Knockout of liver fluke granulin, Ov-grn-1, impedes malignant transformation during chronic infection with Opisthorchis viverrini
Infection with the food-borne liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini is the principal risk factor for cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) in the Mekong Basin countries of Thailand, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia. Using a novel model of CCA, involving infection with gene-edited liver flukes in the hamster during concurrent exposure to dietary nitrosamine, we explored the role of the fluke granulin-like growth factor Ov-GRN-1 in malignancy. We derived RNA-guided gene knockout flukes (ΔOv-grn-1) using CRISPR/Cas9/gRNA materials delivered by electroporation. Genome sequencing confirmed programmed Cas9-catalyzed mutations of the targeted genes, which was accompanied by rapid depletion of transcripts and the proteins they encode. Gene-edited parasites colonized the biliary tract of hamsters and developed into adult flukes. However, less hepatobiliary tract disease manifested during chronic infection with ΔOv-grn-1 worms in comparison to hamsters infected with control gene-edited and mock-edited parasites. Specifically, immuno- and colorimetric-histochemical analysis of livers revealed markedly less periductal fibrosis surrounding the flukes and less fibrosis globally within the hepatobiliary tract during infection with ΔOv-grn-1 genotype worms, minimal biliary epithelial cell proliferation, and significantly fewer mutations of TP53 in biliary epithelial cells. Moreover, fewer hamsters developed high-grade CCA compared to controls. The clinically relevant, pathophysiological phenotype of the hepatobiliary tract confirmed a role for this secreted growth factor in malignancy and morbidity during opisthorchiasis.
Chaiyadet, Sujittra; Tangkawattana, Sirikachorn; Smout, Michael J.; Ittiprasert, Wannaporn; Mann, Victoria H.; Deenonpoe, Raksawan; Arunsan, Patpicha; Loukas, Alex; Brindley, Paul J.; and Laha, Thewarach, "Knockout of liver fluke granulin, Ov-grn-1, impedes malignant transformation during chronic infection with Opisthorchis viverrini" (2022). GW Authored Works. Paper 1599.
Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine