Mastronicola, Daniela and Giuffrè, Alessandro and Testa, Fabrizio and Mura, Antonella and Forte, Elena and Bordi, Eugenio and Pucillo, Leopoldo Paolo and Fiori, Pier Luigi and Sarti, Paolo (2011) Giardia intestinalisescapes oxidative stress by colonizing the small intestine: a molecular hypothesis. IUBMB Life, Vol. 63 (1), p. 21-25. eISSN 1521-6551. Article.
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Giardia intestinalis is the microaerophilic protozoon causing giardiasis, a common infectious intestinal disease. Giardia possesses an O2-scavenging activity likely essential for survival in the host. We report that Giardia trophozoites express the O2-detoxifying flavodiiron protein (FDP), detected by immunoblotting, and are able to reduce O2 to H2O rapidly (~3 μM O2 × min × 106 cells at 37 °C) and with high affinity (C50 = 3.4 ± 0.7 μM O2). Following a short-term (minutes) exposure to H2O2 ≥ 100 μM, the O2 consumption by the parasites is irreversibly impaired, and the FDP undergoes a degradation, prevented by the proteasome-inhibitor MG132. Instead, H2O2 does not cause degradation or inactivation of the isolated FDP. On the basis of the elevated susceptibility of Giardia to oxidative stress, we hypothesize that the parasite preferentially colonizes the small intestine since, compared with colon, it is characterized by a greater capacity for redox buffering and a lower propensity to oxidative stress.
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