A new heterogeneous family of telomerically encoded Cryptosporidium proteins
Article first published online: 14 JUN 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Evolutionary Applications published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Volume 6, Issue 2, pages 207–217, February 2013
How to Cite
Bouzid, M., Hunter, P. R., McDonald, V., Elwin, K., Chalmers, R. M. and Tyler, K. M. (2013), A new heterogeneous family of telomerically encoded Cryptosporidium proteins. Evolutionary Applications, 6: 207–217. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-4571.2012.00277.x
- Issue published online: 18 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 14 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Received: 30 APR 2012
- European Commission for the HEALTHY WATER Project. Grant Number: FOOD-CT-2006-036306
- host parasite interactions;
- microbial biology;
- molecular evolution;
Cryptosporidiosis is predominantly caused by two closely related species of protozoan parasites the zoonotic Cryptosporidium parvum and anthroponotic Cryptosporidium hominis which diverge phenotypically in respect to host range and virulence. Using comparative genomics we identified two genes displaying overt heterogeneity between species. Although initial work suggested both were species specific, Cops-1 for C. parvum and Chos-1 for C. hominis, subsequent study identified an abridged ortholog of Cops-1 in C. hominis. Cops-1 and Chos-1 showed limited, but significant, similarity to each other and share common features: (i) telomeric location: Cops-1 is the last gene on chromosome 2, whilst Chos-1 is the first gene on chromosome 5, (ii) encode circa 50-kDa secreted proteins with isoelectric points above 10, (iii) are serine rich, and (iv) contain internal nucleotide repeats. Importantly, Cops-1 sequence contains specific SNPs with good discriminatory power useful epidemiologically. C. parvum-infected patient sera recognized a 50-kDa protein in antigen preparations of C. parvum but not C. hominis, consistent with Cops-1 being antigenic for patients. Interestingly, anti-Cops-1 monoclonal antibody (9E1) stained oocyst content and sporozoite surface of C. parvum only. This study provides a new example of protozoan telomeres as rapidly evolving contingency loci encoding putative virulence factors.