Aquaporin 2 Mutations in Trypanosoma brucei gambiense Field Isolates Correlate with Decreased Susceptibility to Pentamidine and Melarsoprol

Fabrice E. Graf, Philipp Ludin, Tanja Wenzler, Marcel Kaiser, Reto Brun, Patient Pati Pyana, Philippe Büscher, Harry P. de Koning, David Horn, Pascal Mäser (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Abstract

The predominant mechanism of drug resistance in African trypanosomes is decreased drug uptake due to loss-of-function mutations in the genes for the transporters that mediate drug import. The role of transporters as determinants of drug susceptibility is well documented from laboratory-selected Trypanosoma brucei mutants. But clinical isolates, especially of T. b. gambiense, are less amenable to experimental investigation since they do not readily grow in culture without prior adaptation. Here we analyze a selected panel of 16 T. brucei ssp. field isolates that (i) have been adapted to axenic in vitro cultivation and (ii) mostly stem from treatment-refractory cases. For each isolate, we quantify the sensitivity to melarsoprol, pentamidine, and diminazene, and sequence the genomic loci of the transporter genes TbAT1 and TbAQP2. The former encodes the well-characterized aminopurine permease P2 which transports several trypanocides including melarsoprol, pentamidine, and diminazene. We find that diminazene-resistant field isolates of T. b. brucei and T. b. rhodesiense carry the same set of point mutations in TbAT1 that was previously described from lab mutants. Aquaglyceroporin 2 has only recently been identified as a second transporter involved in melarsoprol/pentamidine cross-resistance. Here we describe two different kinds of TbAQP2 mutations found in T. b. gambiense field isolates: simple loss of TbAQP2, or loss of wild-type TbAQP2 allele combined with the formation of a novel type of TbAQP2/3 chimera. The identified mutant T. b. gambiense are 40- to 50-fold less sensitive to pentamidine and 3- to 5-times less sensitive to melarsoprol than the reference isolates. We thus demonstrate for the first time that rearrangements of the TbAQP2/TbAQP3 locus accompanied by TbAQP2 gene loss also occur in the field, and that the T. b. gambiense carrying such mutations correlate with a significantly reduced susceptibility to pentamidine and melarsoprol.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2475
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume7
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2013

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Melarsoprol
Trypanosoma brucei gambiense
Aquaporin 2
Pentamidine
Diminazene
Mutation
Trypanosoma brucei brucei
Aquaglyceroporins
Trypanocidal Agents
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Genes
Membrane Transport Proteins
Trypanosomiasis
Point Mutation
Drug Resistance
Alleles

Cite this

Graf, Fabrice E. ; Ludin, Philipp ; Wenzler, Tanja ; Kaiser, Marcel ; Brun, Reto ; Pyana, Patient Pati ; Büscher, Philippe ; de Koning, Harry P. ; Horn, David ; Mäser, Pascal. / Aquaporin 2 Mutations in Trypanosoma brucei gambiense Field Isolates Correlate with Decreased Susceptibility to Pentamidine and Melarsoprol. In: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2013 ; Vol. 7, No. 10. pp. 1-7.
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abstract = "The predominant mechanism of drug resistance in African trypanosomes is decreased drug uptake due to loss-of-function mutations in the genes for the transporters that mediate drug import. The role of transporters as determinants of drug susceptibility is well documented from laboratory-selected Trypanosoma brucei mutants. But clinical isolates, especially of T. b. gambiense, are less amenable to experimental investigation since they do not readily grow in culture without prior adaptation. Here we analyze a selected panel of 16 T. brucei ssp. field isolates that (i) have been adapted to axenic in vitro cultivation and (ii) mostly stem from treatment-refractory cases. For each isolate, we quantify the sensitivity to melarsoprol, pentamidine, and diminazene, and sequence the genomic loci of the transporter genes TbAT1 and TbAQP2. The former encodes the well-characterized aminopurine permease P2 which transports several trypanocides including melarsoprol, pentamidine, and diminazene. We find that diminazene-resistant field isolates of T. b. brucei and T. b. rhodesiense carry the same set of point mutations in TbAT1 that was previously described from lab mutants. Aquaglyceroporin 2 has only recently been identified as a second transporter involved in melarsoprol/pentamidine cross-resistance. Here we describe two different kinds of TbAQP2 mutations found in T. b. gambiense field isolates: simple loss of TbAQP2, or loss of wild-type TbAQP2 allele combined with the formation of a novel type of TbAQP2/3 chimera. The identified mutant T. b. gambiense are 40- to 50-fold less sensitive to pentamidine and 3- to 5-times less sensitive to melarsoprol than the reference isolates. We thus demonstrate for the first time that rearrangements of the TbAQP2/TbAQP3 locus accompanied by TbAQP2 gene loss also occur in the field, and that the T. b. gambiense carrying such mutations correlate with a significantly reduced susceptibility to pentamidine and melarsoprol.",
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Aquaporin 2 Mutations in Trypanosoma brucei gambiense Field Isolates Correlate with Decreased Susceptibility to Pentamidine and Melarsoprol. / Graf, Fabrice E.; Ludin, Philipp; Wenzler, Tanja; Kaiser, Marcel; Brun, Reto; Pyana, Patient Pati; Büscher, Philippe; de Koning, Harry P.; Horn, David; Mäser, Pascal (Lead / Corresponding author).

In: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol. 7, No. 10, e2475, 10.10.2013, p. 1-7.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Graf, Fabrice E.

AU - Ludin, Philipp

AU - Wenzler, Tanja

AU - Kaiser, Marcel

AU - Brun, Reto

AU - Pyana, Patient Pati

AU - Büscher, Philippe

AU - de Koning, Harry P.

AU - Horn, David

AU - Mäser, Pascal

N1 - This work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (31003A_135746). PPP received a PhD grant from the Institute of Tropical Medicine; PL received fellowships from the Emilia Guggenheim-Schnurr Foundation, the Mathieu-Stiftung, and the Freiwillige Akademische Gesellschaft Basel; DH is funded by a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award (100320/Z/12/Z). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

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N2 - The predominant mechanism of drug resistance in African trypanosomes is decreased drug uptake due to loss-of-function mutations in the genes for the transporters that mediate drug import. The role of transporters as determinants of drug susceptibility is well documented from laboratory-selected Trypanosoma brucei mutants. But clinical isolates, especially of T. b. gambiense, are less amenable to experimental investigation since they do not readily grow in culture without prior adaptation. Here we analyze a selected panel of 16 T. brucei ssp. field isolates that (i) have been adapted to axenic in vitro cultivation and (ii) mostly stem from treatment-refractory cases. For each isolate, we quantify the sensitivity to melarsoprol, pentamidine, and diminazene, and sequence the genomic loci of the transporter genes TbAT1 and TbAQP2. The former encodes the well-characterized aminopurine permease P2 which transports several trypanocides including melarsoprol, pentamidine, and diminazene. We find that diminazene-resistant field isolates of T. b. brucei and T. b. rhodesiense carry the same set of point mutations in TbAT1 that was previously described from lab mutants. Aquaglyceroporin 2 has only recently been identified as a second transporter involved in melarsoprol/pentamidine cross-resistance. Here we describe two different kinds of TbAQP2 mutations found in T. b. gambiense field isolates: simple loss of TbAQP2, or loss of wild-type TbAQP2 allele combined with the formation of a novel type of TbAQP2/3 chimera. The identified mutant T. b. gambiense are 40- to 50-fold less sensitive to pentamidine and 3- to 5-times less sensitive to melarsoprol than the reference isolates. We thus demonstrate for the first time that rearrangements of the TbAQP2/TbAQP3 locus accompanied by TbAQP2 gene loss also occur in the field, and that the T. b. gambiense carrying such mutations correlate with a significantly reduced susceptibility to pentamidine and melarsoprol.

AB - The predominant mechanism of drug resistance in African trypanosomes is decreased drug uptake due to loss-of-function mutations in the genes for the transporters that mediate drug import. The role of transporters as determinants of drug susceptibility is well documented from laboratory-selected Trypanosoma brucei mutants. But clinical isolates, especially of T. b. gambiense, are less amenable to experimental investigation since they do not readily grow in culture without prior adaptation. Here we analyze a selected panel of 16 T. brucei ssp. field isolates that (i) have been adapted to axenic in vitro cultivation and (ii) mostly stem from treatment-refractory cases. For each isolate, we quantify the sensitivity to melarsoprol, pentamidine, and diminazene, and sequence the genomic loci of the transporter genes TbAT1 and TbAQP2. The former encodes the well-characterized aminopurine permease P2 which transports several trypanocides including melarsoprol, pentamidine, and diminazene. We find that diminazene-resistant field isolates of T. b. brucei and T. b. rhodesiense carry the same set of point mutations in TbAT1 that was previously described from lab mutants. Aquaglyceroporin 2 has only recently been identified as a second transporter involved in melarsoprol/pentamidine cross-resistance. Here we describe two different kinds of TbAQP2 mutations found in T. b. gambiense field isolates: simple loss of TbAQP2, or loss of wild-type TbAQP2 allele combined with the formation of a novel type of TbAQP2/3 chimera. The identified mutant T. b. gambiense are 40- to 50-fold less sensitive to pentamidine and 3- to 5-times less sensitive to melarsoprol than the reference isolates. We thus demonstrate for the first time that rearrangements of the TbAQP2/TbAQP3 locus accompanied by TbAQP2 gene loss also occur in the field, and that the T. b. gambiense carrying such mutations correlate with a significantly reduced susceptibility to pentamidine and melarsoprol.

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