Preheim Sarah P.

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Sarah P.

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  • Article
    A new family of giardial cysteine-rich non-VSP protein genes and a novel cyst protein
    (Public Library of Science, 2006-12) Davids, Barbara J. ; Reiner, David S. ; Birkeland, Shanda R. ; Preheim, Sarah P. ; Cipriano, Michael J. ; McArthur, Andrew G. ; Gillin, Frances D.
    Since the Giardia lamblia cyst wall is necessary for survival in the environment and host infection, we tested the hypothesis that it contains proteins other than the three known cyst wall proteins. Serial analysis of gene expression during growth and encystation revealed a gene, “HCNCp” (High Cysteine Non-variant Cyst protein), that was upregulated late in encystation, and that resembled the classic Giardia variable surface proteins (VSPs) that cover the trophozoite plasmalemma. HCNCp is 13.9% cysteine, with many “CxxC” tetrapeptide motifs and a transmembrane sequence near the C-terminus. However, HCNCp has multiple “CxC” motifs rarely found in VSPs, and does not localize to the trophozoite plasmalemma. Moreover, the HCNCp C-terminus differed from the canonical VSP signature. Full-length epitope-tagged HCNCp expressed under its own promoter was upregulated during encystation with highest expression in cysts, including 42 and 21 kDa C-terminal fragments. Tagged HCNCp targeted to the nuclear envelope in trophozoites, and co-localized with cyst proteins to encystation-specific secretory vesicles during encystation. HCNCp defined a novel trafficking pathway as it localized to the wall and body of cysts, while the cyst proteins were exclusively in the wall. Unlike VSPs, HCNCp is expressed in at least five giardial strains and four WB subclones expressing different VSPs. Bioinformatics identified 60 additional large high cysteine membrane proteins (HCMp) containing ≥20 CxxC/CxC's lacking the VSP-specific C-terminal CRGKA. HCMp were absent or rare in other model or parasite genomes, except for Tetrahymena thermophila with 30. MEME analysis classified the 61 gHCMp genes into nine groups with similar internal motifs. Our data suggest that HCNCp is a novel invariant cyst protein belonging to a new HCMp family that is abundant in the Giardia genome. HCNCp and the other HCMp provide a rich source for developing parasite-specific diagnostic reagents, vaccine candidates, and subjects for further research into Giardia biology.
  • Preprint
    Protein phosphatase 2A plays a crucial role in Giardia lamblia differentiation
    ( 2006-12-06) Lauwaet, Tineke ; Davids, Barbara J. ; Torres-Escobar, Ascencion ; Birkeland, Shanda R. ; Cipriano, Michael J. ; Preheim, Sarah P. ; Palm, Daniel ; Svard, Staffan G. ; McArthur, Andrew G. ; Gillin, Frances D.
    The ability of Giardia lamblia to undergo two distinct differentiations in response to physiologic stimuli is central to its pathogenesis. The giardial cytoskeleton changes drastically during encystation and excystation. However, the signal transduction pathways mediating these transformations are poorly understood. We tested the hypothesis that PP2A, a highly conserved serine/threonine protein phosphatase, might be important in giardial differentiation. We found that in vegetatively growing trophozoites, gPP2A-C protein localizes to basal bodies/centrosomes, and to cytoskeletal structures unique to Giardia: the ventral disk, and the dense rods of the anterior, posterior-lateral, and caudal flagella. During encystation, gPP2A-C protein disappears from only the anterior flagellar dense rods. During excystation, gPP2A-C localizes to the cyst wall in excysting cysts but is not found in the wall of cysts with emerging excyzoites. Transcriptome and immunoblot analyses indicated that gPP2A-C mRNA and protein are upregulated in mature cysts and during the early stage of excystation that models passage through the host stomach. Stable expression of gPP2A-C antisense RNA did not affect vegetative growth, but strongly inhibited the formation of encystation secretory vesicles (ESV) and water-resistant cysts. Moreover, the few cysts that formed were highly defective in excystation. Thus, gPP2A-C localizes to universal cytoskeletal structures and to structures unique to Giardia. It is also important for encystation and excystation, crucial giardial transformations that entail entry into and exit from dormancy.
  • Preprint
    Transcriptome analyses of the Giardia lamblia life cycle
    ( 2010-06-04) Birkeland, Shanda R. ; Preheim, Sarah P. ; Davids, Barbara J. ; Cipriano, Michael J. ; Palm, Daniel ; Reiner, David S. ; Svard, Staffan G. ; Gillin, Frances D. ; McArthur, Andrew G.
    We quantified mRNA abundance from 10 stages in the Giardia lamblia life cycle in vitro using Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE). 163 abundant transcripts were expressed constitutively. 71 transcripts were upregulated specifically during excystation and 42 during encystation. Nonetheless, the transcriptomes of cysts and trophozoites showed major differences. SAGE detected co-expressed clusters of 284 transcripts differentially expressed in cysts and excyzoites and 287 transcripts in vegetative trophozoites and encysting cells. All clusters included known genes and pathways as well as proteins unique to Giardia or diplomonads. SAGE analysis of the Giardia life cycle identified a number of kinases, phosphatases, and DNA replication proteins involved in excystation and encystation, which could be important for examining the roles of cell signaling in giardial differentiation. Overall, these data pave the way for directed gene discovery and a better understanding of the biology of Giardia lamblia.
  • Article
    High resolution time series reveals cohesive but short-lived communities in coastal plankton
    (Nature Publishing Group, 2018-01-18) Martin Platero, Antonio Manuel ; Cleary, Brian ; Kauffman, Kathryn ; Preheim, Sarah P. ; McGillicuddy, Dennis J. ; Alm, Eric J. ; Polz, Martin F.
    Because microbial plankton in the ocean comprise diverse bacteria, algae, and protists that are subject to environmental forcing on multiple spatial and temporal scales, a fundamental open question is to what extent these organisms form ecologically cohesive communities. Here we show that although all taxa undergo large, near daily fluctuations in abundance, microbial plankton are organized into clearly defined communities whose turnover is rapid and sharp. We analyze a time series of 93 consecutive days of coastal plankton using a technique that allows inference of communities as modular units of interacting taxa by determining positive and negative correlations at different temporal frequencies. This approach shows both coordinated population expansions that demarcate community boundaries and high frequency of positive and negative associations among populations within communities. Our analysis thus highlights that the environmental variability of the coastal ocean is mirrored in sharp transitions of defined but ephemeral communities of organisms.
  • Thesis
    Ecology and population structure of Vibrionaceae in the coastal ocean
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2010-02) Preheim, Sarah P.
    Extensive genetic diversity has been discovered in the microbial world, yet mechanisms that shape and maintain this diversity remain poorly understood. This thesis investigates to what extent populations of the gamma-proteobacterial family, Vibrionaceae, are ecologically specialized by investigating the distribution across a wide range of environmental categories, such as marine invertebrates or particles in the water column. Additionally, it seeks to determine whether in situ population distributions directly result from a competitive advantage over other Vibrio populations. This was investigated by in vitro competition assays on mixtures of native, sterilized particles. Generalist populations were found to dominate the associations with marine invertebrates, consistent with a model of high migration dominated population assembly. A majority of populations occurred broadly within and among the different types of invertebrates sampled, with one population being a near perfect generalist with regard to seasons, host taxa and body regions. High variability across host individuals, consistent with a scenario of stochastic clonal expansion, was especially pronounced in crab and zooplankton samples. Specialization, demonstrated by specific and reproducible association with different particle types in the water column, is more common than specialization within invertebrate hosts. Co-existing Vibrio species show strong preferences for different types of particulate matter in the water column suggesting that competition for limited resources influences their evolution. While populations show different growth profiles on particle derived substrates, relative growth advantages of specialist populations in competition with other Vibrio populations on native particles may not be sufficient to explain observed environmental distributions. Instead, populations may gain an advantage on these particles by colonizing the living plant or zooplankton prior to death and degradation into particulate matter. In summary, although vibrios are known commensals of marine invertebrates, evidence suggests that population structure within animals is fairly weak compared to suspended particles in the water column. This highlights the importance of comparing multiple environmental categories and migration among them to investigate population structure and adaptation.