Characterization of host cell-derived membrane proteins of the vacuole surrounding different intracellular forms of Trypanosoma cruzi in J774 cells: Evidence for phagocyte receptor sorting during the early stages of parasite entry

B. F. Hall, G. C. Furtado, K. A. Joiner

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31 Scopus citations


Trypanosoma cruzi, an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite, exhibits developmental regulation of virulence. Although both noninfective epimastigote and infective trypomastigote stages of T. cruzi enter phagocytic cells via the formation of a parasitophorous vacuole (PV), only the latter developmental stages survive ingestion and perpetuate the infection. To determine whether the membrane composition of PV surrounding these different stages might contribute to differences in the outcome of infection, we identified selected membrane constituents by immunofluorescence and intracellular radioiodination, and studied their incorporation into PV. Complement receptors (CR3) are incorporated preferentially into the PV membrane surrounding serum-opsonized epimastigotes but not culture-derived metacyclic trypomastigotes. FcR are not preferentially incorporated into PV membranes unless epimastigotes or culture-derived metacyclic trypomastigotes are opsonized with anti-T. cruzi antibody. PV surrounding either parasite stage contain β1 integrins and lysosomal membrane glycoproteins (1gp). These results indicate that the plasma membrane glycoproteins incorporated into the surrounding PV membrane differ depending upon the stage of parasite being internalized, and that these differences reflect, at least in part, selective ligation of cell surface receptors mediating uptake. Furthermore, they imply that although virulent trypomastigote stages may avoid host cell uptake by conventional phagocytic receptors, i.e., CR3 or FcR, they do not escape fusion with an 1gp-containing vacuole where they could still be exposed to lysosomal antimicrobial mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4313-4321
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1991
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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