Trichomonas Biology

The human pathogen Trichomonas vaginalis is a parasitic protist. It is a representative of the less-well studied eukaryotic supergroup Excavata that includes other protist parasites such as Leishmania and Giardia. T. vaginalis is the agent of trichomoniasis and in the US alone one in 30 women tests positive for this parasite. The disease is easily treated with metronidazole in most cases, but resistant strains are on the rise. The biology of Trichomonas is remarkable: it includes for example the biggest protist genome currently sequenced, the expression of about 30,000 protein-encoding genes and thousands of lncRNAs and pseudogenes, anaerobic hydrogenosomes, rapid morphogenesis during infection, the secretion of exosomes, the manipulation of the vaginal microbiota through phagocytosis and a rich strain-dependent diversity. With some respect this parasite offers the opportunity to serve as a model system to study certain aspects of cell and genome biology, but tackling the complex biology of T. vaginalis is also important to better understand the effects that accompany infection and direct symptoms.

Relevant Publications:

Kusdian G & Gould SB: The biology of Trichomonas vaginalis in the light of urogenital tract infection. Mol Biochem Para 198:92-99 (2015)

Woehle C, Kusdian G, Radine C, Graur D, Landan G, Gould SB: The excavate parasite Trichomonas vaginalis expresses thousands of pseudogenes and long-non-coding RNAs independent from neighbouring genes. BMC Genomics 15:906 (2014). PDF

Gould SB, Woehle C, Kusdian G, Landan G, Tachezy J, Zimorski V, Martin WF: Deep sequencing of Trichomonas vaginalis during the early infection of vaginal epithelial cells and amoeboid transition. Int J Parasitol (2013). PDF

Kusdian G, Woehle C, Martin W, Gould SB: The actin-based machinery of Trichomonas vaginalis mediates flagellate-amoeboid transition and migration across host tissue. Cell Microbiol (2013). PDF

Pereira-Brás X, Zimorski V, Bolte K, Maier UG, Martin WF, Gould SB: Knockout of the abundant Trichomonas vaginalis hydrogenosomal membrane protein TVhmp23 increases hydrogenosome size but induces no compensatory up-regulation of paralogous copies. FEBS Lett (2013). PDF

Zimorski V, Major P, Hoffmann K, Pereira-Brás X, Martin WF, Gould SB: The N-terminal sequences of four major hydrogenosomal proteins are not essential for import into hydrogenosomes of Trichomonas vaginalisJ Eukaryot Microbiol 60:89-97 (2013). PDF

Gould SB, Burstein D, Zimorski V, Kloesges T, Kiosse F, Major P, Martin W, Pupko T, Dagan T: A machine-learning approach to identify hydrogenosomal proteins in Trichomonas vaginalisEukaryot Cell 11: 217-228 (2012).PDF

Muller M, Mentel M, van Hellemond JJ, Henze K, Woehle C, Gould SB, Yu RY, van der Giezen M, Tielens AG, Martin W: Biochemistry and evolution of anaerobic energy metabolism in eukaryotes. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 76:444-495 (2012).  PDF

Responsible for the content: E-MailProf. Dr. William F. Martin