Comparative transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of Trichomonas vaginalis following adherence to fibronectin

Kuo Yang Huang, Po Jung Huang, Fu Man Ku, Rose Lin, John F. Alderete, Petrus Tanga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The morphological transformation of Trichomonas vaginalis from an ellipsoid form in batch culture to an adherent amoeboid form results from the contact of parasites with vaginal epithelial cells and with immobilized fibronectin (FN), a basement membrane component. This suggests host signaling of the parasite. We applied integrated transcriptomic and proteomic approaches to investigate the molecular responses of T. vaginalis upon binding to FN. A transcriptome analysis was performed by using large-scale expressed-sequence-tag (EST) sequencing. A total of 20,704 ESTs generated from batch culture (trophozoite-EST) versus FN-amoeboid trichomonad (FN-EST) cDNA libraries were analyzed. The FN-EST library revealed decreased amounts of transcripts that were of lower abundance in the trophozoite-EST library. There was a shift by FN-bound organisms to the expression of transcripts encoding essential proteins, possibly indicating the expression of genes for adaptation to the morphological changes needed for the FN-adhesive processes. In addition, we identified 43 differentially expressed proteins in the proteomes of FN-bound and unbound trichomonads. Among these proteins, cysteine peptidase, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (an FN-binding protein), and stress-related proteins were upregulated in the FN-adherent cells. Stress-related genes and proteins were highly expressed in both the transcriptome and proteome of FN-bound organisms, implying that these genes and proteins may play critical roles in the response to adherence. This is the first report of a comparative proteomic and transcriptomic analysis after the binding of T. vaginalis to FN. This approach may lead to the discovery of novel virulence genes and affirm the role of genes involved in disease pathogenesis. This knowledge will permit a greater understanding of the complex host-parasite interplay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3900-3911
Number of pages12
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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