Journal Article Transfection of Babesia bovis by Double Selection with WR99210 and Blasticidin-S and Its Application for Functional Analysis of Thioredoxin Peroxidase-1

Asada, Masahito  ,  Yahata, Kazuhide  ,  Hakimi, Hassan  ,  Yokoyama, Naoaki  ,  Igarashi, Ikuo  ,  Kaneko, Osamu  ,  Suarez, Carlos E.  ,  Kawazu, Shin-ichiro

10 ( 5 )  , p.e0125993 , 2015-05-11 , Public Library of Science
Genetic manipulation is an essential technique to analyze gene function; however, limited methods are available for Babesia bovis, a causative pathogen of the globally important cattle disease, bovine babesiosis. To date, two stable transfection systems have been developed for B. bovis, using selectable markers blasticidin-S deaminase (bsd) or human dihydrofolate reductase (hdhfr). In this work, we combine these two selectable markers in a sequential transfection system. Specifically, a parent transgenic B. bovis line which episomally expresses green fluorescent protein (GFP) and human dihydrofolate reductase (hDHFR), was transfected with a plasmid encoding a fusion protein consisting of red fluorescent protein (RFP) and blasticidin-S deaminase (BSD). Selection with WR99210 and blasticidin-S resulted in the emergence of parasites double positive for GFP and RFP. We then applied this method to complement gene function in a parasite line in which thioredoxin peroxidase-1 (Bbtpx-1) gene was knocked out using hDHFR as a selectable marker. A plasmid was constructed harboring both RFP-BSD and Bbtpx-1 expression cassettes, and transfected into a Bbtpx-1 knockout (KO) parasite. Transfectants were independently obtained by two transfection methods, episomal transfection and genome integration. Complementation of Bbtpx-1 resulted in full recovery of resistance to nitrosative stress, via the nitric oxide donor sodium nitroprusside, which was impaired in the Bbtpx-1 KO parasites. In conclusion, we developed a sequential transfection method in B. bovis and subsequently applied this technique in a gene complementation study. This method will enable broader genetic manipulation of Babesia toward enhancing our understanding of the biology of this parasite.

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