N-acetylglucosamine supplementation fails to bypass the critical acetylation of glucosamine-6-phosphate required for Toxoplasma gondii replication and invasion

Study of the function of GNA1 in Toxoplasma gondii with detailed analysis of aminosugar pathway via LC-MS and GC-MS Abstract for this study: The cell surface of Toxoplasma gondii is rich in glycoconjugates which hold diverse and vital functions in the lytic cycle of this obligate intracellular parasite. Additionally, the cyst wall of bradyzoites, that shields the persistent form responsible for chronic infection from the immune system, is heavily glycosylated. Formation of glycoconjugates relies on activated sugar nucleotides, such as uridine diphosphate N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc). The Glucosamine-phosphate-N-acetyltransferase (GNA1) generates N-acetylglucosamine-6-phosphate critical to produce UDP-GlcNAc. Here, we demonstrate that downregulation of T. gondii GNA1 results in a severe reduction of UDP-GlcNAc and a concomitant drop in glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI), leading to impairment of the parasite’s ability to invade and replicate in the host cell. Surprisingly, attempts to rescue this defect through exogenous GlcNAc supplementation fail to completely restore these essential functions. In depth metabolomic analyses elucidate diverse causes underlying the failed rescue: utilization of GlcNAc is inefficient under glucose-replete conditions and fails to restore UDP-GlcNAc levels in GNA1-depleted parasites. In contrast, GlcNAc-supplementation under glucose-deplete conditions fully restores UDP-GlcNAc levels but fails to rescue the defects associated with GNA1 depletion. Our results underscore the essentiality of GlcN6P acetylation in governing T. gondii replication and invasion and highlight the potential of the evolutionary divergent GNA1 in Apicomplexa as a target for the development of much-needed new therapeutic strategies. Conditions of Sample Prep and Analysis are provided in the manuscript

    Organizational unit
    DSF Lab
    Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication
    Mass Spectrometry, LC-MS, GC-MS, Metabolism, Sugars
Publication date16/01/2024
Retention date13/01/2034
accessLevelPublicAccess levelPublic
licenseContract on the use of data
  • Alberione, Maria Pia
  • Kloehn, Joachim orcid
  • Gonzalez-Ruiz, Victor
  • Rudaz, Serge
  • Soldati-Favre, Dominique
  • Luis, Izquierdo
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