Giardia intestinalis extracellular vesicles induce changes in gene expression in human intestinal epithelial cells in vitro

Exp Parasitol. 2024 Jul:262:108788. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2024.108788. Epub 2024 May 15.


Giardiasis is a common waterborne zoonotic disease caused by Giardia intestinalis. Upon infection, Giardia releases excretory and secretory products (ESPs) including secreted proteins (SPs) and extracellular vesicles (EVs). Although the interplay between ESPs and intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) has been previously described, the functions of EVs in these interactions and their differences from those of SPs require further exploration. In the present study, EVs and EV-depleted SPs were isolated from Giardia ESPs. Proteomic analyses of isolated SPs and EVs showed 146 and 91 proteins, respectively. Certain unique and enriched proteins have been identified in SPs and EVs. Transcriptome analysis of Caco-2 cells exposed to EVs showed 96 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), with 56 upregulated and 40 downregulated genes. Gene Ontology (GO), Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG), and Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) indicated that Caco-2 genes related to metabolic processes, the HIF-1 signaling pathway, and the cAMP signaling pathway were affected. This study provides new insights into host-parasite interactions, highlighting the potential significance of EVs on IECs during infections.

Keywords: Extracellular vesicles; Gene expression changes; Giardia intestinalis; Secreted proteins.

MeSH terms

  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / parasitology
  • Extracellular Vesicles* / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Giardia lamblia* / genetics
  • Giardia lamblia* / metabolism
  • Giardiasis / parasitology
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa* / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa* / parasitology
  • Proteomics
  • Transcriptome