parasite.


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Molecular and Cellular Biology

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Academic Units
Center for Radiological Research
American Society for Microbiology
Published Here
September 14, 2015