Cryptosporidium parvum regulation of human epithelial cell gene expression

Mingqi Deng, Cheryl A. Lancto, Mitchell S. Abrahamsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Cryptosporidium parvum is an obligate intracellular protozoan capable of causing life-threatening diarrhoeal disease in immunocompromised individuals. Efforts to develop novel therapeutic strategies have been hampered by the lack of understanding of the pathogenesis of infection. To better understand the host response to C. parvum infection, gene expression profiles of infected human ileocecal adenocarcinoma cells were analysed by using Affymetrix oligonucleotide microarrays containing probe sets for 12,600 human genes. Statistical analysis of expression data from three independent experiments identified 223 genes whose expression was reproducibly regulated by C. parvum infection at 24 h post-inoculation (125 up-regulated and 98 down-regulated), 13 of which were validated by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis. This analysis revealed the consistent up-regulation of host heat-shock genes and genes for pro-inflammatory chemokines IL-8, RANTES, and SCYB5. Multiple genes for host actin and tubulin genes were up-regulated whereas genes for actin binding proteins were down-regulated, confirming previous observations of host cytoskeleton rearrangement in response to C. parvum infection. In addition, host genes associated with cell proliferation and apoptosis were differentially regulated, reflecting the complexity of host-parasite interaction. Together, this study demonstrated that C. parvum infection results in significant changes in host biochemical pathways and provides new insights into specific biological processes of infectious disease caused by an intracellular protozoan parasite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-82
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grants from National Institute of Health (IA AI35479 and 46397) to MSA. We thank Aaron Becker and Jill Plumb-Smith for their technical help in conducting microarray hybridisation, and Dr Mark Rutherford for critically reading the manuscript.


  • Cryptosporidium parvum
  • Epithelial cells
  • Gene expression
  • Microarray


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