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The Korean journal of parasitology

Afatinib Reduces STAT6 Signaling of Host ARPE-19 Cells Infected with Toxoplasma gondii.


PMID 26951976

Abstract

Specific gene expressions of host cells by spontaneous STAT6 phosphorylation are major strategy for the survival of intracellular Toxoplasma gondii against parasiticidal events through STAT1 phosphorylation by infection provoked IFN-γ. We determined the effects of small molecules of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) on the growth of T. gondii and on the relationship with STAT1 and STAT6 phosphorylation in ARPE-19 cells. We counted the number of T. gondii RH tachyzoites per parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (PVM) after treatment with TKIs at 12-hr intervals for 72 hr. The change of STAT6 phosphorylation was assessed via western blot and immunofluorescence assay. Among the tested TKIs, Afatinib (pan ErbB/EGFR inhibitor, 5 µM) inhibited 98.0% of the growth of T. gondii, which was comparable to pyrimethamine (5 µM) at 96.9% and followed by Erlotinib (ErbB1/EGFR inhibitor, 20 µM) at 33.8% and Sunitinib (PDGFR or c-Kit inhibitor, 10 µM) at 21.3%. In the early stage of the infection (2, 4, and 8 hr after T. gondii challenge), Afatinib inhibited the phosphorylation of STAT6 in western blot and immunofluorescence assay. Both JAK1 and JAK3, the upper hierarchical kinases of cytokine signaling, were strongly phosphorylated at 2 hr and then disappeared entirely after 4 hr. Some TKIs, especially the EGFR inhibitors, might play an important role in the inhibition of intracellular replication of T. gondii through the inhibition of the direct phosphorylation of STAT6 by T. gondii.

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