Expression of GIMAP1, a GTPase of the immunity-associated protein family, is not up-regulated in malaria

Amy Saunders, Tracey Lamb, John Pascall, Amanda Hutchings, Carine Dion, Christine Carter, Lucy Hepburn, Geoffrey W. Butcher, Jean Langhorne

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Background. GIMAP (GTPase of the immunity-associated protein family) proteins are a family of putative GTPases believed to be regulators of cell death in lymphomyeloid cells. GIMAP1 was the first reported member of this gene family, identified as a gene up-regulated at the RNA level in the spleens of mice infected with the malarial parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi. Methods. A monoclonal antibody against mouse GIMAP1 was developed and was used to analyse the expression of the endogenous protein in tissues of normal mice and in defined sub-populations of cells prepared from lymphoid tissues using flow cytometry. It was also used to assess the expression of GIMAP1 protein after infection and/or immunization of mice with P. chabaudi. Real-time PCR analysis was employed to measure the expression of GIMAP1 for comparison with the protein level analysis. Results. GIMAP1 protein expression was detected in all lineages of lymphocytes (T, B, NK), in F4/80+splenic macrophages and in some lymphoid cell lines. Additional evidence is presented suggesting that the strong expression by mature B cells of GIMAP1 and other GIMAP genes and proteins seen in mice may be a species-dependent characteristic. Unexpectedly, no increase was found in the expression of GIMAP1 in P. chabaudi infected mice at either the mRNA or protein level, and this remained so despite applying a number of variations to the protocol. Conclusion. The model of up-regulation of GIMAP1 in response to infection/immunization with P. chabaudi is not a robustly reproducible experimental system. The GIMAP1 protein is widely expressed in lymphoid cells, with an interesting increase in expression in the later stages of B cell development. Alternative approaches will be required to define the functional role of this GTPase in immune cells.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number53
    JournalMalaria Journal
    Volume8
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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