Document Detail

Characterization of a mitochondrion-like organelle in Cryptosporidium parvum.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15267107     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Cryptosporidium parvum is a protozoan parasite that causes widespread diarrhoeal disease in humans and other animals and is responsible for large waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis. Unlike many organisms belonging to the phylum Apicomplexa, such as Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma gondii, there is no clinically proven drug treatment against this parasite. Aspects of the basic biology of C. parvum remain poorly understood, including a detailed knowledge of key metabolic pathways, its genome organization and organellar complement. Previous studies have proposed that C. parvum lacks a relic plastid organelle, or 'apicoplast', but that it may possess a mitochondrion. Here we characterize a mitochondrion-like organelle in C. parvum by (i) ultrastructural and morphological description (ii) localization of heterologous mitochondrial chaperonin antibody probes (iii) phylogenetic analysis of genes encoding mitochondrial transport proteins (iv) identification and analysis of mitochondrion-associated gene sequences. Our descriptive morphological analysis was performed by energy-filtering transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM) of C. hominis and C. parvum. The 'mitochondrion-like' organelle was characterized by labelling the structure with a heterologous mitochondrial chaperonin probe (hsp60) both in immunoelectron microscopy (IMEM) and immunofluorescence (IMF). Phylogenetic analysis of the mitochondrial import system and housekeeping components (hsp60 and hsp70-dnaK) suggested that the C. parvum mitochondrion-like organelle is likely to have descended from a common ancestral apicomplexan mitochondrion. We also identified a partial cDNA sequence coding for an alternative oxidase (AOX) gene, a component of the electron transport chain which can act as an alternative to the terminal mitochondrial respiratory complexes III and IV, which has not yet been reported in any other member of this phylum. Degenerate primers developed to identify selected mitochondrial genes failed to identify either cytochrome oxidase subunit I, or cytochrome b. Taken together, our data aim to provide new insights into the characterization of this Cryptosporidium organelle and a logical framework for future functional investigation.
L Putignani; A Tait; H V Smith; D Horner; J Tovar; L Tetley; J M Wastling
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Parasitology     Volume:  129     ISSN:  0031-1820     ISO Abbreviation:  Parasitology     Publication Date:  2004 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-07-22     Completed Date:  2004-09-09     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401121     Medline TA:  Parasitology     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1-18     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division of Infection and Immunity, Institute of Biomedical and Life Science, Joseph Black Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Amino Acid Sequence
Base Sequence
Carrier Proteins / chemistry,  genetics
Chaperonin 60 / metabolism
Cloning, Molecular
Cryptosporidium parvum / genetics,  metabolism,  ultrastructure*
DNA, Protozoan / chemistry,  genetics
Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
Indoles / chemistry
Microscopy, Electron
Microscopy, Fluorescence
Mitochondria / metabolism,  ultrastructure*
Models, Biological
Molecular Sequence Data
Organic Chemicals
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Sequence Alignment
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Carrier Proteins; 0/Chaperonin 60; 0/DNA, Protozoan; 0/Fluorescent Dyes; 0/Indoles; 0/Organic Chemicals; 0/SYTOX Green; 47165-04-8/DAPI

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