Publications by authors named "Upasna Gaur"

7 Publications

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LXR deficiency confers increased protection against visceral Leishmania infection in mice.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2010 Nov 16;4(11):e886. Epub 2010 Nov 16.

Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology and Infectious Diseases, Harbor-University of California Los Angeles Medical Center and Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Torrance, California, USA.

Background: The liver X receptors (LXRs) are a family of nuclear receptor transcription factors that are activated by oxysterols and have defined roles in both lipid metabolism and cholesterol regulation. LXRs also affect antimicrobial responses and have anti-inflammatory effects in macrophages. As mice lacking LXRs are more susceptible to infection by intracellular bacteria Listeria monocytogenes and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, we hypothesized that LXR might also influence macrophage responses to the intracellular protozoan parasite Leishmania chagasi/infantum, a causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis.

Methods And Findings: Surprisingly, both LXRα knock-out and LXRα/LXRβ double-knock-out (DKO) mice were markedly resistant to systemic L. chagasi/infantum infection compared to wild-type mice. Parasite loads in the livers and spleens of these animals were significantly lower than in wild-type mice 28 days after challenge. Bone marrow-derived macrophages from LXR-DKO mice infected with L. chagasi/infantum in vitro in the presence of IFN-γ were able to kill parasites more efficiently than wild-type macrophages. This enhanced killing by LXR-deficient macrophages correlated with higher levels of nitric oxide produced, as well as increased gene expression of IL-1β. Additionally, LXR ligands abrogated nitric oxide production in wild-type macrophages in response to infection.

Conclusions: These observations suggest that LXR-deficient mice and macrophages mount antimicrobial responses to Leishmania infection that are distinct from those mounted by wild-type mice and macrophages. Furthermore, comparison of these findings to other intracellular infection models suggests that LXR signaling pathways modulate host antimicrobial responses in a complex and pathogen-specific manner. The LXR pathway thus represents a potential therapeutic target for modulating immunity against Leishmania or other intracellular parasites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0000886DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2982826PMC
November 2010

Leishmania donovani lacking the Golgi GDP-Man transporter LPG2 exhibit attenuated virulence in mammalian hosts.

Exp Parasitol 2009 Jul 27;122(3):182-91. Epub 2009 Mar 27.

Departments of Internal Medicine, Epidemiology and Microbiology, University of Iowa and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.

Surface phosophoglycans such as lipophosphoglycan (LPG) or proteophosphoglycan (PPG) and glycosylinositol phospholipids (GIPLs) modulate essential interactions between Leishmania and mammalian macrophages. Phosphoglycan synthesis depends on the Golgi GDP-mannose transporter encoded by LPG2. LPG2-null (lpg2(-)) Leishmania major cannot establish macrophage infections or induce acute pathology, whereas lpg2(-)Leishmania mexicana retain virulence. lpg2(-)Leishmania donovani has been reported to survive poorly in cultured macrophages but in vivo survival has not been explored. Herein we discovered that, similar to lpg2(-)L. major, lpg2(-)L. donovani promastigotes exhibited diminished virulence in mice, but persisted at consistently low levels. lpg2(-)L. donovani promastigotes could not establish infection in macrophages and could not transiently inhibit phagolysosomal fusion. Furthermore, lpg2(-) promastigotes of L. major, L. donovani and L. mexicana were highly susceptible to complement-mediated lysis. We conclude that phosphoglycan assembly and expression mediated by L. donovani LPG2 are important for promastigote and amastigote virulence, unlike L. mexicana but similar to L. major.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exppara.2009.03.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2720449PMC
July 2009

Leishmania donovani ornithine decarboxylase is indispensable for parasite survival in the mammalian host.

Infect Immun 2009 Feb 8;77(2):756-63. Epub 2008 Dec 8.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon 97239-3098, USA.

Mutations within the polyamine biosynthetic pathway of Leishmania donovani, the etiological agent of visceral leishmaniasis, confer polyamine auxotrophy to the insect vector or promastigote form of the parasite. However, whether the infectious or amastigote form of the parasite requires an intact polyamine pathway has remained an open question. To address this issue, conditionally lethal Deltaodc mutants lacking ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), the rate-limiting enzyme in polyamine biosynthesis, were created by double targeted gene replacement within a virulent strain of L. donovani. ODC-deficient promastigotes and axenic amastigotes were auxotrophic for polyamines and capable of robust growth only when exogenous putrescine was supplied in the culture medium, confirming that polyamine biosynthesis is an essential nutritional pathway for L. donovani promastigotes. To assess whether the Deltaodc lesion also affected the ability of amastigotes to sustain a robust infection, macrophage and mouse infectivity experiments were performed. Parasite loads in murine macrophages infected with each of two independent Deltaodc knockout lines were decreased approximately 80% compared to their wild-type counterpart. Furthermore, alpha-difluoromethylornithine, a suicide inhibitor of ODC, inhibited growth of wild-type L. donovani amastigotes and effectively cured macrophages of parasites, thereby preventing host cell destruction. Strikingly, however, parasitemias of both Deltaodc null mutants were reduced by 6 and 3 orders of magnitude, respectively, in livers and spleens of BALB/c mice. The compromised infectivity phenotypes of the Deltaodc knockouts in both macrophages and mice were rescued by episomal complementation of the genetic lesion. These genetic and pharmacological studies strongly implicate ODC as an essential cellular determinant that is necessary for the viability and growth of both L. donovani promastigotes and amastigotes and intimate that pharmacological inhibition of ODC is a promising therapeutic paradigm for the treatment of visceral and perhaps other forms of leishmaniasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/IAI.01236-08DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2632046PMC
February 2009

An effect of parasite-encoded arginase on the outcome of murine cutaneous leishmaniasis.

J Immunol 2007 Dec;179(12):8446-53

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa, and Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Iowa City 52242, USA.

Classical activation of macrophages infected with Leishmania species results in expression and activation of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) leading to intracellular parasite killing. Macrophages can contrastingly undergo alternative activation with increased arginase activity, metabolism of arginine along the polyamine pathway, and consequent parasite survival. An active role for parasite-encoded arginase in host microbicidal responses has not previously been documented. To test the hypothesis that parasite-encoded arginase can influence macrophage responses to intracellular Leishmania, a comparative genetic approach featuring arginase-deficient mutants of L. mexicana lacking both alleles of the gene encoding arginase (Deltaarg), as well as wild-type and complemented Deltaarg controls (Deltaarg[pArg]), was implemented. The studies showed: 1) the absence of parasite arginase resulted in a significantly attenuated infection of mice (p<0.05); 2) poorer survival of Deltaarg in mouse macrophages than controls correlated with greater NO generation; 3) the difference between Deltaarg or control intracellular survival was abrogated in iNOS-deficient macrophages, suggesting iNOS activity was responsible for increased Deltaarg killing; 4) consistently, immunohistochemistry showed enhanced nitrotyrosine modifications in tissues of mice infected with Deltaarg compared with control parasites. Furthermore, 5) in the face of decreased parasite survival, lymph node cells draining cutaneous lesions of Deltaarg parasites produced more IFN-gamma and less IL-4 and IL-10 than controls. These data intimate that parasite-encoded arginase of Leishmania mexicana subverts macrophage microbicidal activity by diverting arginine away from iNOS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.179.12.8446DOI Listing
December 2007

Resveratrol inhibits proliferation, induces apoptosis, and overcomes chemoresistance through down-regulation of STAT3 and nuclear factor-kappaB-regulated antiapoptotic and cell survival gene products in human multiple myeloma cells.

Blood 2007 Mar 12;109(6):2293-302. Epub 2006 Dec 12.

Cytokine Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Whether resveratrol, a component of red grapes, berries, and peanuts, could suppress the proliferation of multiple myeloma (MM) cells by interfering with NF-kappaB and STAT3 pathways, was investigated. Resveratrol inhibited the proliferation of human multiple myeloma cell lines regardless of whether they were sensitive or resistant to the conventional chemotherapy agents. This stilbene also potentiated the apoptotic effects of bortezomib and thalidomide. Resveratrol induced apoptosis as indicated by accumulation of sub-G(1) population, increase in Bax release, and activation of caspase-3. This correlated with down-regulation of various proliferative and antiapoptotic gene products, including cyclin D1, cIAP-2, XIAP, survivin, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Bfl-1/A1, and TRAF2. In addition, resveratrol down-regulated the constitutive activation of AKT. These effects of resveratrol are mediated through suppression of constitutively active NF-kappaB through inhibition of IkappaBalpha kinase and the phosphorylation of IkappaBalpha and of p65. Resveratrol inhibited both the constitutive and the interleukin 6-induced activation of STAT3. When we examined CD138(+) plasma cells from patients with MM, resveratrol inhibited constitutive activation of both NF-kappaB and STAT3, leading to down-regulation of cell proliferation and potentiation of apoptosis induced by bortezomib and thalidomide. These mechanistic findings suggest that resveratrol may have a potential in the treatment of multiple myeloma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2006-02-003988DOI Listing
March 2007

Role of caveolae in Leishmania chagasi phagocytosis and intracellular survival in macrophages.

Cell Microbiol 2006 Jul;8(7):1106-20

Department of Microbiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.

Caveolae are membrane microdomains enriched in cholesterol, ganglioside M1 (GM1) and caveolin-1. We explored whether caveolae facilitate the entry of Leishmania chagasi into murine macrophages. Transient depletion of macrophage membrane cholesterol by 1 h exposure to methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MbetaCD) impaired the phagocytosis of non-opsonized and serum-opsonized virulent L. chagasi. In contrast, MbetaCD did not affect the phagocytosis of opsonized attenuated L. chagasi. As early as 5 min after phagocytosis, virulent L. chagasi colocalized with the caveolae markers GM1 and caveolin-1, and colocalization continued for over 48 h. We explored the kinetics of lysosome fusion. Whereas fluorescent-labelled dextran entered macrophage lysosomes by 30 min after addition, localization of L. chagasi in lysosomes was delayed for 24-48 h after phagocytosis. However, after transient depletion of cholesterol from macrophage membrane with MbetaCD, the proportion of L. chagasi-containing phagosomes that fused with lysosomes increased significantly. Furthermore, intracellular replication was impaired in parasites entering after transient cholesterol depletion, even though lipid microdomains were restored by 4 h after treatment. These observations suggest that virulent L. chagasi localize in caveolae during phagocytosis by host macrophages, and that cholesterol-containing macrophage membrane domains, such as caveolae, target parasites to a pathway that promotes delay of lysosome fusion and intracellular survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1462-5822.2006.00695.xDOI Listing
July 2006

Regulation of proliferation, survival and apoptosis by members of the TNF superfamily.

Biochem Pharmacol 2003 Oct;66(8):1403-8

Cytokine Research Laboratory, Department of Bioimmunotherapy, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Box 143, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) was first identified in 1984 as a cytokine with anti-tumor effects in vitro and in vivo. Extensive research since then has shown that there are at least 18 distinct members of the TNF super family and they exhibit 15-25% amino acid sequence homology with each other. These family members bind to distinct receptors, which are homologous in their extracellular domain. These cytokines have been implicated in a wide variety of diseases including tumorigenesis, septic shock, viral replication, bone resorption, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and other inflammatory diseases. TNF blockers have been approved for human use in treating some of these conditions in the United States and other countries. Various members of the TNF super family mediate either proliferation, survival, or apoptosis of cells. Although distinct receptors, all members share a common cell signaling pathway that mediates the activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) and mitogen-activated protein kinases (e.g. c-jun N-terminal kinase). Regulation of cell growth and activation of NF-kappaB and of c-jun N-terminal kinase by the TNF super family is mediated through sequential activation/association of a set of cell signaling proteins named TNF receptor-associated factors, Fas-associated death domain and FADD-like ICE, caspases, receptor-interacting protein, NF-kappaB-inducing kinases, and IkappaBalpha kinases. Both apoptotic and antiapoptotic signals are activated simultaneously by the same cytokine in the same cell. Together these cytokines regulate cell growth/survival/apoptosis in a complex dance of changing partners and overlapping steps.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0006-2952(03)00490-8DOI Listing
October 2003