Secreted parasite Pin1 isomerase stabilizes host PKM2 to reprogram host cell metabolism
AbstractMetabolic reprogramming is an important feature of host–pathogen interactions and a hallmark of tumorigenesis. The intracellular apicomplexa parasite Theileria induces a Warburg-like effect in host leukocytes by hijacking signaling machineries, epigenetic regulators and transcriptional programs to create a transformed cell state. The molecular mechanisms underlying host cell transformation are unclear. Here we show that a parasite-encoded prolyl-isomerase, TaPin1, stabilizes host pyruvate kinase isoform M2 (PKM2) leading to HIF-1α-dependent regulation of metabolic enzymes, glucose uptake and transformed phenotypes in parasite-infected cells. Our results provide a direct molecular link between the secreted parasite TaPin1 protein and host gene expression programs. This study demonstrates the importance of prolyl isomerization in the parasite manipulation of host metabolism.