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Sample records for apicomplexan glideosome-associated proteins

  1. Rapid control of protein level in the apicomplexan Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Herm-Götz, Angelika; Agop-Nersesian, Carolina; Münter, Sylvia; Grimley, Joshua S; Wandless, Thomas J; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Meissner, Markus

    2008-01-01

    Analysis of gene function in apicomplexan parasites is limited by the absence of reverse genetic tools that allow easy and rapid modulation of protein levels. The fusion of a ligand-controlled destabilization domain (ddFKBP) to a protein of interest enables rapid and reversible protein stabilization in T. gondii. This allows an efficient functional analysis of proteins that have a dual role during host cell invasion and/or intracellular growth of the parasite. PMID:17994029

  2. Protein trafficking in apicomplexan parasites: crossing the vacuolar Rubicon.

    PubMed

    Haldar, Kasturi

    2016-08-01

    Although apicomplexans like the blood stages of Plasmodium and the actively replicating 'tachyzoite' stage of Toxoplasma infect very dissimilar host cells, recent studies suggest they share molecular commonalities amongst differences at the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (PVM) surrounding these intracellular parasites. A protein translocation export (PTEX) complex in the PVM of Plasmodium, is functionally informed by findings in Toxoplasma. Lipids play a role in trafficking to and across the PVM. Toxoplasma exploit an orthologue of a plasmodial secretory aspartyl protease but substrate cleavage yields a signal for targeting to the PVM, rather than directly to the host cell. The studies significantly advance understanding of how trafficking to and across the host-pathogen PVM boundary induces virulence and disease in different host milieu.

  3. Comparative Analysis of Apicoplast-Targeted Protein Extension Lengths in Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Seliverstov, Alexandr V.; Zverkov, Oleg A.; Istomina, Svetlana N.; Pirogov, Sergey A.; Kitsis, Philip S.

    2015-01-01

    In general, the mechanism of protein translocation through the apicoplast membrane requires a specific extension of a functionally important region of the apicoplast-targeted proteins. The corresponding signal peptides were detected in many apicomplexans but not in the majority of apicoplast-targeted proteins in Toxoplasma gondii. In T. gondii signal peptides are either much diverged or their extension region is processed, which in either case makes the situation different from other studied apicomplexans. We propose a statistic method to compare extensions of the functionally important regions of apicoplast-targeted proteins. More specifically, we provide a comparison of extension lengths of orthologous apicoplast-targeted proteins in apicomplexan parasites. We focus on results obtained for the model species T. gondii, Neospora caninum, and Plasmodium falciparum. With our method, cross species comparisons demonstrate that, in average, apicoplast-targeted protein extensions in T. gondii are 1.5-fold longer than in N. caninum and 2-fold longer than in P. falciparum. Extensions in P. falciparum less than 87 residues in size are longer than the corresponding extensions in N. caninum and, reversely, are shorter if they exceed 88 residues. PMID:26114107

  4. Structures of apicomplexan calcium-dependent protein kinases reveal mechanism of activation by calcium

    SciTech Connect

    Wernimont, Amy K; Artz, Jennifer D.; Jr, Patrick Finerty; Lin, Yu-Hui; Amani, Mehrnaz; Allali-Hassani, Abdellah; Senisterra, Guillermo; Vedadi, Masoud; Tempel, Wolfram; Mackenzie, Farrell; Chau, Irene; Lourido, Sebastian; Sibley, L. David; Hui, Raymond

    2010-09-21

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) have pivotal roles in the calcium-signaling pathway in plants, ciliates and apicomplexan parasites and comprise a calmodulin-dependent kinase (CaMK)-like kinase domain regulated by a calcium-binding domain in the C terminus. To understand this intramolecular mechanism of activation, we solved the structures of the autoinhibited (apo) and activated (calcium-bound) conformations of CDPKs from the apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum. In the apo form, the C-terminal CDPK activation domain (CAD) resembles a calmodulin protein with an unexpected long helix in the N terminus that inhibits the kinase domain in the same manner as CaMKII. Calcium binding triggers the reorganization of the CAD into a highly intricate fold, leading to its relocation around the base of the kinase domain to a site remote from the substrate binding site. This large conformational change constitutes a distinct mechanism in calcium signal-transduction pathways.

  5. Comparative genomics of the Rab protein family in Apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Langsley, Gordon; van Noort, Vera; Carret, Céline; Meissner, Markus; de Villiers, Etienne P.; Bishop, Richard; Pain, Arnab

    2008-01-01

    Rab genes encode a subgroup of small GTP-binding proteins within the ras super-family that regulate targeting and fusion of transport vesicles within the secretory and endocytic pathways. These genes are of particular interest in the protozoan phylum Apicomplexa, since a family of Rab GTPases has been described for Plasmodium and most putative secretory pathway proteins in Apicomplexa have conventional predicted signal peptides. Moreover, peptide motifs have now been identified within a large number of secreted Plasmodium proteins that direct their targeting to the red blood cell cytosol, the apicoplast, the food vacuole and Maurer's clefs; in contrast, motifs that direct proteins to secretory organelles (rhoptries, micronemes and microspheres) have yet to be defined. The nature of the vesicle in which these proteins are transported to their destinations remains unknown and morphological structures equivalent to the endoplasmic reticulum and trans-Golgi stacks typical of other eukaryotes cannot be visualised in Apicomplexa. Since Rab GTPases regulate vesicular traffic in all eukaryotes, and this traffic in intracellular parasites could regulate import of nutrient and drugs and export of antigens, host cell modulatory proteins and lactate we compare and contrast here the Rab families of Apicomplexa. PMID:18468471

  6. A Conserved Apicomplexan Microneme Protein Contributes to Toxoplasma gondii Invasion and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Huynh, My-Hang; Boulanger, Martin J.

    2014-01-01

    The obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii critically relies on host cell invasion during infection. Proteins secreted from the apical micronemes are central components for host cell recognition, invasion, egress, and virulence. Although previous work established that the sporozoite protein with an altered thrombospondin repeat (SPATR) is a micronemal protein conserved in other apicomplexan parasites, including Plasmodium, Neospora, and Eimeria, no genetic evidence of its contribution to invasion has been reported. SPATR contains a predicted epidermal growth factor domain and two thrombospondin type 1 repeats, implying a role in host cell recognition. In this study, we assess the contribution of T. gondii SPATR (TgSPATR) to T. gondii invasion by genetically ablating it and restoring its expression by genetic complementation. Δspatr parasites were ∼50% reduced in invasion compared to parental strains, a defect that was reversed in the complemented strain. In mouse virulence assays, Δspatr parasites were significantly attenuated, with ∼20% of mice surviving infection. Given the conservation of this protein among the Apicomplexa, we assessed whether the Plasmodium falciparum SPATR ortholog (PfSPATR) could complement the absence of the TgSPATR. Although PfSPATR showed correct micronemal localization, it did not reverse the invasion deficiency of Δspatr parasites, because of an apparent failure in secretion. Overall, the results suggest that TgSPATR contributes to invasion and virulence, findings that have implications for the many genera and life stages of apicomplexans that express SPATR. PMID:25092910

  7. Allosteric activation of apicomplexan calcium-dependent protein kinases

    SciTech Connect

    Ingram, Jessica R.; Knockenhauer, Kevin E.; Markus, Benedikt M.; Mandelbaum, Joseph; Ramek, Alexander; Shan, Yibing; Shaw, David E.; Schwartz, Thomas U.; Ploegh, Hidde L.; Lourido, Sebastian

    2015-08-24

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) comprise the major group of Ca2+-regulated kinases in plants and protists. It has long been assumed that CDPKs are activated, like other Ca2+-regulated kinases, by derepression of the kinase domain (KD). However, we found that removal of the autoinhibitory domain from Toxoplasma gondii CDPK1 is not sufficient for kinase activation. From a library of heavy chain-only antibody fragments (VHHs), we isolated an antibody (1B7) that binds TgCDPK1 in a conformation-dependent manner and potently inhibits it. We uncovered the molecular basis for this inhibition by solving the crystal structure of the complex and simulating, through molecular dynamics, the effects of 1B7–kinase interactions. In contrast to other Ca2+-regulated kinases, the regulatory domain of TgCDPK1 plays a dual role, inhibiting or activating the kinase in response to changes in Ca2+ concentrations. We propose that the regulatory domain of TgCDPK1 acts as a molecular splint to stabilize the otherwise inactive KD. This dependence on allosteric stabilization reveals a novel susceptibility in this important class of parasite enzymes.

  8. Allosteric activation of apicomplexan calcium-dependent protein kinases

    DOE PAGES

    Ingram, Jessica R.; Knockenhauer, Kevin E.; Markus, Benedikt M.; ...

    2015-08-24

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) comprise the major group of Ca2+-regulated kinases in plants and protists. It has long been assumed that CDPKs are activated, like other Ca2+-regulated kinases, by derepression of the kinase domain (KD). However, we found that removal of the autoinhibitory domain from Toxoplasma gondii CDPK1 is not sufficient for kinase activation. From a library of heavy chain-only antibody fragments (VHHs), we isolated an antibody (1B7) that binds TgCDPK1 in a conformation-dependent manner and potently inhibits it. We uncovered the molecular basis for this inhibition by solving the crystal structure of the complex and simulating, through molecular dynamics,more » the effects of 1B7–kinase interactions. In contrast to other Ca2+-regulated kinases, the regulatory domain of TgCDPK1 plays a dual role, inhibiting or activating the kinase in response to changes in Ca2+ concentrations. We propose that the regulatory domain of TgCDPK1 acts as a molecular splint to stabilize the otherwise inactive KD. This dependence on allosteric stabilization reveals a novel susceptibility in this important class of parasite enzymes.« less

  9. Allosteric activation of apicomplexan calcium-dependent protein kinases

    PubMed Central

    Ingram, Jessica R.; Knockenhauer, Kevin E.; Markus, Benedikt M.; Mandelbaum, Joseph; Ramek, Alexander; Shan, Yibing; Shaw, David E.; Schwartz, Thomas U.; Ploegh, Hidde L.; Lourido, Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) comprise the major group of Ca2+-regulated kinases in plants and protists. It has long been assumed that CDPKs are activated, like other Ca2+-regulated kinases, by derepression of the kinase domain (KD). However, we found that removal of the autoinhibitory domain from Toxoplasma gondii CDPK1 is not sufficient for kinase activation. From a library of heavy chain-only antibody fragments (VHHs), we isolated an antibody (1B7) that binds TgCDPK1 in a conformation-dependent manner and potently inhibits it. We uncovered the molecular basis for this inhibition by solving the crystal structure of the complex and simulating, through molecular dynamics, the effects of 1B7–kinase interactions. In contrast to other Ca2+-regulated kinases, the regulatory domain of TgCDPK1 plays a dual role, inhibiting or activating the kinase in response to changes in Ca2+ concentrations. We propose that the regulatory domain of TgCDPK1 acts as a molecular splint to stabilize the otherwise inactive KD. This dependence on allosteric stabilization reveals a novel susceptibility in this important class of parasite enzymes. PMID:26305940

  10. Structural Features of Apicomplexan Pore-Forming Proteins and Their Roles in Parasite Cell Traversal and Egress.

    PubMed

    Guerra, Alfredo J; Carruthers, Vern B

    2017-08-29

    Apicomplexan parasites cause diseases, including malaria and toxoplasmosis, in a range of hosts, including humans. These intracellular parasites utilize pore-forming proteins that disrupt host cell membranes to either traverse host cells while migrating through tissues or egress from the parasite-containing vacuole after replication. This review highlights recent insight gained from the newly available three-dimensional structures of several known or putative apicomplexan pore-forming proteins that contribute to cell traversal or egress. These new structural advances suggest that parasite pore-forming proteins use distinct mechanisms to disrupt host cell membranes at multiple steps in parasite life cycles. How proteolytic processing, secretion, environment, and the accessibility of lipid receptors regulate the membranolytic activities of such proteins is also discussed.

  11. Holding back the microfilament--structural insights into actin and the actin-monomer-binding proteins of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Olshina, Maya A; Wong, Wilson; Baum, Jake

    2012-05-01

    Parasites from the phylum Apicomplexa are responsible for several major diseases of man, including malaria and toxoplasmosis. These highly motile protozoa use a conserved actomyosin-based mode of movement to power tissue traversal and host cell invasion. The mode termed as 'gliding motility' relies on the dynamic turnover of actin, whose polymerisation state is controlled by a markedly limited number of identifiable regulators when compared with other eukaryotic cells. Recent studies of apicomplexan actin regulator structure-in particular those of the core triad of monomer-binding proteins, actin-depolymerising factor/cofilin, cyclase-associated protein/Srv2, and profilin-have provided new insights into possible mechanisms of actin regulation in parasite cells, highlighting divergent structural features and functions to regulators from other cellular systems. Furthermore, the unusual nature of apicomplexan actin itself is increasingly coming into the spotlight. Here, we review recent advances in understanding of the structure and function of actin and its regulators in apicomplexan parasites. In particular we explore the paradox between there being an abundance of unpolymerised actin, its having a seemingly increased potential to form filaments relative to vertebrate actin, and the apparent lack of visible, stable filaments in parasite cells.

  12. The origins of apicomplexan sequence innovation

    PubMed Central

    Wasmuth, James; Daub, Jennifer; Peregrín-Alvarez, José Manuel; Finney, Constance A.M.; Parkinson, John

    2009-01-01

    The Apicomplexa are a group of phylogenetically related parasitic protists that include Plasmodium, Cryptosporidium, and Toxoplasma. Together they are a major global burden on human health and economics. To meet this challenge, several international consortia have generated vast amounts of sequence data for many of these parasites. Here, we exploit these data to perform a systematic analysis of protein family and domain incidence across the phylum. A total of 87,736 protein sequences were collected from 15 apicomplexan species. These were compared with three protein databases, including the partial genome database, PartiGeneDB, which increases the breadth of taxonomic coverage. From these searches we constructed taxonomic profiles that reveal the extent of apicomplexan sequence diversity. Sequences without a significant match outside the phylum were denoted as apicomplexan specialized. These were collated into 9134 discrete protein families and placed in the context of the apicomplexan phylogeny, identifying the putative origin of each family. Most apicomplexan families were associated with an individual genus or species. Interestingly, many genera-specific innovations were associated with specialized host cell invasion and/or parasite survival processes. Contrastingly, those families reflecting more ancestral relationships were enriched in generalized housekeeping functions such as translation and transcription, which have diverged within the apicomplexan lineage. Protein domain searches revealed 192 domains not previously reported in apicomplexans together with a number of novel domain combinations. We highlight domains that may be important to parasite survival. PMID:19363216

  13. Cytoskeleton of Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Morrissette, Naomi S.; Sibley, L. David

    2002-01-01

    The Apicomplexa are a phylum of diverse obligate intracellular parasites including Plasmodium spp., the cause of malaria; Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum, opportunistic pathogens of immunocompromised individuals; and Eimeria spp. and Theileria spp., parasites of considerable agricultural importance. These protozoan parasites share distinctive morphological features, cytoskeletal organization, and modes of replication, motility, and invasion. This review summarizes our current understanding of the cytoskeletal elements, the properties of cytoskeletal proteins, and the role of the cytoskeleton in polarity, motility, invasion, and replication. We discuss the unusual properties of actin and myosin in the Apicomplexa, the highly stereotyped microtubule populations in apicomplexans, and a network of recently discovered novel intermediate filament-like elements in these parasites. PMID:11875126

  14. Transcript maturation in apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Suvorova, Elena S.; White, Michael W.

    2014-01-01

    Summary The complex life cycles of apicomplexan parasites are associated with dynamic changes of protein repertoire. In Toxoplasma gondii, global analysis of gene expression demonstrates that dynamic changes in mRNA levels unfold in a serial cascade during asexual replication and up to 50% of encoded genes are unequally expressed in development. Recent studies indicate transcription as well as mRNA processing have important roles in fulfilling the “just-in-time” delivery of proteins to parasite growth and development. The prominence of post-transcriptional mechanisms in the Apicomplexa was demonstrated by mechanistic studies of the critical RNA-binding proteins and regulatory kinases. However, it is still early in our understanding of how transcription and post-transcriptional mechanisms are balanced to produce adequate numbers of specialized forms that is required to complete the parasite life cycle. PMID:24934558

  15. The inner membrane complex sub-compartment proteins critical for replication of the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii adopt a pleckstrin homology fold.

    PubMed

    Tonkin, Michelle L; Beck, Josh R; Bradley, Peter J; Boulanger, Martin J

    2014-05-16

    Toxoplasma gondii, an apicomplexan parasite prevalent in developed nations, infects up to one-third of the human population. The success of this parasite depends on several unique structures including an inner membrane complex (IMC) that lines the interior of the plasma membrane and contains proteins important for gliding motility and replication. Of these proteins, the IMC sub-compartment proteins (ISPs) have recently been shown to play a role in asexual T. gondii daughter cell formation, yet the mechanism is unknown. Complicating mechanistic characterization of the ISPs is a lack of sequence identity with proteins of known structure or function. In support of elucidating the function of ISPs, we first determined the crystal structures of representative members TgISP1 and TgISP3 to a resolution of 2.10 and 2.32 Å, respectively. Structural analysis revealed that both ISPs adopt a pleckstrin homology fold often associated with phospholipid binding or protein-protein interactions. Substitution of basic for hydrophobic residues in the region that overlays with phospholipid binding in related pleckstrin homology domains, however, suggests that ISPs do not retain phospholipid binding activity. Consistent with this observation, biochemical assays revealed no phospholipid binding activity. Interestingly, mapping of conserved surface residues combined with crystal packing analysis indicates that TgISPs have functionally repurposed the phospholipid-binding site likely to coordinate protein partners. Recruitment of larger protein complexes may also be aided through avidity-enhanced interactions resulting from multimerization of the ISPs. Overall, we propose a model where TgISPs recruit protein partners to the IMC to ensure correct progression of daughter cell formation. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  16. Genomics of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Swapna, Lakshmipuram Seshadri; Parkinson, John

    2017-02-22

    The increasing prevalence of infections involving intracellular apicomplexan parasites such as Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, and Cryptosporidium (the causative agents of malaria, toxoplasmosis, and cryptosporidiosis, respectively) represent a significant global healthcare burden. Despite their significance, few treatments are available; a situation that is likely to deteriorate with the emergence of new resistant strains of parasites. To lay the foundation for programs of drug discovery and vaccine development, genome sequences for many of these organisms have been generated, together with large-scale expression and proteomic datasets. Comparative analyses of these datasets are beginning to identify the molecular innovations supporting both conserved processes mediating fundamental roles in parasite survival and persistence, as well as lineage-specific adaptations associated with divergent life-cycle strategies. The challenge is how best to exploit these data to derive insights into parasite virulence and identify those genes representing the most amenable targets. In this review, we outline genomic datasets currently available for apicomplexans and discuss biological insights that have emerged as a consequence of their analysis. Of particular interest are systems-based resources, focusing on areas of metabolism and host invasion that are opening up opportunities for discovering new therapeutic targets.

  17. Identification and characterization of Toxoplasma SIP, a conserved apicomplexan cytoskeleton protein involved in maintaining the shape, motility and virulence of the parasite

    PubMed Central

    Lentini, Gaelle; Kong-Hap, Marie; El Hajj, Hiba; Francia, Maria; Claudet, Cyrille; Striepen, Boris; Dubremetz, Jean-François; Lebrun, Maryse

    2015-01-01

    Summary Apicomplexa possess a complex pellicle that is composed of a plasma membrane and a closely apposed inner membrane complex (IMC) that serves as a support for the actin-myosin motor required for motility and host cell invasion. The IMC consists of longitudinal plates of flattened vesicles, fused together and lined on the cytoplasmic side by a subpellicular network of intermediate filament-like proteins. The spatial organization of the IMC has been well described by electron microscopy, but its composition and molecular organization is largely unknown. Here, we identify a novel protein of the IMC cytoskeletal network in Toxoplasma gondii, called TgSIP, and conserved among apicomplexan parasites. To finely pinpoint the localization of TgSIP, we used structured illumination super resolution microscopy and revealed that it likely decorates the transverse sutures of the plates and the basal end of the IMC. This suggests that TgSIP might contribute to the organization or physical connection among the different components of the IMC. We generated a T. gondii SIP deletion mutant and showed that parasites lacking TgSIP are significantly shorter than wild-type parasites and show defects in gliding motility, invasion and reduced infectivity in mice. PMID:25088010

  18. Members of a Novel Protein Family Containing Microneme Adhesive Repeat Domains Act as Sialic Acid-binding Lectins during Host Cell Invasion by Apicomplexan Parasites*

    PubMed Central

    Friedrich, Nikolas; Santos, Joana M.; Liu, Yan; Palma, Angelina S.; Leon, Ester; Saouros, Savvas; Kiso, Makoto; Blackman, Michael J.; Matthews, Stephen; Feizi, Ten; Soldati-Favre, Dominique

    2010-01-01

    Numerous intracellular pathogens exploit cell surface glycoconjugates for host cell recognition and entry. Unlike bacteria and viruses, Toxoplasma gondii and other parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa actively invade host cells, and this process critically depends on adhesins (microneme proteins) released onto the parasite surface from intracellular organelles called micronemes (MIC). The microneme adhesive repeat (MAR) domain of T. gondii MIC1 (TgMIC1) recognizes sialic acid (Sia), a key determinant on the host cell surface for invasion by this pathogen. By complementation and invasion assays, we demonstrate that TgMIC1 is one important player in Sia-dependent invasion and that another novel Sia-binding lectin, designated TgMIC13, is also involved. Using BLAST searches, we identify a family of MAR-containing proteins in enteroparasitic coccidians, a subclass of apicomplexans, including T. gondii, suggesting that all these parasites exploit sialylated glycoconjugates on host cells as determinants for enteric invasion. Furthermore, this protein family might provide a basis for the broad host cell range observed for coccidians that form tissue cysts during chronic infection. Carbohydrate microarray analyses, corroborated by structural considerations, show that TgMIC13, TgMIC1, and its homologue Neospora caninum MIC1 (NcMIC1) share a preference for α2–3- over α2–6-linked sialyl-N-acetyllactosamine sequences. However, the three lectins also display differences in binding preferences. Intense binding of TgMIC13 to α2–9-linked disialyl sequence reported on embryonal cells and relatively strong binding to 4-O-acetylated-Sia found on gut epithelium and binding of NcMIC1 to 6′sulfo-sialyl Lewisx might have implications for tissue tropism. PMID:19901027

  19. Jumbled Genomes: Missing Apicomplexan Synteny

    PubMed Central

    DeBarry, Jeremy D.; Kissinger, Jessica C.

    2011-01-01

    Whole-genome comparisons provide insight into genome evolution by informing on gene repertoires, gene gains/losses, and genome organization. Most of our knowledge about eukaryotic genome evolution is derived from studies of multicellular model organisms. The eukaryotic phylum Apicomplexa contains obligate intracellular protist parasites responsible for a wide range of human and veterinary diseases (e.g., malaria, toxoplasmosis, and theileriosis). We have developed an in silico protein-encoding gene based pipeline to investigate synteny across 12 apicomplexan species from six genera. Genome rearrangement between lineages is extensive. Syntenic regions (conserved gene content and order) are rare between lineages and appear to be totally absent across the phylum, with no group of three genes found on the same chromosome and in the same order within 25 kb up- and downstream of any orthologous genes. Conserved synteny between major lineages is limited to small regions in Plasmodium and Theileria/Babesia species, and within these conserved regions, there are a number of proteins putatively targeted to organelles. The observed overall lack of synteny is surprising considering the divergence times and the apparent absence of transposable elements (TEs) within any of the species examined. TEs are ubiquitous in all other groups of eukaryotes studied to date and have been shown to be involved in genomic rearrangements. It appears that there are different criteria governing genome evolution within the Apicomplexa relative to other well-studied unicellular and multicellular eukaryotes. PMID:21504890

  20. Isoprenoid metabolism in apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Imlay, Leah; Odom, Audrey R.

    2014-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites include some of the most prevalent and deadly human pathogens. Novel antiparasitic drugs are urgently needed. Synthesis and metabolism of isoprenoids may present multiple targets for therapeutic intervention. The apicoplast-localized methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway for isoprenoid precursor biosynthesis is distinct from the mevalonate (MVA) pathway used by the mammalian host, and this pathway is apparently essential in most Apicomplexa. In this review, we discuss the current field of research on production and metabolic fates of isoprenoids in apicomplexan parasites, including the acquisition of host isoprenoid precursors and downstream products. We describe recent work identifying the first MEP pathway regulator in apicomplexan parasites, and introduce several promising areas for ongoing research into this well-validated antiparasitic target. PMID:25893156

  1. Unique apicomplexan IMC sub-compartment proteins are early markers for apical polarity in the malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Poulin, Benoit; Patzewitz, Eva-Maria; Brady, Declan; Silvie, Olivier; Wright, Megan H.; Ferguson, David J. P.; Wall, Richard J.; Whipple, Sarah; Guttery, David S.; Tate, Edward W.; Wickstead, Bill; Holder, Anthony A.; Tewari, Rita

    2013-01-01

    Summary The phylum Apicomplexa comprises over 5000 intracellular protozoan parasites, including Plasmodium and Toxoplasma, that are clinically important pathogens affecting humans and livestock. Malaria parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium possess a pellicle comprised of a plasmalemma and inner membrane complex (IMC), which is implicated in parasite motility and invasion. Using live cell imaging and reverse genetics in the rodent malaria model P. berghei, we localise two unique IMC sub-compartment proteins (ISPs) and examine their role in defining apical polarity during zygote (ookinete) development. We show that these proteins localise to the anterior apical end of the parasite where IMC organisation is initiated, and are expressed at all developmental stages, especially those that are invasive. Both ISP proteins are N-myristoylated, phosphorylated and membrane-bound. Gene disruption studies suggest that ISP1 is likely essential for parasite development, whereas ISP3 is not. However, an absence of ISP3 alters the apical localisation of ISP1 in all invasive stages including ookinetes and sporozoites, suggesting a coordinated function for these proteins in the organisation of apical polarity in the parasite. PMID:24244852

  2. Evolution of apicomplexan secretory organelles

    PubMed Central

    Gubbels, Marc-Jan; Duraisingh, Manoj T.

    2013-01-01

    The alveolate superphylum includes many free-living and parasitic organisms, which are united by the presence of alveolar sacs lying proximal to the plasma membrane, providing cell structure. All species comprising the apicomplexan group of alveolates are parasites and have adapted to the unique requirements of the parasitic lifestyle. Here the evolution of apicomplexan secretory organelles that are involved in the critical process of egress from one cell and invasion of another is explored. The variations within the Apicomplexa and how these relate to species-specific biology will be discussed. In addition, recent studies have identified specific calcium-sensitive molecules that coordinate the various events and regulate the release of these secretory organelles within apicomplexan parasites. Some aspects of this machinery are conserved outside the Apicomplexa, and are beginning to elucidate the conserved nature of the machinery. Briefly, the relationship of this secretion machinery within the Apicomplexa will be discussed, compared with free-living and predatory alveolates, and how these might have evolved from a common ancestor. PMID:23068912

  3. Recent advances in understanding apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Seeber, Frank; Steinfelder, Svenja

    2016-01-01

    Intracellular single-celled parasites belonging to the large phylum Apicomplexa are amongst the most prevalent and morbidity-causing pathogens worldwide. In this review, we highlight a few of the many recent advances in the field that helped to clarify some important aspects of their fascinating biology and interaction with their hosts. Plasmodium falciparum causes malaria, and thus the recent emergence of resistance against the currently used drug combinations based on artemisinin has been of major interest for the scientific community. It resulted in great advances in understanding the resistance mechanisms that can hopefully be translated into altered future drug regimens. Apicomplexa are also experts in host cell manipulation and immune evasion. Toxoplasma gondii and Theileria sp., besides Plasmodium sp., are species that secrete effector molecules into the host cell to reach this aim. The underlying molecular mechanisms for how these proteins are trafficked to the host cytosol ( T. gondii and Plasmodium) and how a secreted protein can immortalize the host cell ( Theileria sp.) have been illuminated recently. Moreover, how such secreted proteins affect the host innate immune responses against T. gondii and the liver stages of Plasmodium has also been unraveled at the genetic and molecular level, leading to unexpected insights. Methodological advances in metabolomics and molecular biology have been instrumental to solving some fundamental puzzles of mitochondrial carbon metabolism in Apicomplexa. Also, for the first time, the generation of stably transfected Cryptosporidium parasites was achieved, which opens up a wide variety of experimental possibilities for this understudied, important apicomplexan pathogen. PMID:27347391

  4. Cationic amino acid transporters play key roles in the survival and transmission of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Rajendran, Esther; Hapuarachchi, Sanduni V; Miller, Catherine M; Fairweather, Stephen J; Cai, Yeping; Smith, Nicholas C; Cockburn, Ian A; Bröer, Stefan; Kirk, Kiaran; van Dooren, Giel G

    2017-02-16

    Apicomplexans are obligate intracellular parasites that scavenge essential nutrients from their hosts via transporter proteins on their plasma membrane. The identities of the transporters that mediate amino acid uptake into apicomplexans are unknown. Here we demonstrate that members of an apicomplexan-specific protein family-the Novel Putative Transporters (NPTs)-play key roles in the uptake of cationic amino acids. We show that an NPT from Toxoplasma gondii (TgNPT1) is a selective arginine transporter that is essential for parasite survival and virulence. We also demonstrate that a homologue of TgNPT1 from the malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei (PbNPT1), shown previously to be essential for the sexual gametocyte stage of the parasite, is a cationic amino acid transporter. This reveals a role for cationic amino acid scavenging in gametocyte biology. Our study demonstrates a critical role for amino acid transporters in the survival, virulence and life cycle progression of these parasites.

  5. Cationic amino acid transporters play key roles in the survival and transmission of apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Rajendran, Esther; Hapuarachchi, Sanduni V.; Miller, Catherine M.; Fairweather, Stephen J.; Cai, Yeping; Smith, Nicholas C.; Cockburn, Ian A.; Bröer, Stefan; Kirk, Kiaran; van Dooren, Giel G.

    2017-01-01

    Apicomplexans are obligate intracellular parasites that scavenge essential nutrients from their hosts via transporter proteins on their plasma membrane. The identities of the transporters that mediate amino acid uptake into apicomplexans are unknown. Here we demonstrate that members of an apicomplexan-specific protein family—the Novel Putative Transporters (NPTs)—play key roles in the uptake of cationic amino acids. We show that an NPT from Toxoplasma gondii (TgNPT1) is a selective arginine transporter that is essential for parasite survival and virulence. We also demonstrate that a homologue of TgNPT1 from the malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei (PbNPT1), shown previously to be essential for the sexual gametocyte stage of the parasite, is a cationic amino acid transporter. This reveals a role for cationic amino acid scavenging in gametocyte biology. Our study demonstrates a critical role for amino acid transporters in the survival, virulence and life cycle progression of these parasites. PMID:28205520

  6. Oxidative Stress Control by Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Izui, Natália M.; Schettert, Isolmar; Liebau, Eva

    2015-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites cause infectious diseases that are either a severe public health problem or an economic burden. In this paper we will shed light on how oxidative stress can influence the host-pathogen relationship by focusing on three major diseases: babesiosis, coccidiosis, and toxoplasmosis. PMID:25722976

  7. In silico analysis of the cyclophilin repertoire of apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Krücken, Jürgen; Greif, Gisela; von Samson-Himmelstjerna, Georg

    2009-01-01

    Background Cyclophilins (Cyps) are peptidyl cis/trans isomerases implicated in diverse processes such as protein folding, signal transduction, and RNA processing. They are also candidate drug targets, in particular for the immunosuppressant cyclosporine A. In addition, cyclosporine is known to exhibit anti-parasitic effects on a wide range of organisms including several apicomplexa. In order to obtain new non-immunosuppressive drugs targeting apicomplexan cyclophilins, a profound knowledge of the cyclophilin repertoire of this phylum would be necessary. Results BLAST and maximum likelihood analyses identified 16 different cyclophilin subfamilies within the genomes of Cryptosporidium hominis, Toxoplasma gondii, Plasmodium falciparum, Theileria annulata, Theileria parva, and Babesia bovis. In addition to good statistical support from the phylogenetic analysis, these subfamilies are also confirmed by comparison of cyclophilin domain architecture. Within an individual genome, the number of different Cyp genes that could be deduced varies between 7–9 for Cryptosporidia and 14 for T. gondii. Many of the putative apicomplexan cyclophilins are predicted to be nuclear proteins, most of them presumably involved in RNA processing. Conclusion The genomes of apicomplexa harbor a cyclophilin repertoire that is at least as complex as that of most fungi. The identification of Cyp subfamilies that are specific for lower eukaryotes, apicomplexa, or even the genus Plasmodium is of particular interest since these subfamilies are not present in host cells and might therefore represent attractive drug targets. PMID:19555495

  8. Reduced parasite motility and micronemal protein secretion by a p38 MAPK inhibitor leads to a severe impairment of cell invasion by the apicomplexan parasite Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Bussière, Françoise I; Brossier, Fabien; Le Vern, Yves; Niepceron, Alisson; Silvestre, Anne; de Sablet, Thibaut; Lacroix-Lamandé, Sonia; Laurent, Fabrice

    2015-01-01

    E. tenella infection is associated with a severe intestinal disease leading to high economic losses in poultry industry. Mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are implicated in early response to infection and are divided in three pathways: p38, extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Our objective was to determine the importance of these kinases on cell invasion by E. tenella. We evaluated the effect of specific inhibitors (ERK: PD98059, JNKII: SP600125, p38 MAPK: SB203580) on the invasion of epithelial cells. Incubation of SP600125 and SB203580 with epithelial cells and parasites significantly inhibited cell invasion with the highest degree of inhibition (90%) for SB203580. Silencing of the host p38α MAPK expression by siRNA led to only 20% decrease in cell invasion. In addition, when mammalian epithelial cells were pre-treated with SB203580, and washed prior infection, a 30% decrease in cell invasion was observed. This decrease was overcome when a p38 MAPK activator, anisomycin was added during infection. This suggests an active but limited role of the host p38 MAPK in this process. We next determined whether SB203580 has a direct effect on the parasite. Indeed, parasite motility and secretion of micronemal proteins (EtMIC1, 2, 3 and 5) that are involved in cell invasion were both decreased in the presence of the inhibitor. After chasing the inhibitor, parasite motility and secretion of micronemal proteins were restored and subsequently cell invasion. SB203580 inhibits cell invasion by acting partly on the host cell and mainly on the parasite.

  9. Reduced Parasite Motility and Micronemal Protein Secretion by a p38 MAPK Inhibitor Leads to a Severe Impairment of Cell Invasion by the Apicomplexan Parasite Eimeria tenella

    PubMed Central

    Bussière, Françoise I.; Le Vern, Yves; Niepceron, Alisson; Silvestre, Anne; de Sablet, Thibaut; Lacroix-Lamandé, Sonia; Laurent, Fabrice

    2015-01-01

    E. tenella infection is associated with a severe intestinal disease leading to high economic losses in poultry industry. Mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are implicated in early response to infection and are divided in three pathways: p38, extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Our objective was to determine the importance of these kinases on cell invasion by E. tenella. We evaluated the effect of specific inhibitors (ERK: PD98059, JNKII: SP600125, p38 MAPK: SB203580) on the invasion of epithelial cells. Incubation of SP600125 and SB203580 with epithelial cells and parasites significantly inhibited cell invasion with the highest degree of inhibition (90%) for SB203580. Silencing of the host p38α MAPK expression by siRNA led to only 20% decrease in cell invasion. In addition, when mammalian epithelial cells were pre-treated with SB203580, and washed prior infection, a 30% decrease in cell invasion was observed. This decrease was overcome when a p38 MAPK activator, anisomycin was added during infection. This suggests an active but limited role of the host p38 MAPK in this process. We next determined whether SB203580 has a direct effect on the parasite. Indeed, parasite motility and secretion of micronemal proteins (EtMIC1, 2, 3 and 5) that are involved in cell invasion were both decreased in the presence of the inhibitor. After chasing the inhibitor, parasite motility and secretion of micronemal proteins were restored and subsequently cell invasion. SB203580 inhibits cell invasion by acting partly on the host cell and mainly on the parasite. PMID:25689363

  10. New roles for perforins and proteases in apicomplexan egress.

    PubMed

    Roiko, Marijo S; Carruthers, Vern B

    2009-10-01

    Egress is a pivotal step in the life cycle of intracellular pathogens initiating the transition from an expiring host cell to a fresh target cell. While much attention has been focused on understanding cell invasion by intracellular pathogens, recent work is providing a new appreciation of mechanisms and therapeutic potential of microbial egress. This review highlights recent insight into cell egress by apicomplexan parasites and emerging contributions of membranolytic and proteolytic secretory products, along with host proteases. New findings suggest that Toxoplasma gondii secretes a pore-forming protein, TgPLP1, during egress that facilitates parasite escape from the cell by perforating the parasitophorous membrane. Also, in a cascade of proteolytic events, Plasmodium falciparum late-stage schizonts activate and secrete a subtilisin, PfSUB1, which processes enigmatic putative proteases called serine-repeat antigens that contribute to merozoite egress. A new report also suggests that calcium-activated host proteases called calpains aid parasite exit, possibly by acting upon the host cytoskeleton. Together these discoveries reveal important new molecular players involved in the principal steps of egress by apicomplexans.

  11. A Genome-Wide CRISPR Screen in Toxoplasma Identifies Essential Apicomplexan Genes

    PubMed Central

    Sidik, Saima M.; Huet, Diego; Ganesan, Suresh M.; Huynh, My-Hang; Wang, Tim; Nasamu, Armiyaw S.; Thiru, Prathapan; Saeij, Jeroen P.J.; Carruthers, Vern B.; Niles, Jacquin C.; Lourido, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Apicomplexan parasites are leading causes of human and livestock diseases—like malaria and toxoplasmosis—yet most of their genes remain uncharacterized. Here, we present the first genome-wide genetic screen of an apicomplexan. We adapted CRISPR/Cas9 to assess the contribution of each gene from the human parasite Toxoplasma gondii during infection of fibroblasts. Our analysis defines ~200 previously uncharacterized, fitness-conferring genes unique to the phylum, from which 16 were investigated, revealing essential functions during infection of human cells. Secondary screens identify as an invasion factor the claudin-like apicomplexan microneme protein (CLAMP), which resembles mammalian tight-junction proteins and localizes to secretory organelles, making it critical to the initiation of infection. CLAMP is present throughout sequenced apicomplexan genomes, and is essential during the asexual stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. These results provide broad-based functional information on T. gondii genes and will facilitate future approaches to expand the horizon of antiparasitic interventions. PMID:27594426

  12. A Genome-wide CRISPR Screen in Toxoplasma Identifies Essential Apicomplexan Genes.

    PubMed

    Sidik, Saima M; Huet, Diego; Ganesan, Suresh M; Huynh, My-Hang; Wang, Tim; Nasamu, Armiyaw S; Thiru, Prathapan; Saeij, Jeroen P J; Carruthers, Vern B; Niles, Jacquin C; Lourido, Sebastian

    2016-09-08

    Apicomplexan parasites are leading causes of human and livestock diseases such as malaria and toxoplasmosis, yet most of their genes remain uncharacterized. Here, we present the first genome-wide genetic screen of an apicomplexan. We adapted CRISPR/Cas9 to assess the contribution of each gene from the parasite Toxoplasma gondii during infection of human fibroblasts. Our analysis defines ∼200 previously uncharacterized, fitness-conferring genes unique to the phylum, from which 16 were investigated, revealing essential functions during infection of human cells. Secondary screens identify as an invasion factor the claudin-like apicomplexan microneme protein (CLAMP), which resembles mammalian tight-junction proteins and localizes to secretory organelles, making it critical to the initiation of infection. CLAMP is present throughout sequenced apicomplexan genomes and is essential during the asexual stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. These results provide broad-based functional information on T. gondii genes and will facilitate future approaches to expand the horizon of antiparasitic interventions.

  13. Apicomplexans pulling the strings: manipulation of the host cell cytoskeleton dynamics.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Rita; Soares, Helena; Hemphill, Andrew; Leitão, Alexandre

    2016-07-01

    Invasive stages of apicomplexan parasites require a host cell to survive, proliferate and advance to the next life cycle stage. Once invasion is achieved, apicomplexans interact closely with the host cell cytoskeleton, but in many cases the different species have evolved distinct mechanisms and pathways to modulate the structural organization of cytoskeletal filaments. The host cell cytoskeleton is a complex network, largely, but not exclusively, composed of microtubules, actin microfilaments and intermediate filaments, all of which are modulated by associated proteins, and it is involved in diverse functions including maintenance of cell morphology and mechanical support, migration, signal transduction, nutrient uptake, membrane and organelle trafficking and cell division. The ability of apicomplexans to modulate the cytoskeleton to their own advantage is clearly beneficial. We here review different aspects of the interactions of apicomplexans with the three main cytoskeletal filament types, provide information on the currently known parasite effector proteins and respective host cell targets involved, and how these interactions modulate the host cell physiology. Some of these findings could provide novel targets that could be exploited for the development of preventive and/or therapeutic strategies.

  14. The calcium signaling toolkit of the Apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium spp.

    PubMed

    Lourido, Sebastian; Moreno, Silvia N J

    2015-03-01

    Apicomplexan parasites have complex life cycles, frequently split between different hosts and reliant on rapid responses as the parasites react to changing environmental conditions. Calcium ion (Ca(2+)) signaling is consequently essential for the cellular and developmental changes that support Apicomplexan parasitism. Apicomplexan genomes reveal a rich repertoire of genes involved in calcium signaling, although many of the genes responsible for observed physiological changes remain unknown. There is evidence, for example, for the presence of a nifedipine-sensitive calcium entry mechanism in Toxoplasma, but the molecular components involved in Ca(2+) entry in both Toxoplasma and Plasmodium, have not been identified. The major calcium stores are the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the acidocalcisomes, and the plant-like vacuole in Toxoplasma, or the food vacuole in Plasmodium spp. Pharmacological evidence suggests that Ca(2+) release from intracellular stores may be mediated by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) or cyclic ADP ribose (cADPR) although there is no molecular evidence for the presence of receptors for these second messengers in the parasites. Several Ca(2+)-ATPases are present in Apicomplexans and a putative mitochondrial Ca(2+)/H(+) exchanger has been identified. Apicomplexan genomes contain numerous genes encoding Ca(2+)-binding proteins, with the notable expansion of calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs), whose study has revealed roles in gliding motility, microneme secretion, host cell invasion and egress, and parasite differentiation. Microneme secretion has also been shown to depend on the C2 domain containing protein DOC2 in both Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma, providing further evidence for the complex transduction of Ca(2+) signals in these organisms. The characterization of these pathways could lead to the discovery of novel drug targets and to a better understanding of the role of Ca(2+) in these parasites.

  15. Apical membrane antigen 1 mediates apicomplexan parasite attachment but is dispensable for host cell invasion

    PubMed Central

    Bargieri, Daniel Y.; Andenmatten, Nicole; Lagal, Vanessa; Thiberge, Sabine; Whitelaw, Jamie A.; Tardieux, Isabelle; Meissner, Markus; Ménard, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites invade host cells by forming a ring-like junction with the cell surface and actively sliding through the junction inside an intracellular vacuole. Apical membrane antigen 1 is conserved in apicomplexans and a long-standing malaria vaccine candidate. It is considered to have multiple important roles during host cell penetration, primarily in structuring the junction by interacting with the rhoptry neck 2 protein and transducing the force generated by the parasite motor during internalization. Here, we generate Plasmodium sporozoites and merozoites and Toxoplasma tachyzoites lacking apical membrane antigen 1, and find that the latter two are impaired in host cell attachment but the three display normal host cell penetration through the junction. Therefore, apical membrane antigen 1, rather than an essential invasin, is a dispensable adhesin of apicomplexan zoites. These genetic data have implications on the use of apical membrane antigen 1 or the apical membrane antigen 1–rhoptry neck 2 interaction as targets of intervention strategies against malaria or other diseases caused by apicomplexans. PMID:24108241

  16. The apicomplexan glideosome and adhesins -- structures and function

    PubMed Central

    Boucher, Lauren E.; Bosch, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    The apicomplexan family of pathogens, which includes Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma gondii, are primarily obligate intracellular parasites and invade multiple cell types. These parasites express extracellular membrane protein receptors, adhesins, to form specific pathogen-host cell interaction complexes. Various adhesins are used to invade a variety of cell types. The receptors are linked to an actomyosin motor, which is part of a complex comprised of many proteins known as the invasion machinery or glideosome. To date, reviews on invasion have focused primarily on the molecular pathways and signals of invasion, with little or no structural information presented. Over 75 structures of parasite receptors and glideosome proteins have been deposited with the Protein Data Bank. These structures include adhesins, motor proteins, bridging proteins, inner membrane complex and cytoskeletal proteins, as well as co-crystal structures with peptides and antibodies. These structures provide information regarding key interactions necessary for target receptor engagement, machinery complex formation, how force is transmitted, and the basis of inhibitory antibodies. Additionally, these structures can provide starting points for the development of antibodies and inhibitory molecules targeting protein-protein interactions, with the aim to inhibit invasion. This review provides an overview of the parasite adhesin protein families, the glideosome components, glideosome architecture, and discuss recent work regarding alternative models. PMID:25764948

  17. Plant-Type Trehalose Synthetic Pathway in Cryptosporidium and Some Other Apicomplexans

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Yonglan; Zhang, Haili; Zhu, Guan

    2010-01-01

    Background The trehalose synthetic pathway is present in bacteria, fungi, plants and invertebrate animals, but is absent in vertebrates. This disaccharide mainly functions as a stress protectant against desiccation, heat, cold and oxidation. Genes involved in trehalose synthesis have been observed in apicomplexan parasites, but little was known about these enzymes. Study on trehalose synthesis in apicomplexans would not only shed new light into the evolution of this pathway, but also provide data for exploring this pathway as novel drug target. Methodology/Principal Findings We have observed the presence of the trehalose synthetic pathway in Cryptosporidium and other apicomplexans and alveolates. Two key enzymes (trehalose 6-phosphate synthase [T6PS; EC 2.4.1.15] and trehalose phosphatase [TPase; EC 3.1.3.12] are present as Class II bifunctional proteins (T6PS-TPase) in the majority of apicomplexans with the exception of Plasmodium species. The enzyme for synthesizing the precursor (UDP-glucose) is homologous to dual-substrate UDP-galactose/glucose pyrophosphorylases (UGGPases), rather than the “classic” UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (UGPase). Phylogenetic recontructions indicate that both T6PS-TPases and UGGPases in apicomplexans and other alveolates are evolutionarily affiliated with stramenopiles and plants. The expression level of T6PS-TPase in C. parvum is highly elevated in the late intracellular developmental stage prior to or during the production of oocysts, implying that trehalose may be important in oocysts as a protectant against environmental stresses. Finally, trehalose has been detected in C. parvum oocysts, thus confirming the trehalose synthetic activity in this parasite. Conclusions/Significance A trehalose synthetic pathway is described in the majority of apicomplexan parasites including Cryptosporidium and the presence of trehalose was confirmed in the C. parvum oocyst. Key enzymes in the pathway (i.e., T6PS-TPase and UGGPase) are plant

  18. Marine gregarines: evolutionary prelude to the apicomplexan radiation?

    PubMed

    Leander, Brian S

    2008-02-01

    Gregarine apicomplexans inhabit the intestines, coeloms and reproductive vesicles of invertebrates. An emphasis on specific ancestral characteristics in marine gregarines has given the group a reputation of being 'primitive.' Although some lineages have retained characteristics inferred to be ancestral for the group, and perhaps apicomplexans as a whole, most gregarines represent highly derived parasites with novel ultrastructural and behavioral adaptations. Many marine gregarines have become giants among single-celled organisms and have evolved ornate surface structures. A comparison of gregarine morphology, placed in a modern phylogenetic context, helps clarify the earliest stages of apicomplexan evolution, the origin of Cryptosporidium, and specific cases of convergent evolution within the group and beyond.

  19. Genome cartography: charting the apicomplexan genome.

    PubMed

    Kissinger, Jessica C; DeBarry, Jeremy

    2011-08-01

    Genes reside in particular genomic contexts that can be mapped at many levels. Historically, 'genetic maps' were used primarily to locate genes. Recent technological advances in the determination of genome sequences have made the analysis and comparison of whole genomes possible and increasingly tractable. What do we see if we shift our focus from gene content (the 'inventory' of genes contained within a genome) to the composition and organization of a genome? This review examines what has been learned about the evolution of the apicomplexan genome as well as the significance and impact of genomic location on our understanding of the eukaryotic genome and parasite biology. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A Novel Bipartite Centrosome Coordinates the Apicomplexan Cell Cycle

    PubMed Central

    Suvorova, Elena S.; Francia, Maria; Striepen, Boris; White, Michael W.

    2015-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites can change fundamental features of cell division during their life cycles, suspending cytokinesis when needed and changing proliferative scale in different hosts and tissues. The structural and molecular basis for this remarkable cell cycle flexibility is not fully understood, although the centrosome serves a key role in determining when and how much replication will occur. Here we describe the discovery of multiple replicating core complexes with distinct protein composition and function in the centrosome of Toxoplasma gondii. An outer core complex distal from the nucleus contains the TgCentrin1/TgSfi1 protein pair, along with the cartwheel protein TgSas-6 and a novel Aurora-related kinase, while an inner core closely aligned with the unique spindle pole (centrocone) holds distant orthologs of the CEP250/C-Nap protein family. This outer/inner spatial relationship of centrosome cores is maintained throughout the cell cycle. When in metaphase, the duplicated cores align to opposite sides of the kinetochores in a linear array. As parasites transition into S phase, the cores sequentially duplicate, outer core first and inner core second, ensuring that each daughter parasite inherits one copy of each type of centrosome core. A key serine/threonine kinase distantly related to the MAPK family is localized to the centrosome, where it restricts core duplication to once per cycle and ensures the proper formation of new daughter parasites. Genetic analysis of the outer core in a temperature-sensitive mutant demonstrated this core functions primarily in cytokinesis. An inhibition of ts-TgSfi1 function at high temperature caused the loss of outer cores and a severe block to budding, while at the same time the inner core amplified along with the unique spindle pole, indicating the inner core and spindle pole are independent and co-regulated. The discovery of a novel bipartite organization in the parasite centrosome that segregates the functions of

  1. Genetic mapping identifies novel highly protective antigens for an apicomplexan parasite.

    PubMed

    Blake, Damer P; Billington, Karen J; Copestake, Susan L; Oakes, Richard D; Quail, Michael A; Wan, Kiew-Lian; Shirley, Martin W; Smith, Adrian L

    2011-02-10

    Apicomplexan parasites are responsible for a myriad of diseases in humans and livestock; yet despite intensive effort, development of effective sub-unit vaccines remains a long-term goal. Antigenic complexity and our inability to identify protective antigens from the pool that induce response are serious challenges in the development of new vaccines. Using a combination of parasite genetics and selective barriers with population-based genetic fingerprinting, we have identified that immunity against the most important apicomplexan parasite of livestock (Eimeria spp.) was targeted against a few discrete regions of the genome. Herein we report the identification of six genomic regions and, within two of those loci, the identification of true protective antigens that confer immunity as sub-unit vaccines. The first of these is an Eimeria maxima homologue of apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1) and the second is a previously uncharacterised gene that we have termed 'immune mapped protein-1' (IMP-1). Significantly, homologues of the AMA-1 antigen are protective with a range of apicomplexan parasites including Plasmodium spp., which suggest that there may be some characteristic(s) of protective antigens shared across this diverse group of parasites. Interestingly, homologues of the IMP-1 antigen, which is protective against E. maxima infection, can be identified in Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum. Overall, this study documents the discovery of novel protective antigens using a population-based genetic mapping approach allied with a protection-based screen of candidate genes. The identification of AMA-1 and IMP-1 represents a substantial step towards development of an effective anti-eimerian sub-unit vaccine and raises the possibility of identification of novel antigens for other apicomplexan parasites. Moreover, validation of the parasite genetics approach to identify effective antigens supports its adoption in other parasite systems where legitimate protective antigen

  2. The Organellar Genomes of Chromera and Vitrella, the Phototrophic Relatives of Apicomplexan Parasites.

    PubMed

    Oborník, Miroslav; Lukeš, Julius

    2015-01-01

    Apicomplexa are known to contain greatly reduced organellar genomes. Their mitochondrial genome carries only three protein-coding genes, and their plastid genome is reduced to a 35-kb-long circle. The discovery of coral-endosymbiotic algae Chromera velia and Vitrella brassicaformis, which share a common ancestry with Apicomplexa, provided an opportunity to study possibly ancestral forms of organellar genomes, a unique glimpse into the evolutionary history of apicomplexan parasites. The structurally similar mitochondrial genomes of Chromera and Vitrella differ in gene content, which is reflected in the composition of their respiratory chains. Thus, Chromera lacks respiratory complexes I and III, whereas Vitrella and apicomplexan parasites are missing only complex I. Plastid genomes differ substantially between these algae, particularly in structure: The Chromera plastid genome is a linear, 120-kb molecule with large and divergent genes, whereas the plastid genome of Vitrella is a highly compact circle that is only 85 kb long but nonetheless contains more genes than that of Chromera. It appears that organellar genomes have already been reduced in free-living phototrophic ancestors of apicomplexan parasites, and such reduction is not associated with parasitism.

  3. Tracking Transmission of Apicomplexan Symbionts in Diverse Caribbean Corals

    PubMed Central

    Kirk, Nathan L.; Ritson-Williams, Raphael; Coffroth, Mary Alice; Miller, Margaret W.; Fogarty, Nicole D.; Santos, Scott R.

    2013-01-01

    Symbionts in each generation are transmitted to new host individuals either vertically (parent to offspring), horizontally (from exogenous sources), or a combination of both. Scleractinian corals make an excellent study system for understanding patterns of symbiont transmission since they harbor diverse symbionts and possess distinct reproductive modes of either internal brooding or external broadcast spawning that generally correlate with vertical or horizontal transmission, respectively. Here, we focused on the under-recognized, but apparently widespread, coral-associated apicomplexans (Protista: Alveolata) to determine if symbiont transmission depends on host reproductive mode. Specifically, a PCR-based assay was utilized towards identifying whether planula larvae and reproductive adults from brooding and broadcast spawning scleractinian coral species in Florida and Belize harbored apicomplexan DNA. Nearly all (85.5%; n = 85/89) examined planulae of five brooding species (Porites astreoides, Agaricia tenuifolia, Agaricia agaricites, Favia fragum, Mycetophyllia ferox) and adults of P. astreoides were positive for apicomplexan DNA. In contrast, no (n = 0/10) apicomplexan DNA was detected from planulae of four broadcast spawning species (Acropora cervicornis, Acropora palmata, Pseudodiploria strigosa, and Orbicella faveolata) and rarely in gametes (8.9%; n = 5/56) of these species sampled from the same geographical range as the brooding species. In contrast, tissue samples from nearly all (92.0%; n = 81/88) adults of the broadcast spawning species A. cervicornis, A. palmata and O. faveolata harbored apicomplexan DNA, including colonies whose gametes and planulae tested negative for these symbionts. Taken together, these data suggest apicomplexans are transmitted vertically in these brooding scleractinian coral species while the broadcast spawning scleractinian species examined here acquire these symbionts horizontally. Notably, these transmission patterns are

  4. Library of Apicomplexan Metabolic Pathways: a manually curated database for metabolic pathways of apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Shanmugasundram, Achchuthan; Gonzalez-Galarza, Faviel F.; Wastling, Jonathan M.; Vasieva, Olga; Jones, Andrew R.

    2013-01-01

    The Library of Apicomplexan Metabolic Pathways (LAMP, http://www.llamp.net) is a web database that provides near complete mapping from genes to the central metabolic functions for some of the prominent intracellular parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa. This phylum includes the causative agents of malaria, toxoplasmosis and theileriosis—diseases with a huge economic and social impact. A number of apicomplexan genomes have been sequenced, but the accurate annotation of gene function remains challenging. We have adopted an approach called metabolic reconstruction, in which genes are systematically assigned to functions within pathways/networks for Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, Cryptosporidium and Theileria species, and Babesia bovis. Several functions missing from pathways have been identified, where the corresponding gene for an essential process appears to be absent from the current genome annotation. For each species, LAMP contains interactive diagrams of each pathway, hyperlinked to external resources and annotated with detailed information, including the sources of evidence used. We have also developed a section to highlight the overall metabolic capabilities of each species, such as the ability to synthesize or the dependence on the host for a particular metabolite. We expect this new database will become a valuable resource for fundamental and applied research on the Apicomplexa. PMID:23193253

  5. Environmental distribution of coral-associated relatives of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Janouškovec, Jan; Horák, Aleš; Barott, Katie L; Rohwer, Forest L; Keeling, Patrick J

    2013-02-01

    A lineage of plastid-bearing eukaryotic microbes that is closely related to apicomplexan parasites was recently found in a specific association with coral reefs (apicomplexan-related lineage-V, or ARL-V). Here, we address the possible nature of this association using plastid 'contamination' in fine-scale bacterial sequence surveys. In a transect between corals and associated macroalgae, ARL-V is specifically associated with the coral, in contrast to all microalgal types (including diatoms, haptophytes, pelagophytes and photosynthetic apicomplexan relatives, Chromera and Vitrella), which are associated with macroalgae. ARL-V is associated with at least 20 species of symbiotic corals through extended time periods and large geographic distances. It is significantly enriched in healthy coral tissue and shallow reef depths. Altogether, the evidence points to a specific relationship between ARL-V and corals, and is suggestive of symbiosis, perhaps based on photosynthesis.

  6. The identification of a sequence related to apicomplexan enolase from Sarcocystis neurona.

    PubMed

    Wilson, A P; Thelen, J J; Lakritz, J; Brown, C R; Marsh, A E

    2004-11-01

    Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a neurological disease caused by Sarcocystis neurona, an apicomplexan parasite. S. neurona is also associated with EPM-like diseases in marine and small mammals. The mechanisms of transmission and ability to infect a wide host range remain obscure; therefore, characterization of essential proteins may provide evolutionary information allowing the development of novel chemotherapeutics that target non-mammalian biochemical pathways. In the current study, two-dimensional electrophoresis and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-ToF) mass spectrometry were combined to characterize and identify an enolase protein from S. neurona based on peptide homology to the Toxoplasma gondii protein. Enolase is thought to be a vestigial, non-photosynthetic protein resulting from an evolutionary endosymbiosis event of an apicomplexan ancestor with green algae. Enolase has also been suggested to play a role in parasite stage conversion for T. gondii. Characterization of this protein in S. neurona and comparison to other protozoans indicate a biochemical similarity of S. neurona enolase to other tissue-cyst forming coccidians that cause encephalitis.

  7. Phylogeny and evolution of apicoplasts and apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Arisue, Nobuko; Hashimoto, Tetsuo

    2015-06-01

    The phylum Apicomplexa includes many parasitic genera of medical and veterinary importance including Plasmodium (causative agent of malaria), Toxoplasma (toxoplasmosis), and Babesia (babesiosis). Most of the apicomplexan parasites possess a unique, essential organelle, the apicoplast, which is a plastid without photosynthetic ability. Although the apicoplast is considered to have evolved through secondary endosymbiosis of a red alga into the common ancestral cell of apicomplexans, its evolutionary history has been under debate until recently. The apicoplast has a genome around 30-40 kb in length. Repertoire and arrangement of the apicoplast genome-encoded genes differ among apicomplexan genera, although within the genus Plasmodium these are almost conserved. Genes in the apicoplast genome may be useful markers for Plasmodium phylogeny, because these are single copy (except for the inverted repeat region) and may have more phylogenetic signal than the mitochondrial genome that have been most commonly used for Plasmodium phylogeny. This review describes recent studies concerning the evolutionary origin of the apicoplast, presents evolutionary comparison of the primary structures of apicoplast genomes from apicomplexan parasites, and summarizes recent findings of malaria phylogeny based on apicoplast genome-encoded genes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Apicomplexan cell cycle flexibility: centrosome controls the clutch

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chun-Ti; Gubbels, Marc-Jan

    2015-01-01

    The centrosome serves as a central hub coordinating multiple cellular events in eukaryotes. A recent study in Toxoplasma gondii revealed a unique bipartite structure of the centrosome, which coordinates the nuclear cycle (S-phase and mitosis) and budding cycle (cytokinesis) of the parasite, and deciphers the principle behind flexible apicomplexan cell division modes. PMID:25899747

  9. Nephromyces, a beneficial apicomplexan symbiont in marine animals

    PubMed Central

    Saffo, Mary Beth; McCoy, Adam M.; Rieken, Christopher; Slamovits, Claudio H.

    2010-01-01

    With malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.), Toxoplasma, and many other species of medical and veterinary importance its iconic representatives, the protistan phylum Apicomplexa has long been defined as a group composed entirely of parasites and pathogens. We present here a report of a beneficial apicomplexan: the mutualistic marine endosymbiont Nephromyces. For more than a century, the peculiar structural and developmental features of Nephromyces, and its unusual habitat, have thwarted characterization of the phylogenetic affinities of this eukaryotic microbe. Using short-subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) sequences as key evidence, with sequence identity confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), we show that Nephromyces, originally classified as a chytrid fungus, is actually an apicomplexan. Inferences from rDNA data are further supported by the several apicomplexan-like structural features in Nephromyces, including especially the strong resemblance of Nephromyces infective stages to apicomplexan sporozoites. The striking emergence of the mutualistic Nephromyces from a quintessentially parasitic clade accentuates the promise of this organism, and the three-partner symbiosis of which it is a part, as a model for probing the factors underlying the evolution of mutualism, pathogenicity, and infectious disease. PMID:20736348

  10. Molecular approaches to diversity of populations of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Beck, Hans-Peter; Blake, Damer; Dardé, Marie-Laure; Felger, Ingrid; Pedraza-Díaz, Susana; Regidor-Cerrillo, Javier; Gómez-Bautista, Mercedes; Ortega-Mora, Luis Miguel; Putignani, Lorenza; Shiels, Brian; Tait, Andrew; Weir, Willie

    2009-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites include many parasites of importance either for livestock or as causative agents of human diseases. The importance of these parasites has been recognised by the European Commission and resulted in support of the COST (Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action 857 'Apicomplexan Biology in the Post-Genomic Era'. In this review we discuss the current understanding in 'Biodiversity and Population Genetics' of the major apicomplexan parasites, namely the Eimeria spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, Theileria spp. and Plasmodium spp. During the past decade molecular tools for characterizing and monitoring parasite populations have been firmly established as an integral part of field studies and intervention trials. Analyses have been conducted for most apicomplexan pathogens to describe the extent of genetic diversity, infection dynamics or population structure. The underlying key question for all parasites is to understand how genetic diversity influences epidemiology and pathogenicity and its implication in therapeutic and vaccination strategies as well as disease control. Similarities in the basic biology and disease or transmission patterns among this order of parasites promote multifaceted discussions and comparison of epidemiological approaches and methodological tools. This fosters mutual learning and has the potential for cross-fertilisation of ideas and technical approaches.

  11. Protococcidian Eleutheroschizon duboscqi, an Unusual Apicomplexan Interconnecting Gregarines and Cryptosporidia.

    PubMed

    Valigurová, Andrea; Paskerova, Gita G; Diakin, Andrei; Kováčiková, Magdaléna; Simdyanov, Timur G

    2015-01-01

    This study focused on the attachment strategy, cell structure and the host-parasite interactions of the protococcidian Eleutheroschizon duboscqi, parasitising the polychaete Scoloplos armiger. The attached trophozoites and gamonts of E. duboscqi were detected at different development stages. The parasite develops epicellularly, covered by a host cell-derived, two-membrane parasitophorous sac forming a caudal tipped appendage. Staining with Evans blue suggests that this tail is protein-rich, supported by the presence of a fibrous substance in this area. Despite the ultrastructural evidence for long filaments in the tail, it stained only weakly for F-actin, while spectrin seemed to accumulate in this area. The attachment apparatus consists of lobes arranged in one (trophozoites) or two (gamonts) circles, crowned by a ring of filamentous fascicles. During trophozoite maturation, the internal space between the parasitophorous sac and parasite turns translucent, the parasite trilaminar pellicle seems to reorganise and is covered by a dense fibrous glycocalyx. The parasite surface is organised in broad folds with grooves in between. Micropores are situated at the bottom of the grooves. A layer of filaments organised in bands, underlying the folds and ending above the attachment fascicles, was detected just beneath the pellicle. Confocal microscopy, along with the application of cytoskeletal drugs (jasplakinolide, cytochalasin D, oryzalin) confirmed the presence of actin and tubulin polymerised forms in both the parasitophorous sac and the parasite, while myosin labelling was restricted to the sac. Despite positive tubulin labelling, no microtubules were detected in mature stages. The attachment strategy of E. duboscqi shares features with that of cryptosporidia and gregarines, i.e. the parasite itself conspicuously resembles an epicellularly located gregarine, while the parasitophorous sac develops in a similar manner to that in cryptosporidia. This study provides a re

  12. Protococcidian Eleutheroschizon duboscqi, an Unusual Apicomplexan Interconnecting Gregarines and Cryptosporidia

    PubMed Central

    Valigurová, Andrea; Paskerova, Gita G.; Diakin, Andrei; Kováčiková, Magdaléna; Simdyanov, Timur G.

    2015-01-01

    This study focused on the attachment strategy, cell structure and the host-parasite interactions of the protococcidian Eleutheroschizon duboscqi, parasitising the polychaete Scoloplos armiger. The attached trophozoites and gamonts of E. duboscqi were detected at different development stages. The parasite develops epicellularly, covered by a host cell-derived, two-membrane parasitophorous sac forming a caudal tipped appendage. Staining with Evans blue suggests that this tail is protein-rich, supported by the presence of a fibrous substance in this area. Despite the ultrastructural evidence for long filaments in the tail, it stained only weakly for F-actin, while spectrin seemed to accumulate in this area. The attachment apparatus consists of lobes arranged in one (trophozoites) or two (gamonts) circles, crowned by a ring of filamentous fascicles. During trophozoite maturation, the internal space between the parasitophorous sac and parasite turns translucent, the parasite trilaminar pellicle seems to reorganise and is covered by a dense fibrous glycocalyx. The parasite surface is organised in broad folds with grooves in between. Micropores are situated at the bottom of the grooves. A layer of filaments organised in bands, underlying the folds and ending above the attachment fascicles, was detected just beneath the pellicle. Confocal microscopy, along with the application of cytoskeletal drugs (jasplakinolide, cytochalasin D, oryzalin) confirmed the presence of actin and tubulin polymerised forms in both the parasitophorous sac and the parasite, while myosin labelling was restricted to the sac. Despite positive tubulin labelling, no microtubules were detected in mature stages. The attachment strategy of E. duboscqi shares features with that of cryptosporidia and gregarines, i.e. the parasite itself conspicuously resembles an epicellularly located gregarine, while the parasitophorous sac develops in a similar manner to that in cryptosporidia. This study provides a re

  13. Advances in the application of genetic manipulation methods to apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Suarez, C E; Bishop, R P; Alzan, H F; Poole, W A; Cooke, B M

    2017-10-01

    Apicomplexan parasites such as Babesia, Theileria, Eimeria, Cryptosporidium and Toxoplasma greatly impact animal health globally, and improved, cost-effective measures to control them are urgently required. These parasites have complex multi-stage life cycles including obligate intracellular stages. Major gaps in our understanding of the biology of these relatively poorly characterised parasites and the diseases they cause severely limit options for designing novel control methods. Here we review potentially important shared aspects of the biology of these parasites, such as cell invasion, host cell modification, and asexual and sexual reproduction, and explore the potential of the application of relatively well-established or newly emerging genetic manipulation methods, such as classical transfection or gene editing, respectively, for closing important gaps in our knowledge of the function of specific genes and proteins, and the biology of these parasites. In addition, genetic manipulation methods impact the development of novel methods of control of the diseases caused by these economically important parasites. Transient and stable transfection methods, in conjunction with whole and deep genome sequencing, were initially instrumental in improving our understanding of the molecular biology of apicomplexan parasites and paved the way for the application of the more recently developed gene editing methods. The increasingly efficient and more recently developed gene editing methods, in particular those based on the CRISPR/Cas9 system and previous conceptually similar techniques, are already contributing to additional gene function discovery using reverse genetics and related approaches. However, gene editing methods are only possible due to the increasing availability of in vitro culture, transfection, and genome sequencing and analysis techniques. We envisage that rapid progress in the development of novel gene editing techniques applied to apicomplexan parasites of

  14. The Cryptosporidium parvum ApiAP2 gene family: insights into the evolution of apicomplexan AP2 regulatory systems.

    PubMed

    Oberstaller, Jenna; Pumpalova, Yoanna; Schieler, Ariel; Llinás, Manuel; Kissinger, Jessica C

    2014-07-01

    We provide the first comprehensive analysis of any transcription factor family in Cryptosporidium, a basal-branching apicomplexan that is the second leading cause of infant diarrhea globally. AP2 domain-containing proteins have evolved to be the major regulatory family in the phylum to the exclusion of canonical regulators. We show that apicomplexan and perkinsid AP2 domains cluster distinctly from other chromalveolate AP2s. Protein-binding specificity assays of C. parvum AP2 domains combined with motif conservation upstream of co-regulated gene clusters allowed the construction of putative AP2 regulons across the in vitro life cycle. Orthologous Apicomplexan AP2 (ApiAP2) expression has been rearranged relative to the malaria parasite P. falciparum, suggesting ApiAP2 network rewiring during evolution. C. hominis orthologs of putative C. parvum ApiAP2 proteins and target genes show greater than average variation. C. parvum AP2 domains display reduced binding diversity relative to P. falciparum, with multiple domains binding the 5'-TGCAT-3', 5'-CACACA-3' and G-box motifs (5'-G[T/C]GGGG-3'). Many overrepresented motifs in C. parvum upstream regions are not AP2 binding motifs. We propose that C. parvum is less reliant on ApiAP2 regulators in part because it utilizes E2F/DP1 transcription factors. C. parvum may provide clues to the ancestral state of apicomplexan transcriptional regulation, pre-AP2 domination. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  15. The Cryptosporidium parvum ApiAP2 gene family: insights into the evolution of apicomplexan AP2 regulatory systems

    PubMed Central

    Oberstaller, Jenna; Pumpalova, Yoanna; Schieler, Ariel; Llinás, Manuel; Kissinger, Jessica C.

    2014-01-01

    We provide the first comprehensive analysis of any transcription factor family in Cryptosporidium, a basal-branching apicomplexan that is the second leading cause of infant diarrhea globally. AP2 domain-containing proteins have evolved to be the major regulatory family in the phylum to the exclusion of canonical regulators. We show that apicomplexan and perkinsid AP2 domains cluster distinctly from other chromalveolate AP2s. Protein-binding specificity assays of C. parvum AP2 domains combined with motif conservation upstream of co-regulated gene clusters allowed the construction of putative AP2 regulons across the in vitro life cycle. Orthologous Apicomplexan AP2 (ApiAP2) expression has been rearranged relative to the malaria parasite P. falciparum, suggesting ApiAP2 network rewiring during evolution. C. hominis orthologs of putative C. parvum ApiAP2 proteins and target genes show greater than average variation. C. parvum AP2 domains display reduced binding diversity relative to P. falciparum, with multiple domains binding the 5′-TGCAT-3′, 5′-CACACA-3′ and G-box motifs (5′-G[T/C]GGGG-3′). Many overrepresented motifs in C. parvum upstream regions are not AP2 binding motifs. We propose that C. parvum is less reliant on ApiAP2 regulators in part because it utilizes E2F/DP1 transcription factors. C. parvum may provide clues to the ancestral state of apicomplexan transcriptional regulation, pre-AP2 domination. PMID:24957599

  16. An atomic-resolution view of neofunctionalization in the evolution of apicomplexan lactate dehydrogenases

    PubMed Central

    Boucher, Jeffrey I; Jacobowitz, Joseph R; Beckett, Brian C; Classen, Scott; Theobald, Douglas L

    2014-01-01

    Malate and lactate dehydrogenases (MDH and LDH) are homologous, core metabolic enzymes that share a fold and catalytic mechanism yet possess strict specificity for their substrates. In the Apicomplexa, convergent evolution of an unusual LDH from MDH produced a difference in specificity exceeding 12 orders of magnitude. The mechanisms responsible for this extraordinary functional shift are currently unknown. Using ancestral protein resurrection, we find that specificity evolved in apicomplexan LDHs by classic neofunctionalization characterized by long-range epistasis, a promiscuous intermediate, and few gain-of-function mutations of large effect. In canonical MDHs and LDHs, a single residue in the active-site loop governs substrate specificity: Arg102 in MDHs and Gln102 in LDHs. During the evolution of the apicomplexan LDH, however, specificity switched via an insertion that shifted the position and identity of this ‘specificity residue’ to Trp107f. Residues far from the active site also determine specificity, as shown by the crystal structures of three ancestral proteins bracketing the key duplication event. This work provides an unprecedented atomic-resolution view of evolutionary trajectories creating a nascent enzymatic function. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02304.001 PMID:24966208

  17. Towards a molecular understanding of the apicomplexan actin motor: on a road to novel targets for malaria remedies?

    SciTech Connect

    Kumpula, Esa-Pekka; Kursula, Inari

    2015-04-16

    In this review, current structural understanding of the apicomplexan glideosome and actin regulation is described. Apicomplexan parasites are the causative agents of notorious human and animal diseases that give rise to considerable human suffering and economic losses worldwide. The most prominent parasites of this phylum are the malaria-causing Plasmodium species, which are widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, and Toxoplasma gondii, which infects one third of the world’s population. These parasites share a common form of gliding motility which relies on an actin–myosin motor. The components of this motor and the actin-regulatory proteins in Apicomplexa have unique features compared with all other eukaryotes. This, together with the crucial roles of these proteins, makes them attractive targets for structure-based drug design. In recent years, several structures of glideosome components, in particular of actins and actin regulators from apicomplexan parasites, have been determined, which will hopefully soon allow the creation of a complete molecular picture of the parasite actin–myosin motor and its regulatory machinery. Here, current knowledge of the function of this motor is reviewed from a structural perspective.

  18. The Large Mitochondrial Genome of Symbiodinium minutum Reveals Conserved Noncoding Sequences between Dinoflagellates and Apicomplexans

    PubMed Central

    Shoguchi, Eiichi; Shinzato, Chuya; Hisata, Kanako; Satoh, Nori; Mungpakdee, Sutada

    2015-01-01

    Even though mitochondrial genomes, which characterize eukaryotic cells, were first discovered more than 50 years ago, mitochondrial genomics remains an important topic in molecular biology and genome sciences. The Phylum Alveolata comprises three major groups (ciliates, apicomplexans, and dinoflagellates), the mitochondrial genomes of which have diverged widely. Even though the gene content of dinoflagellate mitochondrial genomes is reportedly comparable to that of apicomplexans, the highly fragmented and rearranged genome structures of dinoflagellates have frustrated whole genomic analysis. Consequently, noncoding sequences and gene arrangements of dinoflagellate mitochondrial genomes have not been well characterized. Here we report that the continuous assembled genome (∼326 kb) of the dinoflagellate, Symbiodinium minutum, is AT-rich (∼64.3%) and that it contains three protein-coding genes. Based upon in silico analysis, the remaining 99% of the genome comprises transcriptomic noncoding sequences. RNA edited sites and unique, possible start and stop codons clarify conserved regions among dinoflagellates. Our massive transcriptome analysis shows that almost all regions of the genome are transcribed, including 27 possible fragmented ribosomal RNA genes and 12 uncharacterized small RNAs that are similar to mitochondrial RNA genes of the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Gene map comparisons show that gene order is only slightly conserved between S. minutum and P. falciparum. However, small RNAs and intergenic sequences share sequence similarities with P. falciparum, suggesting that the function of noncoding sequences has been preserved despite development of very different genome structures. PMID:26199191

  19. Double gametocyte infections in apicomplexan parasites of birds and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Jovani, Roger; Amo, Luisa; Arriero, Elena; Krone, Oliver; Marzal, Alfonso; Shurulinkov, Peter; Tomás, Gustavo; Sol, Daniel; Hagen, Jana; López, Pilar; Martín, José; Navarro, Carlos; Torres, Jordi

    2004-09-01

    The simultaneous occurrence of male and female gametocytes inside a single host blood cell has been suggested to enhance apicomplexan transmission ["double gametocyte infection (DGI) hypothesis"]. We did a bibliographic search and a direct screen of blood smears from wild birds and reptiles to answer, for the first time, how common are these infections in the wild. Taking these two approaches together, we report here cases of DGIs in Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon and Hepatozoon, and cases of male-female DGIs in Haemoproteus of birds and reptiles and in Leucocytozoon of birds. Thus, we suggest that DGIs and male female DGIs are more widespread than previously thought, opening a new research avenue on apicomplexan transmission.

  20. Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Evidence for a Cryptic Plastid in the Colpodellid Voromonas pontica, a Close Relative of Chromerids and Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Gile, Gillian H.; Slamovits, Claudio H.

    2014-01-01

    Colpodellids are free-living, predatory flagellates, but their close relationship to photosynthetic chromerids and plastid-bearing apicomplexan parasites suggests they were ancestrally photosynthetic. Colpodellids may therefore retain a cryptic plastid, or they may have lost their plastids entirely, like the apicomplexan Cryptosporidium. To find out, we generated transcriptomic data from Voromonas pontica ATCC 50640 and searched for homologs of genes encoding proteins known to function in the apicoplast, the non-photosynthetic plastid of apicomplexans. We found candidate genes from multiple plastid-associated pathways including iron-sulfur cluster assembly, isoprenoid biosynthesis, and tetrapyrrole biosynthesis, along with a plastid-type phosphate transporter gene. Four of these sequences include the 5′ end of the coding region and are predicted to encode a signal peptide and a transit peptide-like region. This is highly suggestive of targeting to a cryptic plastid. We also performed a taxon-rich phylogenetic analysis of small subunit ribosomal RNA sequences from colpodellids and their relatives, which suggests that photosynthesis was lost more than once in colpodellids, and independently in V. pontica and apicomplexans. Colpodellids therefore represent a valuable source of comparative data for understanding the process of plastid reduction in humanity's most deadly parasite. PMID:24797661

  1. Focus on the ringleader: the role of AMA1 in apicomplexan invasion and replication

    PubMed Central

    Tyler, Jessica S.; Treeck, Moritz; Boothroyd, John C.

    2011-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites exhibit an unusual mechanism of host cell penetration. A central player in this process is the protein apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1). Although essential for invasion, the precise functional roles AMA1 plays have been unclear. Several recent studies have provided important, functional insight into its role within the multiprotein complex that comprises the moving junction (MJ). Initially formed at the apical tip of the invading parasite, the MJ represents a ring-like region of contact between the surfaces of the invading parasite and host cell, even as the invaginated host plasma membrane is forced inward by the penetrating parasite. This review discusses these and other recent insights into AMA1 with a particular emphasis on studies conducted in Plasmodium and Toxoplasma. PMID:21659001

  2. Fatty acid biosynthesis as a drug target in apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Goodman, C D; McFadden, G I

    2007-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasitic diseases impose devastating impacts on much of the world's population. The increasing prevalence of drug resistant parasites and the growing number of immuno-compromised individuals are exacerbating the problem to the point that the need for novel, inexpensive drugs is greater now than ever. Discovery of a prokaryotic, Type II fatty acid synthesis (FAS) pathway associated with the plastid-like organelle (apicoplast) of Plasmodium and Toxoplasma has provided a wealth of novel drug targets. Since this pathway is both essential and fundamentally different from the cytosolic Type I pathway of the human host, apicoplast FAS has tremendous potential for the development of parasite-specific inhibitors. Many components of this pathway are already the target for existing antibiotics and herbicides, which should significantly reduce the time and cost of drug development. Continuing interest--both in the pharmaceutical and herbicide industries--in fatty acid synthesis inhibitors proffers an ongoing stream of potential new anti-parasitic compounds. It has now emerged that not all apicomplexan parasites have retained the Type II fatty acid biosynthesis pathway. No fatty acid biosynthesis enzymes are encoded in the genome of Theileria annulata or T. parva, suggesting that fatty acid synthesis is lacking in these parasites. The human intestinal parasite Cryptosporidium parvum appears to have lost the apicoplast entirely; instead relying on an unusual cytosolic Type I FAS. Nevertheless, newly developed anti-cancer and anti-obesity drugs targeting human Type I FAS may yet prove efficacious against Cryptosporidium and other apicomplexans that rely on this Type I FAS pathway.

  3. Homopolymer tract organization in the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum and related Apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Russell, Karen; Cheng, Chia-Ho; Bizzaro, Jeffrey W; Ponts, Nadia; Emes, Richard D; Le Roch, Karine; Marx, Kenneth A; Horrocks, Paul

    2014-10-03

    Homopolymeric tracts, particularly poly dA.dT, are enriched within the intergenic sequences of eukaryotic genomes where they appear to act as intrinsic regulators of nucleosome positioning. A previous study of the incomplete genome of the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum reports a higher than expected enrichment of poly dA.dT tracts, far above that anticipated even in this highly AT rich genome. Here we report an analysis of the relative frequency, length and spatial arrangement of homopolymer tracts for the complete P. falciparum genome, extending this analysis to twelve additional genomes of Apicomplexan parasites important to human and animal health. In addition, using nucleosome-positioning data available for P. falciparum, we explore the correlation of poly dA.dT tracts with nucleosome-positioning data over key expression landmarks within intergenic regions. We describe three apparent lineage-specific patterns of homopolymeric tract organization within the intergenic regions of these Apicomplexan parasites. Moreover, a striking pattern of enrichment of overly long poly dA.dT tracts in the intergenic regions of Plasmodium spp. uniquely extends into protein coding sequences. There is a conserved spatial arrangement of poly dA.dT immediately flanking open reading frames and over predicted core promoter sites. These key landmarks are all relatively depleted in nucleosomes in P. falciparum, as would be expected for poly dA.dT acting as nucleosome exclusion sequences. Previous comparative studies of homopolymer tract organization emphasize evolutionary diversity; this is the first report of such an analysis within a single phylum. Our data provide insights into the evolution of homopolymeric tracts and the selective pressures at play in their maintenance and expansion.

  4. A Novel Candidate Vaccine for Cytauxzoonosis Inferred from Comparative Apicomplexan Genomics

    PubMed Central

    Tarigo, Jaime L.; Scholl, Elizabeth H.; Bird, David McK.; Brown, Corrie C.; Cohn, Leah A.; Dean, Gregg A.; Levy, Michael G.; Doolan, Denise L.; Trieu, Angela; Nordone, Shila K.; Felgner, Philip L.; Vigil, Adam; Birkenheuer, Adam J.

    2013-01-01

    Cytauxzoonosis is an emerging infectious disease of domestic cats (Felis catus) caused by the apicomplexan protozoan parasite Cytauxzoon felis. The growing epidemic, with its high morbidity and mortality points to the need for a protective vaccine against cytauxzoonosis. Unfortunately, the causative agent has yet to be cultured continuously in vitro, rendering traditional vaccine development approaches beyond reach. Here we report the use of comparative genomics to computationally and experimentally interpret the C. felis genome to identify a novel candidate vaccine antigen for cytauxzoonosis. As a starting point we sequenced, assembled, and annotated the C. felis genome and the proteins it encodes. Whole genome alignment revealed considerable conserved synteny with other apicomplexans. In particular, alignments with the bovine parasite Theileria parva revealed that a C. felis gene, cf76, is syntenic to p67 (the leading vaccine candidate for bovine theileriosis), despite a lack of significant sequence similarity. Recombinant subdomains of cf76 were challenged with survivor-cat antiserum and found to be highly seroreactive. Comparison of eleven geographically diverse samples from the south-central and southeastern USA demonstrated 91–100% amino acid sequence identity across cf76, including a high level of conservation in an immunogenic 226 amino acid (24 kDa) carboxyl terminal domain. Using in situ hybridization, transcription of cf76 was documented in the schizogenous stage of parasite replication, the life stage that is believed to be the most important for development of a protective immune response. Collectively, these data point to identification of the first potential vaccine candidate antigen for cytauxzoonosis. Further, our bioinformatic approach emphasizes the use of comparative genomics as an accelerated path to developing vaccines against experimentally intractable pathogens. PMID:23977000

  5. Factors mediating plastid dependency and the origins of parasitism in apicomplexans and their close relatives

    PubMed Central

    Janouškovec, Jan; Tikhonenkov, Denis V.; Burki, Fabien; Howe, Alexis T.; Kolísko, Martin; Mylnikov, Alexander P.; Keeling, Patrick J.

    2015-01-01

    Apicomplexans are a major lineage of parasites, including causative agents of malaria and toxoplasmosis. How such highly adapted parasites evolved from free-living ancestors is poorly understood, particularly because they contain nonphotosynthetic plastids with which they have a complex metabolic dependency. Here, we examine the origin of apicomplexan parasitism by resolving the evolutionary distribution of several key characteristics in their closest free-living relatives, photosynthetic chromerids and predatory colpodellids. Using environmental sequence data, we describe the diversity of these apicomplexan-related lineages and select five species that represent this diversity for transcriptome sequencing. Phylogenomic analysis recovered a monophyletic lineage of chromerids and colpodellids as the sister group to apicomplexans, and a complex distribution of retention versus loss for photosynthesis, plastid genomes, and plastid organelles. Reconstructing the evolution of all plastid and cytosolic metabolic pathways related to apicomplexan plastid function revealed an ancient dependency on plastid isoprenoid biosynthesis, predating the divergence of apicomplexan and dinoflagellates. Similarly, plastid genome retention is strongly linked to the retention of two genes in the plastid genome, sufB and clpC, altogether suggesting a relatively simple model for plastid retention and loss. Lastly, we examine the broader distribution of a suite of molecular characteristics previously linked to the origins of apicomplexan parasitism and find that virtually all are present in their free-living relatives. The emergence of parasitism may not be driven by acquisition of novel components, but rather by loss and modification of the existing, conserved traits. PMID:25717057

  6. Babesia divergens and Neospora caninum apical membrane antigen 1 structures reveal selectivity and plasticity in apicomplexan parasite host cell invasion

    PubMed Central

    Tonkin, Michelle L; Crawford, Joanna; Lebrun, Maryse L; Boulanger, Martin J

    2013-01-01

    Host cell invasion by the obligate intracellular apicomplexan parasites, including Plasmodium (malaria) and Toxoplasma (toxoplasmosis), requires a step-wise mechanism unique among known host–pathogen interactions. A key step is the formation of the moving junction (MJ) complex, a circumferential constriction between the apical tip of the parasite and the host cell membrane that traverses in a posterior direction to enclose the parasite in a protective vacuole essential for intracellular survival. The leading model of MJ assembly proposes that Rhoptry Neck Protein 2 (RON2) is secreted into the host cell and integrated into the membrane where it serves as the receptor for apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1) on the parasite surface. We have previously demonstrated that the AMA1-RON2 interaction is an effective target for inhibiting apicomplexan invasion. To better understand the AMA1-dependant molecular recognition events that promote invasion, including the significant AMA1-RON2 interaction, we present the structural characterization of AMA1 from the apicomplexan parasites Babesia divergens (BdAMA1) and Neospora caninum (NcAMA1) by X-ray crystallography. These studies offer intriguing structural insight into the RON2-binding surface groove in the AMA1 apical domain, which shows clear evidence for receptor–ligand co-evolution, and the hyper variability of the membrane proximal domain, which in Plasmodium is responsible for direct binding to erythrocytes. By incorporating the structural analysis of BdAMA1 and NcAMA1 with existing AMA1 structures and complexes we were able to define conserved pockets in the AMA1 apical groove that could be targeted for the design of broadly reactive therapeutics. PMID:23169033

  7. How Apicomplexan Parasites Move In and Out of Cells

    PubMed Central

    Sibley, L. David

    2010-01-01

    Summary Apicomplexan parasites utilize a unique form of “gliding motility” to traverse across substrates, migrate through tissues, and invade into and finally egress from their vertebrate host cells. Parasite gliding relies on the tread milling of surface adhesins linked to short actin filaments that are translocated rearward by a stationary small myosin motor. New details reveal mechanistic insight into the coordinated release and processing of adhesins, the complexity of adhesin-substrate interactions, the regulation of the actin-myosin motor complex, and the formation of a novel junction at the host-parasite interface. These activities are carefully orchestrated to provide an efficient process for motility that is essential for parasite survival. The parasite-specific nature of many of these steps reveals several essential points that may be targeted for intervention. PMID:20580218

  8. An apicomplexan ankyrin-repeat histone deacetylase with relatives in photosynthetic eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Rider, S Dean; Zhu, Guan

    2009-06-01

    Cryptosporidium parvum is a member of the Apicomplexa that lacks a plastid and associated nuclear-encoded genes, which has hampered its use in evolutionary comparisons with algae and eliminated a pool of potentially useful drug targets. Here we show that apicomplexan parasites possess an unusual family of class II histone deacetylase (HDAC) proteins with orthologues that are present in other chromalveolates and primitive algae. A striking feature of these HDAC proteins is the presence of ankyrin repeats in the amino-terminus that appear to be required for enzyme activity. In vitro and in vivo analyses of the C. parvum orthologue indicate that this subclass of chromatin-remodelling proteins is targeted by the anti-cancer drug suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid and that these proteins are most likely involved in the essential process of H4 histone deacetylation that coincides with DNA replication. We propose that members of this novel class of histone deacetylase can serve as promising new targets for treatments against debilitating diseases such as cryptosporidosis, toxoplasmosis and malaria.

  9. Towards a molecular understanding of the apicomplexan actin motor: on a road to novel targets for malaria remedies?

    PubMed Central

    Kumpula, Esa-Pekka; Kursula, Inari

    2015-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites are the causative agents of notorious human and animal diseases that give rise to considerable human suffering and economic losses worldwide. The most prominent parasites of this phylum are the malaria-causing Plasmodium species, which are widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, and Toxoplasma gondii, which infects one third of the world’s population. These parasites share a common form of gliding motility which relies on an actin–myosin motor. The components of this motor and the actin-regulatory proteins in Apicomplexa have unique features compared with all other eukaryotes. This, together with the crucial roles of these proteins, makes them attractive targets for structure-based drug design. In recent years, several structures of glideosome components, in particular of actins and actin regulators from apicomplexan parasites, have been determined, which will hopefully soon allow the creation of a complete molecular picture of the parasite actin–myosin motor and its regulatory machinery. Here, current knowledge of the function of this motor is reviewed from a structural perspective. PMID:25945702

  10. A large-scale proteogenomics study of apicomplexan pathogens—Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum

    PubMed Central

    Krishna, Ritesh; Xia, Dong; Sanderson, Sanya; Shanmugasundram, Achchuthan; Vermont, Sarah; Bernal, Axel; Daniel-Naguib, Gianluca; Ghali, Fawaz; Brunk, Brian P; Roos, David S; Wastling, Jonathan M; Jones, Andrew R

    2015-01-01

    Proteomics data can supplement genome annotation efforts, for example being used to confirm gene models or correct gene annotation errors. Here, we present a large-scale proteogenomics study of two important apicomplexan pathogens: Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum. We queried proteomics data against a panel of official and alternate gene models generated directly from RNASeq data, using several newly generated and some previously published MS datasets for this meta-analysis. We identified a total of 201 996 and 39 953 peptide-spectrum matches for T. gondii and N. caninum, respectively, at a 1% peptide FDR threshold. This equated to the identification of 30 494 distinct peptide sequences and 2921 proteins (matches to official gene models) for T. gondii, and 8911 peptides/1273 proteins for N. caninum following stringent protein-level thresholding. We have also identified 289 and 140 loci for T. gondii and N. caninum, respectively, which mapped to RNA-Seq-derived gene models used in our analysis and apparently absent from the official annotation (release 10 from EuPathDB) of these species. We present several examples in our study where the RNA-Seq evidence can help in correction of the current gene model and can help in discovery of potential new genes. The findings of this study have been integrated into the EuPathDB. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange with identifiers PXD000297and PXD000298. PMID:25867681

  11. Sterol Composition and Biosynthetic Genes of Vitrella brassicaformis, a Recently Discovered Chromerid: Comparison to Chromera velia and Phylogenetic Relationship with Apicomplexan Parasites.

    PubMed

    Khadka, Manoj; Salem, Mohamed; Leblond, Jeffrey D

    2015-01-01

    Vitrella brassicaformis is the second discovered species in the Chromerida, and first in the family Vitrellaceae. Chromera velia, the first discovered species, forms an independent photosynthetic lineage with V. brassicaformis, and both are closely related to peridinin-containing dinoflagellates and nonphotosynthetic apicomplexans; both also show phylogenetic closeness with red algal plastids. We have utilized gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to identify two free sterols, 24-ethylcholest-5-en-3β-ol, and a minor unknown sterol which appeared to be a C(28:4) compound. We have also used RNA Seq analysis to identify seven genes found in the nonmevalonate/methylerythritol pathway (MEP) for sterol biosynthesis. Subsequent genome analysis of V. brassicaformis showed the presence of two mevalonate (MVA) pathway genes, though the genes were not observed in the transcriptome analysis. Transcripts from four genes (dxr, ispf, ispd, and idi) were selected and translated into proteins to study the phylogenetic relationship of sterol biosynthesis in V. brassicaformis and C. velia to other groups of algae and apicomplexans. On the basis of our genomic and transcriptomic analyses, we hypothesize that the MEP pathway was the primary pathway that apicomplexans used for sterol biosynthesis before they lost their sterol biosynthesis ability, although contribution of the MVA pathway cannot be discounted.

  12. Small molecule inhibition of apicomplexan FtsH1 disrupts plastid biogenesis in human pathogens.

    PubMed

    Amberg-Johnson, Katherine; Hari, Sanjay B; Ganesan, Suresh M; Lorenzi, Hernan A; Sauer, Robert T; Niles, Jacquin C; Yeh, Ellen

    2017-08-18

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and related apicomplexan pathogens contain an essential plastid organelle, the apicoplast, which is a key anti-parasitic target. Derived from secondary endosymbiosis, the apicoplast depends on novel, but largely cryptic, mechanisms for protein/lipid import and organelle inheritance during parasite replication. These critical biogenesis pathways present untapped opportunities to discover new parasite-specific drug targets. We used an innovative screen to identify actinonin as having a novel mechanism-of-action inhibiting apicoplast biogenesis. Resistant mutation, chemical-genetic interaction, and biochemical inhibition demonstrate that the unexpected target of actinonin in P. falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii is FtsH1, a homolog of a bacterial membrane AAA+ metalloprotease. PfFtsH1 is the first novel factor required for apicoplast biogenesis identified in a phenotypic screen. Our findings demonstrate that FtsH1 is a novel and, importantly, druggable antimalarial target. Development of FtsH1 inhibitors will have significant advantages with improved drug kinetics and multistage efficacy against multiple human parasites.

  13. The genome of Eimeria falciformis--reduction and specialization in a single host apicomplexan parasite.

    PubMed

    Heitlinger, Emanuel; Spork, Simone; Lucius, Richard; Dieterich, Christoph

    2014-08-20

    The phylum Apicomplexa comprises important unicellular human parasites such as Toxoplasma and Plasmodium. Eimeria is the largest and most diverse genus of apicomplexan parasites and some species of the genus are the causative agent of coccidiosis, a disease economically devastating in poultry. We report a complete genome sequence of the mouse parasite Eimeria falciformis. We assembled and annotated the genome sequence to study host-parasite interactions in this understudied genus in a model organism host. The genome of E. falciformis is 44 Mb in size and contains 5,879 predicted protein coding genes. Comparative analysis of E. falciformis with Toxoplasma gondii shows an emergence and diversification of gene families associated with motility and invasion mainly at the level of the Coccidia. Many rhoptry kinases, among them important virulence factors in T. gondii, are absent from the E. falciformis genome. Surface antigens are divergent between Eimeria species. Comparisons with T. gondii showed differences between genes involved in metabolism, N-glycan and GPI-anchor synthesis. E. falciformis possesses a reduced set of transmembrane transporters and we suggest an altered mode of iron uptake in the genus Eimeria. Reduced diversity of genes required for host-parasite interaction and transmembrane transport allow hypotheses on host adaptation and specialization of a single host parasite. The E. falciformis genome sequence sheds light on the evolution of the Coccidia and helps to identify determinants of host-parasite interaction critical for drug and vaccine development.

  14. Developing an Apicomplexan DNA Barcoding System to Detect Blood Parasites of Small Coral Reef Fishes.

    PubMed

    Renoux, Lance P; Dolan, Maureen C; Cook, Courtney A; Smit, Nico J; Sikkel, Paul C

    2017-08-01

    Apicomplexan parasites are obligate parasites of many species of vertebrates. To date, there is very limited understanding of these parasites in the most-diverse group of vertebrates, actinopterygian fishes. While DNA barcoding targeting the eukaryotic 18S small subunit rRNA gene sequence has been useful in identifying apicomplexans in tetrapods, identification of apicomplexans infecting fishes has relied solely on morphological identification by microscopy. In this study, a DNA barcoding method was developed that targets the 18S rRNA gene primers for identifying apicomplexans parasitizing certain actinopterygian fishes. A lead primer set was selected showing no cross-reactivity to the overwhelming abundant host DNA and successfully confirmed 37 of the 41 (90.2%) microscopically verified parasitized fish blood samples analyzed in this study. Furthermore, this DNA barcoding method identified 4 additional samples that screened negative for parasitemia, suggesting this molecular method may provide improved sensitivity over morphological characterization by microscopy. In addition, this PCR screening method for fish apicomplexans, using Whatman FTA preserved DNA, was tested in efforts leading to a more simplified field collection, transport, and sample storage method as well as a streamlining sample processing important for DNA barcoding of large sample sets.

  15. Evidence for a Single Origin of the 35 kb Plastid DNA in Apicomplexans.

    PubMed

    Denny, P; Preiser, P; Williamson, D; Wilson, I

    1998-02-01

    Gene organization on three selected parts of the 35-kb plastid DNA of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum was compared with that of two other apicomplexans, namely Toxoplasma gondii and Eimeria tenella. This comparison included the characteristic inverted ribosomal RNA repeat. A short segment of DNA from Theileria annulata also was included in a separate comparison. Criteria such as the presence or absence of particular genes, their map positions and their sequences, were used to assess whether the apicomplexan plastid DNAs originated from a single origin (a unitary hypothesis for the entire phylum), or whether disparate multiple events were more likely. The results provisionally favour a single origin although clearly this comparison of the apicomplexan plDNAs is still fragmentary. Contrary to the tendency towards homogeneity, evidence was found that the coccidian plastids may have evolved a suppressor mechanism for UGA stop codons. Copyright © 1998 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  16. Vitamin and co-factor biosynthesis pathways in Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Sylke; Kappes, Barbara

    2007-01-01

    Vitamins are essential components of the human diet. By contrast, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and related apicomplexan parasites synthesise certain vitamins, de novo, either completely or in parts. The occurrence of the various biosynthesis pathways is specific to different apicomplexan parasites, emphasising their distinct requirements for nutrients and growth factors. The absence of vitamin biosynthesis from the human host implies that inhibition of the parasite pathways may be a way to interfere specifically with parasite development. However, the precise role of biosynthesis and potential uptake of vitamins for the overall regulation of vitamin homeostasis in the parasites needs to be established first. In this review Sylke Müller and Barbara Kappes focus mainly on the procurement of vitamin B1, B5 and B6 by Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites. PMID:17276140

  17. Vitamin and cofactor biosynthesis pathways in Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Müller, Sylke; Kappes, Barbara

    2007-03-01

    Vitamins are essential components of the human diet. By contrast, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and related apicomplexan parasites synthesize certain vitamins de novo, either completely or in parts. The various biosynthesis pathways are specific to different apicomplexan parasites and emphasize the distinct requirements of these parasites for nutrients and growth factors. The absence of vitamin biosynthesis in humans implies that inhibition of the parasite pathways might be a way to interfere specifically with parasite development. However, the roles of biosynthesis and uptake of vitamins in the regulation of vitamin homeostasis in parasites needs to be established first. In this article, the procurement of vitamins B(1), B(5) and B(6) by Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites is discussed.

  18. Eimeripain, a cathepsin B-like cysteine protease, expressed throughout sporulation of the apicomplexan parasite Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Rieux, Anaïs; Gras, Simon; Lecaille, Fabien; Niepceron, Alisson; Katrib, Marilyn; Smith, Nicholas C; Lalmanach, Gilles; Brossier, Fabien

    2012-01-01

    The invasion and replication of Eimeria tenella in the chicken intestine is responsible for avian coccidiosis, a disease that has major economic impacts on poultry industries worldwide. E. tenella is transmitted to naïve animals via shed unsporulated oocysts that need contact with air and humidity to form the infectious sporulated oocysts, which contain the first invasive form of the parasite, the sporozoite. Cysteine proteases (CPs) are major virulence factors expressed by protozoa. In this study, we show that E. tenella expresses five transcriptionally regulated genes encoding one cathepsin L, one cathepsin B and three cathepsin Cs. Biot-LC-LVG-CHN₂, a cystatin derived probe, tagged eight polypeptides in unsporulated oocysts but only one in sporulated oocysts. CP-dependant activities were found against the fluorescent substrates, Z-FR-AMC and Z-LR-AMC, throughout the sporulation process. These activities corresponded to a cathepsin B-like enzyme since they were inhibited by CA-074, a specific cathepsin B inhibitor. A 3D model of the catalytic domain of the cathepsin B-like protease, based on its sequence homology with human cathepsin B, further confirmed its classification as a papain-like protease with similar characteristics to toxopain-1 from the related apicomplexan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii; we have, therefore, named the E. tenella cathepsin B, eimeripain. Following stable transfection of E. tenella sporozoites with a plasmid allowing the expression of eimeripain fused to the fluorescent protein mCherry, we demonstrated that eimeripain is detected throughout sporulation and has a punctate distribution in the bodies of extra- and intracellular parasites. Furthermore, CA-074 Me, the membrane-permeable derivative of CA-074, impairs invasion of epithelial MDBK cells by E. tenella sporozoites. This study represents the first characterization of CPs expressed by a parasite from the Eimeria genus. Moreover, it emphasizes the role of CPs in transmission and

  19. Genome Sequence of Babesia bovis and Camparative Analysis of Apicomplexan Hemoprotozoa

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Babesia bovis is an apicomplexan tick-transmitted pathogen of cattle imposing a global risk and severe constraints to livestock health and economic development. The complete genome sequence was undertaken to facilitate vaccine antigen discovery, and to allow for comparative analysis with the related...

  20. Cryptic organelle homology in Apicomplexan parasites: Insights from evolutionary cell biology

    PubMed Central

    Klinger, Christen M.; Nisbet, R. Ellen; Ouologuem, Dinkorma T.; Roos, David S.; Dacks, Joel B.

    2013-01-01

    The economic and clinical significance of apicomplexan parasites drives interest in their many evolutionary novelties. Distinctive intracellular organelles play key roles in parasite motility, invasion, metabolism, and replication, and understanding their relationship with the organelles of better-studied eukaryotic systems suggests potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Recent work has demonstrated divergent aspects of canonical eukaryotic components in the apicomplexa, including Golgi bodies and mitochondria. The apicoplast is a relict plastid of secondary endosymbiotic origin, harboring metabolic pathways distinct from those of host species. The inner membrane complex is derived from the cortical alveoli defining the superphylum Alveolata, but in apicomplexans functions in parasite motility and replication. Micronemes and rhoptries are associated with establishment of the intracellular niche, and define the apical complex for which the phylum is named. Morphological, cell biological and molecular evidence strongly suggest that these organelles are derived from the endocytic pathway. PMID:23932202

  1. Is an Apicomplexan Parasite Responsible for the Collapse of the Iceland Scallop (Chlamys islandica) Stock?

    PubMed

    Kristmundsson, Árni; Erlingsdóttir, Ásthildur; Freeman, Mark A

    2015-01-01

    Due to the total and unexpected collapse of the Iceland scallop, Chlamys islandica, stocks around Iceland during the 2000s, a commercial fishing ban has been imposed on this valuable resource since 2003. Following the initial identification of an apicomplexan parasite in the scallops, a long-term surveillance program was established to evaluate the effect of the parasite on the population. The infections were highly prevalent in all shell sizes throughout the study. However, the parasite only impacts mature scallops where they cause severe macroscopic changes, characterized by an extensively diminished and abnormally coloured adductor muscle. A highly significant relationship was observed between infection intensity and gonad and adductor muscle indices. The first four years of the study, were characterized by high infection intensity and very poor condition of the adductor muscle and gonads, whilst during subsequent years, infections gradually decreased and the condition of the scallops improved. Histopathological changes were restricted to the presence of apicomplexan zoites which were widely distributed, causing varying degrees of pathology in all organs. In heavy infections, muscular and connective tissues were totally necrotized, destroying significant parts of numerous organs, especially the adductor muscle, digestive gland and gonads. The progression of the disease was in good synchrony with the mortality rates and the subsequent decline observed in the scallop stock and recruitment indices. Our findings strongly suggest that the apicomplexan parasite played a major role in the collapse of the Iceland scallop stock in Breidafjordur. In addition to causing mortality, the infections significantly impact gonad development which contributes further to the collapse of the stock in the form of lower larval recruitment. Furthermore, compelling evidence exists that this apicomplexan pathogen is causing serious disease outbreaks in other scallop populations. Similar

  2. Is an Apicomplexan Parasite Responsible for the Collapse of the Iceland Scallop (Chlamys islandica) Stock?

    PubMed Central

    Kristmundsson, Árni; Erlingsdóttir, Ásthildur; Freeman, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    Due to the total and unexpected collapse of the Iceland scallop, Chlamys islandica, stocks around Iceland during the 2000s, a commercial fishing ban has been imposed on this valuable resource since 2003. Following the initial identification of an apicomplexan parasite in the scallops, a long-term surveillance program was established to evaluate the effect of the parasite on the population. The infections were highly prevalent in all shell sizes throughout the study. However, the parasite only impacts mature scallops where they cause severe macroscopic changes, characterized by an extensively diminished and abnormally coloured adductor muscle. A highly significant relationship was observed between infection intensity and gonad and adductor muscle indices. The first four years of the study, were characterized by high infection intensity and very poor condition of the adductor muscle and gonads, whilst during subsequent years, infections gradually decreased and the condition of the scallops improved. Histopathological changes were restricted to the presence of apicomplexan zoites which were widely distributed, causing varying degrees of pathology in all organs. In heavy infections, muscular and connective tissues were totally necrotized, destroying significant parts of numerous organs, especially the adductor muscle, digestive gland and gonads. The progression of the disease was in good synchrony with the mortality rates and the subsequent decline observed in the scallop stock and recruitment indices. Our findings strongly suggest that the apicomplexan parasite played a major role in the collapse of the Iceland scallop stock in Breidafjordur. In addition to causing mortality, the infections significantly impact gonad development which contributes further to the collapse of the stock in the form of lower larval recruitment. Furthermore, compelling evidence exists that this apicomplexan pathogen is causing serious disease outbreaks in other scallop populations. Similar

  3. The plant-type ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase/ferredoxin redox system as a possible drug target against apicomplexan human parasites.

    PubMed

    Seeber, Frank; Aliverti, Alessandro; Zanetti, Giuliana

    2005-01-01

    Apicomplexa are unicellular, obligate intracellular parasites of great medical importance. They include human pathogens like Plasmodium spp., the causative agent of malaria, and Toxoplasma gondii, an opportunistic parasite of immunosuppressed individuals and a common cause of congenital disease (toxoplasmosis). They alone affect several hundred million people worldwide so that new drugs, especially for plasmodial infections, are urgently needed. This review will focus on a recently emerged, potential drug target, a plant-type redox system consisting of ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductase (FNR) and its redox partner, ferredoxin (Fd). Both reside in an unique organelle of these parasites, named apicoplast, which is of algal origin. The apicoplast has been shown to be required for pathogen survival. In addition to other pathways already identified in this compartment, the FNR/Fd redox system represents a promising drug target because homologous proteins are not present in host organisms. Furthermore, a wealth of structural information exists on the closely related plant proteins, which can be exploited for structure-function studies of the apicomplexan protein pair. T. gondii and P. falciparum FNRs have been cloned, and the T. gondii enzyme was shown to be a flavoprotein active as a NADPH-dependent oxidoreductase. Both phylogenetic and biochemical analyses indicate that T. gondii FNR is similar in function to the isoform present in non-photosynthetic plastids whereby electron flow is from NADPH to oxidized Fd. The resulting reduced Fd is then presumably used as a reductant for various target enzymes whose nature is just starting to emerge. Among the likely candidates is the iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis pathway, which is also located in the apicoplast and dependent on reducing power. Furthermore, lipoic acid synthase and enzymes of the isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway may be other conceivable targets. Since all these metabolic steps are vital for the parasite, blocking

  4. Rab11A-Controlled Assembly of the Inner Membrane Complex Is Required for Completion of Apicomplexan Cytokinesis

    PubMed Central

    Rached, Fathia Ben; Rauch, Manuel; Kretzschmar, Angelika; Thiberge, Sabine; Menard, Robert; Ferguson, David J. P.; Meissner, Markus; Langsley, Gordon

    2009-01-01

    The final step during cell division is the separation of daughter cells, a process that requires the coordinated delivery and assembly of new membrane to the cleavage furrow. While most eukaryotic cells replicate by binary fission, replication of apicomplexan parasites involves the assembly of daughters (merozoites/tachyzoites) within the mother cell, using the so-called Inner Membrane Complex (IMC) as a scaffold. After de novo synthesis of the IMC and biogenesis or segregation of new organelles, daughters bud out of the mother cell to invade new host cells. Here, we demonstrate that the final step in parasite cell division involves delivery of new plasma membrane to the daughter cells, in a process requiring functional Rab11A. Importantly, Rab11A can be found in association with Myosin-Tail-Interacting-Protein (MTIP), also known as Myosin Light Chain 1 (MLC1), a member of a 4-protein motor complex called the glideosome that is known to be crucial for parasite invasion of host cells. Ablation of Rab11A function results in daughter parasites having an incompletely formed IMC that leads to a block at a late stage of cell division. A similar defect is observed upon inducible expression of a myosin A tail-only mutant. We propose a model where Rab11A-mediated vesicular traffic driven by an MTIP-Myosin motor is necessary for IMC maturation and to deliver new plasma membrane to daughter cells in order to complete cell division. PMID:19165333

  5. Evolutionarily divergent, unstable filamentous actin is essential for gliding motility in apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Skillman, Kristen M; Diraviyam, Karthikeyan; Khan, Asis; Tang, Keliang; Sept, David; Sibley, L David

    2011-10-01

    Apicomplexan parasites rely on a novel form of actin-based motility called gliding, which depends on parasite actin polymerization, to migrate through their hosts and invade cells. However, parasite actins are divergent both in sequence and function and only form short, unstable filaments in contrast to the stability of conventional actin filaments. The molecular basis for parasite actin filament instability and its relationship to gliding motility remain unresolved. We demonstrate that recombinant Toxoplasma (TgACTI) and Plasmodium (PfACTI and PfACTII) actins polymerized into very short filaments in vitro but were induced to form long, stable filaments by addition of equimolar levels of phalloidin. Parasite actins contain a conserved phalloidin-binding site as determined by molecular modeling and computational docking, yet vary in several residues that are predicted to impact filament stability. In particular, two residues were identified that form intermolecular contacts between different protomers in conventional actin filaments and these residues showed non-conservative differences in apicomplexan parasites. Substitution of divergent residues found in TgACTI with those from mammalian actin resulted in formation of longer, more stable filaments in vitro. Expression of these stabilized actins in T. gondii increased sensitivity to the actin-stabilizing compound jasplakinolide and disrupted normal gliding motility in the absence of treatment. These results identify the molecular basis for short, dynamic filaments in apicomplexan parasites and demonstrate that inherent instability of parasite actin filaments is a critical adaptation for gliding motility.

  6. Isoprenoid precursor biosynthesis offers potential targets for drug discovery against diseases caused by apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Hunter, William N

    2011-01-01

    Two, simple, C5 compounds, dimethylally diphosphate and isopentenyl diphosphate, are the universal precursors of isoprenoids, a large family of natural products involved in numerous important biological processes. Two distinct biosynthetic pathways have evolved to supply these precursors. Humans use the mevalonate route whilst many species of bacteria including important pathogens, plant chloroplasts and apicomplexan parasites exploit the non-mevalonate pathway. The absence from humans, combined with genetic and chemical validation suggests that the non-mevalonate pathway holds the potential to support new drug discovery programmes targeting Gram-negative bacteria and the apicomplexan parasites responsible for causing serious human diseases, and also infections of veterinary importance. The non-mevalonate pathway relies on eight enzyme-catalyzed stages exploiting a range of cofactors and metal ions. A wealth of structural and mechanistic data, mainly derived from studies of bacterial enzymes, now exists for most components of the pathway and these will be described. Particular attention will be paid to how these data inform on the apicomplexan orthologues concentrating on the enzymes from Plasmodium spp. these cause malaria, one the most important parasitic diseases in the world today.

  7. Two recently sequenced vertebrate genomes are contaminated with apicomplexan species of the Sarcocystidae family.

    PubMed

    Orosz, Ferenc

    2015-11-01

    This paper highlights a general problem, namely that host genome sequences can easily be contaminated with parasite sequences, thus careful isolation of genetic material and careful bioinformatics analysis are needed in all cases. Two recently published genomes are shown here to be contaminated with sequences of apicomplexan parasites which belong to the Sarcocystidae family. Sequences of the characteristic apicomplexan organelle, the apicoplast, were used as queries in BLASTN searches against nucleotide sequences of various animal groups looking for possible contamination. Draft genomes of a bird, Colinus virginianus (Halley et al., 2014), and a bat, Myotis davidii (Zhang et al., 2013) were found to contain at least six and 17 contigs, respectively, originating from the apicoplast of an apicomplexan species, and other genes specific to this phylum can also be found in the published genomes. Obviously, the sources of the genetic material, the muscle and the kidney of the animals, respectively, contained the parasitic cysts. Phylogenetic analyses using 18S rRNA and internal transcribed spacer 1 genes show that the parasite contaminating C. virginianus is a species of Sarcocystis related to ones known to cycle between avian and mammalian hosts. In the case of M. davidii it belongs to the Nephroisospora genus, the only member of which, Nephroisospora eptesici, has been recently identified from the kidney of big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus).

  8. Evolutionarily Divergent, Unstable Filamentous Actin Is Essential for Gliding Motility in Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Skillman, Kristen M.; Diraviyam, Karthikeyan; Khan, Asis; Tang, Keliang; Sept, David; Sibley, L. David

    2011-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites rely on a novel form of actin-based motility called gliding, which depends on parasite actin polymerization, to migrate through their hosts and invade cells. However, parasite actins are divergent both in sequence and function and only form short, unstable filaments in contrast to the stability of conventional actin filaments. The molecular basis for parasite actin filament instability and its relationship to gliding motility remain unresolved. We demonstrate that recombinant Toxoplasma (TgACTI) and Plasmodium (PfACTI and PfACTII) actins polymerized into very short filaments in vitro but were induced to form long, stable filaments by addition of equimolar levels of phalloidin. Parasite actins contain a conserved phalloidin-binding site as determined by molecular modeling and computational docking, yet vary in several residues that are predicted to impact filament stability. In particular, two residues were identified that form intermolecular contacts between different protomers in conventional actin filaments and these residues showed non-conservative differences in apicomplexan parasites. Substitution of divergent residues found in TgACTI with those from mammalian actin resulted in formation of longer, more stable filaments in vitro. Expression of these stabilized actins in T. gondii increased sensitivity to the actin-stabilizing compound jasplakinolide and disrupted normal gliding motility in the absence of treatment. These results identify the molecular basis for short, dynamic filaments in apicomplexan parasites and demonstrate that inherent instability of parasite actin filaments is a critical adaptation for gliding motility. PMID:21998582

  9. The conserved apicomplexan Aurora kinase TgArk3 is involved in endodyogeny, duplication rate and parasite virulence.

    PubMed

    Berry, Laurence; Chen, Chun-Ti; Reininger, Luc; Carvalho, Teresa G; El Hajj, Hiba; Morlon-Guyot, Juliette; Bordat, Yann; Lebrun, Maryse; Gubbels, Marc-Jan; Doerig, Christian; Daher, Wassim

    2016-08-01

    Aurora kinases are eukaryotic serine/threonine protein kinases that regulate key events associated with chromatin condensation, centrosome and spindle function and cytokinesis. Elucidating the roles of Aurora kinases in apicomplexan parasites is crucial to understand the cell cycle control during Plasmodium schizogony or Toxoplasma endodyogeny. Here, we report on the localization of two previously uncharacterized Toxoplasma Aurora-related kinases (Ark2 and Ark3) in tachyzoites and of the uncharacterized Ark3 orthologue in Plasmodium falciparum erythrocytic stages. In Toxoplasma gondii, we show that TgArk2 and TgArk3 concentrate at specific sub-cellular structures linked to parasite division: the mitotic spindle and intranuclear mitotic structures (TgArk2), and the outer core of the centrosome and the budding daughter cells cytoskeleton (TgArk3). By tagging the endogenous PfArk3 gene with the green fluorescent protein in live parasites, we show that PfArk3 protein expression peaks late in schizogony and localizes at the periphery of budding schizonts. Disruption of the TgArk2 gene reveals no essential function for tachyzoite propagation in vitro, which is surprising giving that the P. falciparum and P. berghei orthologues are essential for erythrocyte schizogony. In contrast, knock-down of TgArk3 protein results in pronounced defects in parasite division and a major growth deficiency. TgArk3-depleted parasites display several defects, such as reduced parasite growth rate, delayed egress and parasite duplication, defect in rosette formation, reduced parasite size and invasion efficiency and lack of virulence in mice. Our study provides new insights into cell cycle control in Toxoplasma and malaria parasites and highlights Aurora kinase 3 as potential drug target.

  10. Dissecting the interface between apicomplexan parasite and host cell: Insights from a divergent AMA-RON2 pair.

    PubMed

    Parker, Michelle L; Penarete-Vargas, Diana M; Hamilton, Phineas T; Guérin, Amandine; Dubey, Jitender P; Perlman, Steve J; Spano, Furio; Lebrun, Maryse; Boulanger, Martin J

    2016-01-12

    Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii are widely studied parasites in phylum Apicomplexa and the etiological agents of severe human malaria and toxoplasmosis, respectively. These intracellular pathogens have evolved a sophisticated invasion strategy that relies on delivery of proteins into the host cell, where parasite-derived rhoptry neck protein 2 (RON2) family members localize to the host outer membrane and serve as ligands for apical membrane antigen (AMA) family surface proteins displayed on the parasite. Recently, we showed that T. gondii harbors a novel AMA designated as TgAMA4 that shows extreme sequence divergence from all characterized AMA family members. Here we show that sporozoite-expressed TgAMA4 clusters in a distinct phylogenetic clade with Plasmodium merozoite apical erythrocyte-binding ligand (MAEBL) proteins and forms a high-affinity, functional complex with its coevolved partner, TgRON2L1. High-resolution crystal structures of TgAMA4 in the apo and TgRON2L1-bound forms complemented with alanine scanning mutagenesis data reveal an unexpected architecture and assembly mechanism relative to previously characterized AMA-RON2 complexes. Principally, TgAMA4 lacks both a deep surface groove and a key surface loop that have been established to govern RON2 ligand binding selectivity in other AMAs. Our study reveals a previously underappreciated level of molecular diversity at the parasite-host-cell interface and offers intriguing insight into the adaptation strategies underlying sporozoite invasion. Moreover, our data offer the potential for improved design of neutralizing therapeutics targeting a broad range of AMA-RON2 pairs and apicomplexan invasive stages.

  11. Horizontal gene transfer of epigenetic machinery and evolution of parasitism in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and other apicomplexans.

    PubMed

    Kishore, Sandeep P; Stiller, John W; Deitsch, Kirk W

    2013-02-11

    The acquisition of complex transcriptional regulatory abilities and epigenetic machinery facilitated the transition of the ancestor of apicomplexans from a free-living organism to an obligate parasite. The ability to control sophisticated gene expression patterns enabled these ancient organisms to evolve several differentiated forms, invade multiple hosts and evade host immunity. How these abilities were acquired remains an outstanding question in protistan biology. In this work, we study SET domain bearing genes that are implicated in mediating immune evasion, invasion and cytoadhesion pathways of modern apicomplexans, including malaria parasites. We provide the first conclusive evidence of a horizontal gene transfer of a Histone H4 Lysine 20 (H4K20) modifier, Set8, from an animal host to the ancestor of apicomplexans. Set8 is known to contribute to the coordinated expression of genes involved in immune evasion in modern apicomplexans. We also show the likely transfer of a H3K36 methyltransferase (Ashr3 from plants), possibly derived from algal endosymbionts. These transfers appear to date to the transition from free-living organisms to parasitism and coincide with the proposed horizontal acquisition of cytoadhesion domains, the O-glycosyltransferase that modifies these domains, and the primary family of transcription factors found in apicomplexan parasites. Notably, phylogenetic support for these conclusions is robust and the genes clearly are dissimilar to SET sequences found in the closely related parasite Perkinsus marinus, and in ciliates, the nearest free-living organisms with complete genome sequences available. Animal and plant sources of epigenetic machinery provide new insights into the evolution of parasitism in apicomplexans. Along with the horizontal transfer of cytoadhesive domains, O-linked glycosylation and key transcription factors, the acquisition of SET domain methyltransferases marks a key transitional event in the evolution to parasitism in

  12. Horizontal gene transfer of epigenetic machinery and evolution of parasitism in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and other apicomplexans

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The acquisition of complex transcriptional regulatory abilities and epigenetic machinery facilitated the transition of the ancestor of apicomplexans from a free-living organism to an obligate parasite. The ability to control sophisticated gene expression patterns enabled these ancient organisms to evolve several differentiated forms, invade multiple hosts and evade host immunity. How these abilities were acquired remains an outstanding question in protistan biology. Results In this work, we study SET domain bearing genes that are implicated in mediating immune evasion, invasion and cytoadhesion pathways of modern apicomplexans, including malaria parasites. We provide the first conclusive evidence of a horizontal gene transfer of a Histone H4 Lysine 20 (H4K20) modifier, Set8, from an animal host to the ancestor of apicomplexans. Set8 is known to contribute to the coordinated expression of genes involved in immune evasion in modern apicomplexans. We also show the likely transfer of a H3K36 methyltransferase (Ashr3 from plants), possibly derived from algal endosymbionts. These transfers appear to date to the transition from free-living organisms to parasitism and coincide with the proposed horizontal acquisition of cytoadhesion domains, the O-glycosyltransferase that modifies these domains, and the primary family of transcription factors found in apicomplexan parasites. Notably, phylogenetic support for these conclusions is robust and the genes clearly are dissimilar to SET sequences found in the closely related parasite Perkinsus marinus, and in ciliates, the nearest free-living organisms with complete genome sequences available. Conclusions Animal and plant sources of epigenetic machinery provide new insights into the evolution of parasitism in apicomplexans. Along with the horizontal transfer of cytoadhesive domains, O-linked glycosylation and key transcription factors, the acquisition of SET domain methyltransferases marks a key transitional event in

  13. A unique hexokinase in Cryptosporidium parvum, an apicomplexan pathogen lacking the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yonglan; Zhang, Haili; Guo, Fengguang; Sun, Mingfei; Zhu, Guan

    2014-09-01

    Cryptosporidium parvum may cause virtually untreatable infections in AIDS patients, and is recently identified as one of the top four diarrheal pathogens in children in developing countries. Cryptosporidium differs from other apicomplexans (e.g., Plasmodium and Toxoplasma) by lacking many metabolic pathways including the Krebs cycle and cytochrome-based respiratory chain, thus relying mainly on glycolysis for ATP production. Here we report the molecular and biochemical characterizations of a hexokinase in C. parvum (CpHK). Our phylogenetic reconstructions indicated that apicomplexan hexokinases including CpHK were highly divergent from those of humans and animals (i.e., at the base of the eukaryotic clade). CpHK displays unique kinetic features that differ from those in mammals and Toxoplasma gondii (TgHK) in the preference towards various hexoses and its capacity to use ATP and other NTPs. CpHK also displays substrate inhibition by ATP. Moreover, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2DG) could not only inhibit the CpHK activity, but also the parasite growth in vitro at concentrations nontoxic to host cells (IC(50) = 0.54 mM). While the exact action of 2-deoxy-D-glucose on the parasite is subject to further verification, our data suggest that CpHK and the glycolytic pathway may be explored for developing anti-cryptosporidial therapeutics. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  14. Metabolic pathway redundancy within the apicomplexan-dinoflagellate radiation argues against an ancient chromalveolate plastid

    PubMed Central

    Waller, Ross F.; Gornik, Sebastian G.; Koreny, Ludek; Pain, Arnab

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The chromalveolate hypothesis presents an attractively simple explanation for the presence of red algal-derived secondary plastids in 5 major eukaryotic lineages: “chromista” phyla, cryptophytes, haptophytes and ochrophytes; and alveolate phyla, dinoflagellates and apicomplexans. It posits that a single secondary endosymbiotic event occurred in a common ancestor of these diverse groups, and that this ancient plastid has since been maintained by vertical inheritance only. Substantial testing of this hypothesis by molecular phylogenies has, however, consistently failed to provide support for the predicted monophyly of the host organisms that harbour these plastids—the “chromalveolates.” This lack of support does not disprove the chromalveolate hypothesis per se, but rather drives the proposed endosymbiosis deeper into the eukaryotic tree, and requires multiple plastid losses to have occurred within intervening aplastidic lineages. An alternative perspective on plastid evolution is offered by considering the metabolic partnership between the endosymbiont and its host cell. A recent analysis of metabolic pathways in a deep-branching dinoflagellate indicates a high level of pathway redundancy in the common ancestor of apicomplexans and dinoflagellates, and differential losses of these pathways soon after radiation of the major extant lineages. This suggests that vertical inheritance of an ancient plastid in alveolates is highly unlikely as it would necessitate maintenance of redundant pathways over very long evolutionary timescales. PMID:27066182

  15. In Vitro and In Vivo Activities of Sulfur-Containing Linear Bisphosphonates against Apicomplexan Parasites.

    PubMed

    Szajnman, Sergio H; Galaka, Tamila; Li, Zhu-Hong; Li, Catherine; Howell, Nathan M; Chao, María N; Striepen, Boris; Muralidharan, Vasant; Moreno, Silvia N J; Rodriguez, Juan B

    2017-02-01

    We tested a series of sulfur-containing linear bisphosphonates against Toxoplasma gondii, the etiologic agent of toxoplasmosis. The most potent compound (compound 22; 1-[(n-decylsulfonyl)ethyl]-1,1-bisphosphonic acid) is a sulfone-containing compound, which had a 50% effective concentration (EC50) of 0.11 ± 0.02 μM against intracellular tachyzoites. The compound showed low toxicity when tested in tissue culture with a selectivity index of >2,000. Compound 22 also showed high activity in vivo in a toxoplasmosis mouse model. The compound inhibited the Toxoplasma farnesyl diphosphate synthase (TgFPPS), but the concentration needed to inhibit 50% of the enzymatic activity (IC50) was higher than the concentration that inhibited 50% of growth. We tested compound 22 against two other apicomplexan parasites, Plasmodium falciparum (EC50 of 0.6 ± 0.01 μM), the agent of malaria, and Cryptosporidium parvum (EC50 of ∼65 μM), the agent of cryptosporidiosis. Our results suggest that compound 22 is an excellent novel compound that could lead to the development of potent agents against apicomplexan parasites.

  16. The Ins and Outs of Nuclear Trafficking: Unusual Aspects in Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Frankel, Matthew B.

    2009-01-01

    Apicomplexa is a phylum within the kingdom Protista that contains some of the most significant threats to public health. One of the members of this phylum, Toxoplasma gondii, is amenable to molecular genetic analyses allowing for the identification of factors critical for colonization and disease. A pathway found to be important for T. gondii pathogenesis is the Ran network of nuclear trafficking. Bioinformatics analysis of apicomplexan genomes shows that while Ran is well conserved, the key regulators of Ran—Regulator of Chromosome Condensation 1 and Ran GTPase activating protein—are either highly divergent or absent. Likewise, several import and export receptor molecules that are crucial for nuclear transport are either not present or have experienced genetic drift such that they are no longer recognizable by bioinformatics tools. In this minireview we describe the basics of nuclear trafficking and compare components within apicomplexans to defined systems in humans and yeast. A detailed analysis of the nuclear trafficking network in these eukaryotes is required to understand how this potentially unique cellular biological pathway contributes to host–parasite interactions. PMID:19348590

  17. Recent insights into apicomplexan parasite egress provide new views to a kill

    PubMed Central

    Blackman, Michael J.; Carruthers, Vern B.

    2013-01-01

    A hallmark of apicomplexan pathogens such as Plasmodium, Toxoplasma and Cryptosporidium is that they invade, replicate within, and then egress from their host cells. Egress usually results in lysis of the host cell, with deleterious consequences for the host. In the case of malaria, for example, much of the disease pathology is associated with cyclical waves of host erythrocyte destruction. This review highlights recent advances in mapping the signaling pathways that lead to egress and the parasite molecules involved in responding to and transmitting those signals. The review also discusses new findings for effector molecules that mediate disruption of the bounding membranes that enclose the intracellular parasite and the manner in which membrane rupture occurs to finally release invasive forms of the parasite. PMID:23725669

  18. MicroRNAs in the Host-Apicomplexan Parasites Interactions: A Review of Immunopathological Aspects

    PubMed Central

    Judice, Carla C.; Bourgard, Catarina; Kayano, Ana C. A. V.; Albrecht, Letusa; Costa, Fabio T. M.

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non-coding regulatory RNAs, have been detected in a variety of organisms ranging from ancient unicellular eukaryotes to mammals. They have been associated with numerous molecular mechanisms involving developmental, physiological and pathological changes of cells and tissues. Despite the fact that miRNA-silencing mechanisms appear to be absent in some Apicomplexan species, an increasing number of studies have reported a role for miRNAs in host-parasite interactions. Host miRNA expression can change following parasite infection and the consequences can lead, for instance, to parasite clearance. In this context, the immune system signaling appears to have a crucial role. PMID:26870701

  19. Apicoplast and Endoplasmic Reticulum Cooperate in Fatty Acid Biosynthesis in Apicomplexan Parasite Toxoplasma gondii*

    PubMed Central

    Ramakrishnan, Srinivasan; Docampo, Melissa D.; MacRae, James I.; Pujol, François M.; Brooks, Carrie F.; van Dooren, Giel G.; Hiltunen, J. Kalervo; Kastaniotis, Alexander J.; McConville, Malcolm J.; Striepen, Boris

    2012-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites are responsible for high impact human diseases such as malaria, toxoplasmosis, and cryptosporidiosis. These obligate intracellular pathogens are dependent on both de novo lipid biosynthesis as well as the uptake of host lipids for biogenesis of parasite membranes. Genome annotations and biochemical studies indicate that apicomplexan parasites can synthesize fatty acids via a number of different biosynthetic pathways that are differentially compartmentalized. However, the relative contribution of each of these biosynthetic pathways to total fatty acid composition of intracellular parasite stages remains poorly defined. Here, we use a combination of genetic, biochemical, and metabolomic approaches to delineate the contribution of fatty acid biosynthetic pathways in Toxoplasma gondii. Metabolic labeling studies with [13C]glucose showed that intracellular tachyzoites synthesized a range of long and very long chain fatty acids (C14:0–26:1). Genetic disruption of the apicoplast-localized type II fatty-acid synthase resulted in greatly reduced synthesis of saturated fatty acids up to 18 carbons long. Ablation of type II fatty-acid synthase activity resulted in reduced intracellular growth that was partially restored by addition of long chain fatty acids. In contrast, synthesis of very long chain fatty acids was primarily dependent on a fatty acid elongation system comprising three elongases, two reductases, and a dehydratase that were localized to the endoplasmic reticulum. The function of these enzymes was confirmed by heterologous expression in yeast. This elongase pathway appears to have a unique role in generating very long unsaturated fatty acids (C26:1) that cannot be salvaged from the host. PMID:22179608

  20. Structural and evolutionary divergence of eukaryotic protein kinases in Apicomplexa.

    PubMed

    Talevich, Eric; Mirza, Amar; Kannan, Natarajan

    2011-11-02

    The Apicomplexa constitute an evolutionarily divergent phylum of protozoan pathogens responsible for widespread parasitic diseases such as malaria and toxoplasmosis. Many cellular functions in these medically important organisms are controlled by protein kinases, which have emerged as promising drug targets for parasitic diseases. However, an incomplete understanding of how apicomplexan kinases structurally and mechanistically differ from their host counterparts has hindered drug development efforts to target parasite kinases. We used the wealth of sequence data recently made available for 15 apicomplexan species to identify the kinome of each species and quantify the evolutionary constraints imposed on each family of apicomplexan kinases. Our analysis revealed lineage-specific adaptations in selected families, namely cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK), calcium-dependent protein kinase (CDPK) and CLK/LAMMER, which have been identified as important in the pathogenesis of these organisms. Bayesian analysis of selective constraints imposed on these families identified the sequence and structural features that most distinguish apicomplexan protein kinases from their homologs in model organisms and other eukaryotes. In particular, in a subfamily of CDKs orthologous to Plasmodium falciparum crk-5, the activation loop contains a novel PTxC motif which is absent from all CDKs outside Apicomplexa. Our analysis also suggests a convergent mode of regulation in a subset of apicomplexan CDPKs and mammalian MAPKs involving a commonly conserved arginine in the αC helix. In all recognized apicomplexan CLKs, we find a set of co-conserved residues involved in substrate recognition and docking that are distinct from metazoan CLKs. We pinpoint key conserved residues that can be predicted to mediate functional differences from eukaryotic homologs in three identified kinase families. We discuss the structural, functional and evolutionary implications of these lineage-specific variations and

  1. Structural and evolutionary divergence of eukaryotic protein kinases in Apicomplexa

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The Apicomplexa constitute an evolutionarily divergent phylum of protozoan pathogens responsible for widespread parasitic diseases such as malaria and toxoplasmosis. Many cellular functions in these medically important organisms are controlled by protein kinases, which have emerged as promising drug targets for parasitic diseases. However, an incomplete understanding of how apicomplexan kinases structurally and mechanistically differ from their host counterparts has hindered drug development efforts to target parasite kinases. Results We used the wealth of sequence data recently made available for 15 apicomplexan species to identify the kinome of each species and quantify the evolutionary constraints imposed on each family of apicomplexan kinases. Our analysis revealed lineage-specific adaptations in selected families, namely cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK), calcium-dependent protein kinase (CDPK) and CLK/LAMMER, which have been identified as important in the pathogenesis of these organisms. Bayesian analysis of selective constraints imposed on these families identified the sequence and structural features that most distinguish apicomplexan protein kinases from their homologs in model organisms and other eukaryotes. In particular, in a subfamily of CDKs orthologous to Plasmodium falciparum crk-5, the activation loop contains a novel PTxC motif which is absent from all CDKs outside Apicomplexa. Our analysis also suggests a convergent mode of regulation in a subset of apicomplexan CDPKs and mammalian MAPKs involving a commonly conserved arginine in the αC helix. In all recognized apicomplexan CLKs, we find a set of co-conserved residues involved in substrate recognition and docking that are distinct from metazoan CLKs. Conclusions We pinpoint key conserved residues that can be predicted to mediate functional differences from eukaryotic homologs in three identified kinase families. We discuss the structural, functional and evolutionary implications of these

  2. Cell: sporozoite interactions and invasion by apicomplexan parasites of the genus Eimeria.

    PubMed

    Augustine, P C

    2001-01-01

    The site specificity that avian Eimeria sporozoites and, to a more limited degree, other apicomplexan parasites exhibit for invasion in vivo suggests that specific interactions between the sporozoites and the target host cells may mediate the invasion process. Although sporozoite motility and structural and secreted antigens appear to provide the mechanisms for propelling the sporozoite into the host cell,there is a growing body of evidence that the host cell provides characteristics by which the sporozoites recognise and interact with the host cell as a prelude to invasion. Molecules on the surface of cells in the intestinal epithelium, that act as receptor or recognition sites for sporozoite invasion, may be included among these characteristics. The existence of receptor molecules for invasion by apicomplexan parasites was suggested by in vitro studies in which parasite invasion was inhibited in cultured cells that were treated with a variety of substances designed to selectively alter the host cell membrane. These substance included cationic compounds or molecules, enzymes that cleave specific linkages, protease inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, etc. More specific evidence for the presence of receptors was provided by the binding of parasite antigens to specific host cell surface molecules. Analyses of host cells have implicated 22, 31, and 37 kDa antigens, surface membrane glycoconjugates,conserved epitopes of host cells and sporozoites, etc., but no treatment that perturbs these putative receptors has completely inhibited invasion of the cells by parasites. Regardless of the mechanism,sporozoites of the avian Eimeria also invade the same specific sites in foreign host birds that they invade in the natural host. Thus, site specificity for invasion may be a response to characteristics of the intestine that are shared by a number of hosts rather than to a unique trait of the natural host. Protective immunity elicited against avian Eimeria species is not

  3. Lipid Synthesis in Protozoan Parasites: a Comparison Between Kinetoplastids and Apicomplexans

    PubMed Central

    Ramakrishnan, Srinivasan; Serricchio, Mauro; Striepen, Boris; Bütikofer, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Lipid metabolism is of crucial importance for pathogens. Lipids serve as cellular building blocks, signalling molecules, energy stores, posttranslational modifiers, and pathogenesis factors. Parasites rely on a complex system of uptake and synthesis mechanisms to satisfy their lipid needs. The parameters of this system change dramatically as the parasite transits through the various stages of its life cycle. Here we discuss the tremendous recent advances that have been made in the understanding of the synthesis and uptake pathways for fatty acids and phospholipids in apicomplexan and kinetoplastid parasites, including Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, Trypanosoma and Leishmania. Lipid synthesis differs in significant ways between parasites from both phyla and the human host. Parasites have acquired novel pathways through endosymbiosis, as in the case of the apicoplast, have dramatically reshaped substrate and product profiles, and have evolved specialized lipids to interact with or manipulate the host. These differences potentially provide opportunities for drug development. We outline the lipid pathways for key species in detail as they progress through the developmental cycle and highlight those that are of particular importance to the biology of the pathogens and/or are the most promising targets for parasite-specific treatment. PMID:23827884

  4. Canine Neutrophil Extracellular Traps Release Induced by the Apicomplexan Parasite Neospora caninum In Vitro.

    PubMed

    Wei, Zhengkai; Hermosilla, Carlos; Taubert, Anja; He, Xuexiu; Wang, Xiaocen; Gong, Pengtao; Li, Jianhua; Yang, Zhengtao; Zhang, Xichen

    2016-01-01

    Neosporosis is considered as one of the main causes of abortion and severe economic losses in dairy industry. The Canis genus serving as one of the confirmed definitive hosts of the apicomplexan parasite Neospora caninum (N. caninum) plays a critical role in its life cycle. However, the effects of N. caninum on its definitive hosts of neutrophils extracellular traps (NETs) formation remain unclear. In the present study, N. caninum tachyzoite-induced canine NETs formation was observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Visualization of DNA decorated with H3, neutrophil elastase (NE), and myeloperoxidase (MPO) within N. caninum tachyzoite-induced NETs were examined using fluorescence confocal microscopy analyses. Furthermore, the formation of canine NETs was quantified using Sytox Green staining, and the LDH levels in supernatants were examined by an LDH Cytotoxicity Assay(®) kit. The results clearly showed that NETs-like structures were induced by N. caninum tachyzoites, and the major components within these structures induced by N. caninum tachyzoite were further confirmed by fluorescence confocal microscopy visualization. These results suggest that N. caninum tachyzoites strongly induced NETs formation in canine polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN). In functional inhibition assays, the blockings of NADPH oxidase, NE, MPO, SOCE, ERK 1/2, and p38 MAPK signaling pathways significantly inhibited N. caninum tachyzoite-induced NETs formation. To our knowledge, this study is the first to report the formation of NETs in canine PMN against N. caninum infection.

  5. Canine Neutrophil Extracellular Traps Release Induced by the Apicomplexan Parasite Neospora caninum In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Zhengkai; Hermosilla, Carlos; Taubert, Anja; He, Xuexiu; Wang, Xiaocen; Gong, Pengtao; Li, Jianhua; Yang, Zhengtao; Zhang, Xichen

    2016-01-01

    Neosporosis is considered as one of the main causes of abortion and severe economic losses in dairy industry. The Canis genus serving as one of the confirmed definitive hosts of the apicomplexan parasite Neospora caninum (N. caninum) plays a critical role in its life cycle. However, the effects of N. caninum on its definitive hosts of neutrophils extracellular traps (NETs) formation remain unclear. In the present study, N. caninum tachyzoite-induced canine NETs formation was observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Visualization of DNA decorated with H3, neutrophil elastase (NE), and myeloperoxidase (MPO) within N. caninum tachyzoite-induced NETs were examined using fluorescence confocal microscopy analyses. Furthermore, the formation of canine NETs was quantified using Sytox Green staining, and the LDH levels in supernatants were examined by an LDH Cytotoxicity Assay® kit. The results clearly showed that NETs-like structures were induced by N. caninum tachyzoites, and the major components within these structures induced by N. caninum tachyzoite were further confirmed by fluorescence confocal microscopy visualization. These results suggest that N. caninum tachyzoites strongly induced NETs formation in canine polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN). In functional inhibition assays, the blockings of NADPH oxidase, NE, MPO, SOCE, ERK 1/2, and p38 MAPK signaling pathways significantly inhibited N. caninum tachyzoite-induced NETs formation. To our knowledge, this study is the first to report the formation of NETs in canine PMN against N. caninum infection. PMID:27843440

  6. Crystal structure of GAP50, the anchor of the invasion machinery in the inner membrane complex of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Bosch, Jürgen; Paige, Matthew H; Vaidya, Akhil B; Bergman, Lawrence W; Hol, Wim G J

    2012-04-01

    The glideosome associated protein GAP50 is an essential protein in apicomplexan parasites such as Plasmodium, Toxoplasma and Cryptosporidium, several species of which are important human pathogens. The 44.6kDa protein is part of a multi-protein complex known as the invasion machinery or glideosome, which is required for cell invasion and substrate gliding motility empowered by an actin-myosin motor. GAP50 is anchored through its C-terminal transmembrane helix into the inner membrane complex and interacts via a short six residue C-terminal tail with other proteins of the invasion machinery in the pellicle of the parasite. In this paper we describe the 1.7Å resolution crystal structure of the soluble GAP50 domain from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The structure shows an αßßα fold with overall similarity to purple acid phosphatases with, however, little homology regarding the nature of the residues in the active site region of the latter enzyme. While purple acid phosphatases contain a phosphate bridged binuclear Fe-site coordinated by seven side chains with the Fe-ions 3.2Å apart, GAP50 in our crystals contains two cobalt ions each with one protein ligand and a distance between the Co(2+) ions of 18Å. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Re-Emergence of the Apicomplexan Theileria equi in the United States: Elimination of Persistent Infection and Transmission Risk

    PubMed Central

    Ueti, Massaro W.; Mealey, Robert H.; Kappmeyer, Lowell S.; White, Stephen N.; Kumpula-McWhirter, Nancy; Pelzel, Angela M.; Grause, Juanita F.; Bunn, Thomas O.; Schwartz, Andy; Traub-Dargatz, Josie L.; Hendrickson, Amy; Espy, Benjamin; Guthrie, Alan J.; Fowler, W. Kent; Knowles, Donald P.

    2012-01-01

    Arthropod-borne apicomplexan pathogens that cause asymptomatic persistent infections present a significant challenge due to their life-long transmission potential. Although anti-microbials have been used to ameliorate acute disease in animals and humans, chemotherapeutic efficacy for apicomplexan pathogen elimination from a persistently infected host and removal of transmission risk is largely unconfirmed. The recent re-emergence of the apicomplexan Theileria equi in U.S. horses prompted testing whether imidocarb dipropionate was able to eliminate T. equi from naturally infected horses and remove transmission risk. Following imidocarb treatment, levels of T. equi declined from a mean of 104.9 organisms/ml of blood to undetectable by nested PCR in 24 of 25 naturally infected horses. Further, blood transfer from treated horses that became nested PCR negative failed to transmit to naïve splenectomized horses. Although these results were consistent with elimination of infection in 24 of 25 horses, T. equi-specific antibodies persisted in the majority of imidocarb treated horses. Imidocarb treatment was unsuccessful in one horse which remained infected as measured by nested PCR and retained the ability to infect a naïve recipient via intravenous blood transfer. However, a second round of treatment eliminated T. equi infection. These results support the utility of imidocarb chemotherapy for assistance in the control and eradication of this tick-borne pathogen. Successful imidocarb dipropionate treatment of persistently infected horses provides a tool to aid the global equine industry by removing transmission risk associated with infection and facilitating international movement of equids between endemic and non-endemic regions. PMID:22970295

  8. Primary Structure of 28S rRNA Gene Confirms Monophyly of Free-Living Heterotrophic and Phototrophic Apicomplexans (Alveolata).

    PubMed

    Mikhailov, K V; Tikhonenkov, D V; Janouškovec, J; Diakin, A Y; Ofitserov, M V; Mylnikov, A P; Aleshin, V V

    2015-11-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of large subunit ribosomal RNA (LSU rRNA or 28S rRNA) gene sequences from free-living predatory flagellates Colpodella angusta, Voromonas pontica, and Alphamonas edax (Apicomplexa) confirms their close relationship with chromerids Chromera velia and Vitrella brassicaformis, which possess a functional photosynthetic plastid. Together these organisms form a sister group to parasitic apicomplexans (coccidians and gregarines, or sporozoans sensu lato). This result agrees with the previous conclusion on monophyly of colpodellids and chromerids (chrompodellids) based on phylogenomic data. The revealed relationships demonstrate a complex pattern of acquisition, loss, or modification of plastids and transition to parasitism during alveolate evolution.

  9. The Motor Complex of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Green, Judith L.; Rees-Channer, Roxanne R.; Howell, Stephen A.; Martin, Stephen R.; Knuepfer, Ellen; Taylor, Helen M.; Grainger, Munira; Holder, Anthony A.

    2008-01-01

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) of Apicomplexan parasites are crucial for the survival of the parasite throughout its life cycle. CDPK1 is expressed in the asexual blood stages of the parasite, particularly late stage schizonts. We have identified two substrates of Plasmodium falciparum CDPK1: myosin A tail domain-interacting protein (MTIP) and glideosome-associated protein 45 (GAP45), both of which are components of the motor complex that generates the force required by the parasite to actively invade host cells. Indirect immunofluorescence shows that CDPK1 localizes to the periphery of P. falciparum merozoites and is therefore suitably located to act on MTIP and GAP45 at the inner membrane complex. A proportion of both GAP45 and MTIP is phosphorylated in schizonts, and we demonstrate that both proteins can be efficiently phosphorylated by CDPK1 in vitro. A primary phosphorylation of MTIP occurs at serine 47, whereas GAP45 is phosphorylated at two sites, one of which could also be detected in phosphopeptides purified from parasite lysates. Both CDPK1 activity and host cell invasion can be inhibited by the kinase inhibitor K252a, suggesting that CDPK1 is a suitable target for antimalarial drug development. PMID:18768477

  10. The Import of Proteins into the Mitochondrion of Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    van Dooren, Giel G; Yeoh, Lee M; Striepen, Boris; McFadden, Geoffrey I

    2016-09-09

    Outside of well characterized model eukaryotes, relatively little is known about the translocons that transport proteins across the two membranes that surround the mitochondrion. Apicomplexans are a phylum of intracellular parasites that cause major diseases in humans and animals and are evolutionarily distant from model eukaryotes such as yeast. Apicomplexans harbor a mitochondrion that is essential for parasite survival and is a validated drug target. Here, we demonstrate that the apicomplexan Toxoplasma gondii harbors homologues of proteins from all the major mitochondrial protein translocons present in yeast, suggesting these arose early in eukaryotic evolution. We demonstrate that a T. gondii homologue of Tom22 (TgTom22), a central component of the translocon of the outer mitochondrial membrane (TOM) complex, is essential for parasite survival, mitochondrial protein import, and assembly of the TOM complex. We also identify and characterize a T. gondii homologue of Tom7 (TgTom7) that is important for parasite survival and mitochondrial protein import. Contrary to the role of Tom7 in yeast, TgTom7 is important for TOM complex stability, suggesting the role of this protein has diverged during eukaryotic evolution. Together, our study identifies conserved and modified features of mitochondrial protein import in apicomplexan parasites. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  11. Alternative splicing mechanisms orchestrating post-transcriptional gene expression: intron retention and the intron-rich genome of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Lunghi, Matteo; Spano, Furio; Magini, Alessandro; Emiliani, Carla; Carruthers, Vern B; Di Cristina, Manlio

    2016-02-01

    Apicomplexan parasites including Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium species have complex life cycles that include multiple hosts and differentiation through several morphologically distinct stages requiring marked changes in gene expression. This review highlights emerging evidence implicating regulation of mRNA splicing as a mechanism to prime these parasites for rapid gene expression upon differentiation. We summarize the most important insights in alternative splicing including its role in regulating gene expression by decreasing mRNA abundance via 'Regulated Unproductive Splicing and Translation'. As a related but less well-understood mechanism, we discuss also our recent work suggesting a role for intron retention for precluding translation of stage specific isoforms of T. gondii glycolytic enzymes. We additionally provide new evidence that intron retention might be a widespread mechanism during parasite differentiation. Supporting this notion, recent genome-wide analysis of Toxoplasma and Plasmodium suggests intron retention is more pervasive than heretofore thought. These findings parallel recent emergence of intron retention being more prevalent in mammals than previously believed, thereby adding to the established roles in plants, fungi and unicellular eukaryotes. Deeper mechanistic studies of intron retention will provide important insight into its role in regulating gene expression in apicomplexan parasites and more general in eukaryotic organisms.

  12. Assessing the diversity, host-specificity and infection patterns of apicomplexan parasites in reptiles from Oman, Arabia.

    PubMed

    Maia, João P; Harris, D James; Carranza, Salvador; Goméz-Díaz, Elena

    2016-11-01

    Understanding the processes that shape parasite diversification, their distribution and abundance provides valuable information on the dynamics and evolution of disease. In this study, we assessed the diversity, distribution, host-specificity and infection patterns of apicomplexan parasites in amphibians and reptiles from Oman, Arabia. Using a quantitative PCR approach we detected three apicomplexan parasites (haemogregarines, lankesterellids and sarcocystids). A total of 13 haemogregarine haplotypes were identified, which fell into four main clades in a phylogenetic framework. Phylogenetic analysis of six new lankesterellid haplotypes revealed that these parasites were distinct from, but phylogenetically related to, known Lankesterella species and might represent new taxa. The percentage of infected hosts (prevalence) and the number of haemogregarines in the blood (parasitaemia) varied significantly between gecko species. We also found significant differences in parasitaemia between haemogregarine parasite lineages (defined by phylogenetic clustering of haplotypes), suggesting differences in host-parasite compatibility between these lineages. For Pristurus rupestris, we found significant differences in haemogregarine prevalence between geographical areas. Our results suggest that host ecology and host relatedness may influence haemogregarine distributions and, more generally, highlight the importance of screening wild hosts from remote regions to provide new insights into parasite diversity.

  13. Three-dimensional visualisation of developmental stages of an apicomplexan fish blood parasite in its invertebrate host

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Although widely used in medicine, the application of three-dimensional (3D) imaging to parasitology appears limited to date. In this study, developmental stages of a marine fish haemogregarine, Haemogregarina curvata (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina), were investigated in their leech vector, Zeylanicobdella arugamensis; this involved 3D visualisation of brightfield and confocal microscopy images of histological sections through infected leech salivary gland cells. Findings 3D assessment demonstrated the morphology of the haemogregarine stages, their spatial layout, and their relationship with enlarged host cells showing reduced cellular content. Haemogregarine meronts, located marginally within leech salivary gland cells, had small tail-like connections to the host cell limiting membrane; this parasite-host cell interface was not visible in two-dimensional (2D) light micrographs and no records of a similar connection in apicomplexan development have been traced. Conclusions This is likely the first account of the use of 3D visualisation to study developmental stages of an apicomplexan parasite in its invertebrate vector. Elucidation of the extent of development of the haemogregarine within the leech salivary cells, together with the unusual connections between meronts and the host cell membrane, illustrates the future potential of 3D visualisation in parasite-vector biology. PMID:22107751

  14. Targeting Protein Translation in Organelles of the Apicomplexa.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Christopher D; Pasaje, Charisse Flerida A; Kennedy, Kit; McFadden, Geoffrey I; Ralph, Stuart A

    2016-12-01

    Antibiotics inhibiting protein translation have long been used to treat and prevent infections by apicomplexan parasites. These compounds kill parasites by inhibiting organellar translation, and most act specifically against the apicoplast, a relict plastid in apicomplexans. Drug resistance in Plasmodium and other apicomplexans dictates a need for development of novel targets. Some apicoplast inhibitors have a delayed onset of action, so they cannot replace fast-acting drugs, although they still fulfil important roles in treating and preventing infections. The plethora of bacterial-like actors in the translation machinery of parasite mitochondria and plastids presents validated targets with strong potential for selectivity. Here we discuss existing drugs that inhibit organellar translation, and explore targets that may be further exploited in antiparasitic drug design. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. DB-AT: a 2015 update to the Full-parasites database brings a multitude of new transcriptomic data for apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Jąkalski, Marcin; Wakaguri, Hiroyuki; Kischka, Tabea G.; Nishikawa, Yoshifumi; Kawazu, Shin-ichiro; Matsubayashi, Makoto; Kawahara, Fumiya; Tsuji, Naotoshi; Cao, Shinuo; Sunaga, Fujiko; Xuan, Xuenan; Okubo, Kazuhiro; Igarashi, Ikuo; Tuda, Josef; Mongan, Arthur E.; Eshita, Yuki; Maeda, Ryuichiro; Makałowski, Wojciech; Suzuki, Yutaka; Yamagishi, Junya

    2015-01-01

    The previous release of our Full-parasites database (http://fullmal.hgc.jp/) brought enhanced functionality, an expanded full-length cDNA content, and new RNA-Seq datasets from several important apicomplexan parasites. The 2015 update witnesses the major shift in the databases content with focus on diverse transcriptomes of the apicomplexan parasites. The content of the database was substantially enriched with transcriptome information for new apicomplexan parasites. The latest version covers a total of 17 species, with addition of our newly generated RNA-Seq data of a total of 909 150 388 tags. Moreover, we have generated and included two novel and unique datasets, which represent diverse nature of transcriptomes in individual parasites in vivo and in vitro. One is the data collected from 116 Indonesian patients infected with Plasmodium falciparum. The other is a series of transcriptome data collected from a total of 38 single cells of P. falciparum cultured in vitro. We believe that with the recent advances our database becomes an even better resource and a unique platform in the analysis of apicomplexan parasites and their interaction with their hosts. To adequately reflect the recent modifications and the current content we have changed the database name to DB-AT—DataBase of Apicomplexa Transcriptomes. PMID:25414358

  16. Evidence of tRNA cleavage in apicomplexan parasites: half-tRNAs as new potential regulatory molecules of Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium berghei

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Several lines of evidence demonstrated that organisms ranging from bacteria to higher animals possess a regulated endonucleolytic cleavage pathway producing half-tRNA fragments. In the present study, we investigated the occurrence of this phenomenon in two distantly related apicomplexan parasites, T...

  17. Pyruvate : NADP+ oxidoreductase from the mitochondrion of Euglena gracilis and from the apicomplexan Cryptosporidium parvum: a biochemical relic linking pyruvate metabolism in mitochondriate and amitochondriate protists.

    PubMed

    Rotte, C; Stejskal, F; Zhu, G; Keithly, J S; Martin, W

    2001-05-01

    Most eukaryotes perform the oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvate in mitochondria using pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH). Eukaryotes that lack mitochondria also lack PDH, using instead the O(2)-sensitive enzyme pyruvate : ferredoxin oxidoreductase (PFO), which is localized either in the cytosol or in hydrogenosomes. The facultatively anaerobic mitochondria of the photosynthetic protist Euglena gracilis constitute a hitherto unique exception in that these mitochondria oxidize pyruvate with the O(2)-sensitive enzyme pyruvate : NADP oxidoreductase (PNO). Cloning and analysis of Euglena PNO revealed that the cDNA encodes a mitochondrial transit peptide followed by an N-terminal PFO domain that is fused to a C-terminal NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR) domain. Two independent 5.8-kb full-size cDNAs for Euglena mitochondrial PNO were isolated; the gene was expressed in cultures supplied with 2% CO(2) in air and with 2% CO(2) in N(2). The apicomplexan Cryptosporidium parvum was also shown to encode and express the same PFO-CPR fusion, except that, unlike E. gracilis, no mitochondrial transit peptide for C. parvum PNO was found. Recombination-derived remnants of PNO are conserved in the genomes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe as proteins involved in sulfite reduction. Notably, Trypanosoma brucei was found to encode homologs of both PFO and all four PDH subunits. Gene organization and phylogeny revealed that eukaryotic nuclear genes for mitochondrial, hydrogenosomal, and cytosolic PFO trace to a single eubacterial acquisition. These findings suggest a common ancestry of PFO in amitochondriate protists with Euglena mitochondrial PNO and Cryptosporidium PNO. They are also consistent with the view that eukaryotic PFO domains are biochemical relics inherited from a facultatively anaerobic, eubacterial ancestor of mitochondria and hydrogenosomes.

  18. Cryptosporidium is more closely related to the gregarines than to coccidia as shown by phylogenetic analysis of apicomplexan parasites inferred using small-subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Carreno, R A; Martin, D S; Barta, J R

    1999-11-01

    The phylogenetic placement of gregarine parasites (Apicomplexa: Gregarinasina) within the Apicomplexa was derived by comparison of small-subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences. Gregarine sequences were obtained from Gregarina niphandrodes Clopton, Percival, and Janovy, 1991, and Monocystis agilis Stein, 1848 (Eugregarinorida Léger 1900), as well as from Ophriocystis elektroscirrha McLaughlin and Myers, 1970 (Neogregarinorida Grassé 1953). The sequences were aligned with several other gregarine and apicomplexan sequences from GenBank and the resulting data matrix analyzed by parsimony and maximum-likelihood methods. The gregarines form a monophyletic clade that is a sister group to Cryptosporidium spp. The gregarine/ Cryptosporidium clade is separate from the other major apicomplexan clade containing the coccidia, adeleids, piroplasms, and haemosporinids. The trees indicate that the genus Cryptosporidium has a closer phylogenetic affinity with the gregarines than with the coccidia. These results do not support the present classification of the Cryptosporidiidae in the suborder Eimerioirina Léger, 1911.

  19. Purine salvage in the apicomplexan Sarcocystis neurona, and generation of hypoxanthine-xanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase-deficient clones for positive-negative selection of transgenic parasites.

    PubMed

    Dangoudoubiyam, Sriveny; Zhang, Zijing; Howe, Daniel K

    2014-09-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is an apicomplexan parasite that causes severe neurological disease in horses and marine mammals. The Apicomplexa are all obligate intracellular parasites that lack purine biosynthesis pathways and rely on the host cell for their purine requirements. Hypoxanthine-xanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HXGPRT) and adenosine kinase (AK) are key enzymes that function in two complementary purine salvage pathways in apicomplexans. Bioinformatic searches of the S. neurona genome revealed genes encoding HXGPRT, AK and all of the major purine salvage enzymes except purine nucleoside phosphorylase. Wild-type S. neurona were able to grow in the presence of mycophenolic acid (MPA) but were inhibited by 6-thioxanthine (6-TX), suggesting that the pathways involving either HXGPRT or AK are functional in this parasite. Prior work with Toxoplasma gondii demonstrated the utility of HXGPRT as a positive-negative selection marker. To enable the use of HXGPRT in S. neurona, the SnHXGPRT gene sequence was determined and a gene-targeting plasmid was transfected into S. neurona. SnHXGPRT-deficient mutants were selected with 6-TX, and single-cell clones were obtained. These Sn∆HXG parasites were susceptible to MPA and could be complemented using the heterologous T. gondii HXGPRT gene. In summary, S. neurona possesses both purine salvage pathways described in apicomplexans, thus allowing the use of HXGPRT as a positive-negative drug selection marker in this parasite.

  20. A small-molecule cell-based screen led to the identification of biphenylimidazoazines with highly potent and broad-spectrum anti-apicomplexan activity.

    PubMed

    Moine, Espérance; Denevault-Sabourin, Caroline; Debierre-Grockiego, Françoise; Silpa, Laurence; Gorgette, Olivier; Barale, Jean-Christophe; Jacquiet, Philippe; Brossier, Fabien; Gueiffier, Alain; Dimier-Poisson, Isabelle; Enguehard-Gueiffier, Cécile

    2015-01-07

    An in vitro screening of the anti-apicomplexan activity of 51 compounds, stemming from our chemical library and from chemical synthesis, was performed. As a study model, we used Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), expressing β-galactosidase for the colorimetric assessment of drug activity on parasites cultivated in vitro. This approach allowed the validation of a new series of molecules with a biphenylimidazoazine scaffold as inhibitors of T. gondii growth in vitro. Hence, 8 molecules significantly inhibited intracellular replication of T. gondii in vitro, with EC50 < 1 μM, while being non-toxic for human fibroblasts at these concentrations. Most attractive candidates were then selected for further biological investigations on other apicomplexan parasites (Neospora caninum, Besnoitia besnoiti, Eimeria tenella and Plasmodium falciparum). Finally, two compounds were able to inhibit growth of four different apicomplexans with EC50 in the submicromolar to nanomolar range, for each parasite. These data, including the broad anti-parasite spectrum of these inhibitors, define a new generation of potential anti-parasite compounds of wide interest, including for veterinary application. Studies realized on E. tenella suggest that these molecules act during the intracellular development steps of the parasite. Further experiments should be done to identify the molecular target(s) of these compounds. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. Dissecting the interface between apicomplexan parasite and host cell: Insights from a divergent AMARON2 pair

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii are widely studied parasites in phylum Apicomplexa and the etiological agents of severe human malaria and toxoplasmosis, respectively. These intracellular pathogens have evolved a sophisticated invasion strategy that relies on delivery of proteins into the...

  2. Fecundity reduction in the second gonotrophic cycle of Culex pipiens infected with the apicomplexan blood parasite, Hepatozoon sipedon.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Laura V; Smith, Todd G

    2014-08-01

    Fecundity reduction is a well-recognized phenomenon of parasite infection in insects. Reduced production of eggs might increase longevity of a host and release nutrients to both host and parasite that would otherwise be used for oogenesis. The objective of this study was to assess effects on fecundity caused by Hepatozoon sipedon, an apicomplexan blood parasite of snakes, in its invertebrate host, the mosquito Culex pipiens. In the first gonotrophic cycle, the mean number of eggs laid by mosquitoes infected with H. sipedon did not differ significantly from those laid by uninfected mosquitoes. However, in the second gonotrophic cycle infected mosquitoes laid significantly fewer eggs than did uninfected mosquitoes, and fecundity was reduced by 100% in mosquitoes with parasite burdens of more than 60 oocysts. There was a significant negative correlation between parasite burden, or the number of oocysts, and the number of eggs produced in the second gonotrophic cycle. Significantly fewer viable larvae hatched from eggs laid by infected compared to uninfected mosquitoes in the second gonotrophic cycle. These data indicate that fecundity reduction occurs in this system, although the physiological mechanisms driving this phenotype are not yet known.

  3. Characterization and localization of an Eimeria-specific protein in Eimeria maxima

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A recently completed analysis of Eimeria maxima transcriptome indentified a gene with homology to sequences expressed by E. tenella and E. acervulina but lacking homology with other organisms including other apicomplexans. This gene designated ESP codes for a protein with predicted molecular weight...

  4. Genome-Wide Identification and Evolutionary Analysis of Sarcocystis neurona Protein Kinases.

    PubMed

    Murungi, Edwin K; Kariithi, Henry M

    2017-03-21

    The apicomplexan parasite Sarcocystis neurona causes equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), a degenerative neurological disease of horses. Due to its host range expansion, S. neurona is an emerging threat that requires close monitoring. In apicomplexans, protein kinases (PKs) have been implicated in a myriad of critical functions, such as host cell invasion, cell cycle progression and host immune response evasion. Here, we used various bioinformatics methods to define the kinome of S. neurona and phylogenetic relatedness of its PKs to other apicomplexans. We identified 97 putative PKs clustering within the various eukaryotic kinase groups. Although containing the universally-conserved PKA (AGC group), S. neurona kinome was devoid of PKB and PKC. Moreover, the kinome contains the six-conserved apicomplexan CDPKs (CAMK group). Several OPK atypical kinases, including ROPKs 19A, 27, 30, 33, 35 and 37 were identified. Notably, S. neurona is devoid of the virulence-associated ROPKs 5, 6, 18 and 38, as well as the Alpha and RIO kinases. Two out of the three S. neurona CK1 enzymes had high sequence similarities to Toxoplasma gondii TgCK1-α and TgCK1-β and the Plasmodium PfCK1. Further experimental studies on the S. neurona putative PKs identified in this study are required to validate the functional roles of the PKs and to understand their involvement in mechanisms that regulate various cellular processes and host-parasite interactions. Given the essentiality of apicomplexan PKs in the survival of apicomplexans, the current study offers a platform for future development of novel therapeutics for EPM, for instance via application of PK inhibitors to block parasite invasion and development in their host.

  5. Genome-Wide Identification and Evolutionary Analysis of Sarcocystis neurona Protein Kinases

    PubMed Central

    Murungi, Edwin K.; Kariithi, Henry M.

    2017-01-01

    The apicomplexan parasite Sarcocystis neurona causes equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), a degenerative neurological disease of horses. Due to its host range expansion, S. neurona is an emerging threat that requires close monitoring. In apicomplexans, protein kinases (PKs) have been implicated in a myriad of critical functions, such as host cell invasion, cell cycle progression and host immune response evasion. Here, we used various bioinformatics methods to define the kinome of S. neurona and phylogenetic relatedness of its PKs to other apicomplexans. We identified 97 putative PKs clustering within the various eukaryotic kinase groups. Although containing the universally-conserved PKA (AGC group), S. neurona kinome was devoid of PKB and PKC. Moreover, the kinome contains the six-conserved apicomplexan CDPKs (CAMK group). Several OPK atypical kinases, including ROPKs 19A, 27, 30, 33, 35 and 37 were identified. Notably, S. neurona is devoid of the virulence-associated ROPKs 5, 6, 18 and 38, as well as the Alpha and RIO kinases. Two out of the three S. neurona CK1 enzymes had high sequence similarities to Toxoplasma gondii TgCK1-α and TgCK1-β and the Plasmodium PfCK1. Further experimental studies on the S. neurona putative PKs identified in this study are required to validate the functional roles of the PKs and to understand their involvement in mechanisms that regulate various cellular processes and host-parasite interactions. Given the essentiality of apicomplexan PKs in the survival of apicomplexans, the current study offers a platform for future development of novel therapeutics for EPM, for instance via application of PK inhibitors to block parasite invasion and development in their host. PMID:28335576

  6. Molecular systematics of marine gregarine apicomplexans from Pacific tunicates, with descriptions of five novel species of Lankesteria.

    PubMed

    Rueckert, Sonja; Wakeman, Kevin C; Jenke-Kodama, Holger; Leander, Brian S

    2015-08-01

    The eugregarines are a group of apicomplexan parasites that mostly infect the intestines of invertebrates. The high level of morphological variation found within and among species of eugregarines makes it difficult to find consistent and reliable traits that unite even closely related lineages. Based mostly on traits observed with light microscopy, the majority of described eugregarines from marine invertebrates has been classified into a single group, the Lecudinidae. Our understanding of the overall diversity and phylogenetic relationships of lecudinids is very poor, mainly because only a modest amount of exploratory research has been done on the group and very few species of lecudinids have been characterized at the molecular phylogenetic level. In an attempt to understand the diversity of marine gregarines better, we surveyed lecudinids that infect the intestines of Pacific ascidians (i.e. sea squirts) using ultrastructural and molecular phylogenetic approaches; currently, these species fall within one genus, Lankesteria. We collected lecudinid gregarines from six ascidian host species, and our data demonstrated that each host was infected by a different species of Lankesteria: (i) Lankesteria hesperidiiformis sp. nov., isolated from Distaplia occidentalis, (ii) Lankesteria metandrocarpae sp. nov., isolated from Metandrocarpa taylori, (iii) Lankesteria halocynthiae sp. nov., isolated from Halocynthia aurantium, (iv) Lankesteria herdmaniae sp. nov., isolated from Herdmania momus, (v) Lankesteria cf. ritterellae, isolated from Ritterella rubra, and (vi) Lankesteria didemni sp. nov., isolated from Didemnum vexillum. Visualization of the trophozoites with scanning electron microscopy showed that four of these species were covered with epicytic folds, whereas two of the species were covered with a dense pattern of epicytic knobs. The molecular phylogenetic data suggested that species of Lankesteria with surface knobs form a clade that is nested within a paraphyletic

  7. Screening of bat faeces for arthropod-borne apicomplexan protozoa: Babesia canis and Besnoitia besnoiti-like sequences from Chiroptera.

    PubMed

    Hornok, Sándor; Estók, Péter; Kováts, Dávid; Flaisz, Barbara; Takács, Nóra; Szőke, Krisztina; Krawczyk, Aleksandra; Kontschán, Jenő; Gyuranecz, Miklós; Fedák, András; Farkas, Róbert; Haarsma, Anne-Jifke; Sprong, Hein

    2015-08-28

    Bats are among the most eco-epidemiologically important mammals, owing to their presence in human settlements and animal keeping facilities. Roosting of bats in buildings may bring pathogens of veterinary-medical importance into the environment of domestic animals and humans. In this context bats have long been studied as carriers of various pathogen groups. However, despite their close association with arthropods (both in their food and as their ectoparasites), only a few molecular surveys have been published on their role as carriers of vector-borne protozoa. The aim of the present study was to compensate for this scarcity of information. Altogether 221 (mostly individual) bat faecal samples were collected in Hungary and the Netherlands. The DNA was extracted, and analysed with PCR and sequencing for the presence of arthropod-borne apicomplexan protozoa. Babesia canis canis (with 99-100% homology) was identified in five samples, all from Hungary. Because it was excluded with an Ixodidae-specific PCR that the relevant bats consumed ticks, these sequences derive either from insect carriers of Ba. canis, or from the infection of bats. In one bat faecal sample from the Netherlands a sequence having the highest (99%) homology to Besnoitia besnoiti was amplified. These findings suggest that some aspects of the epidemiology of canine babesiosis are underestimated or unknown, i.e. the potential role of insect-borne mechanical transmission and/or the susceptibility of bats to Ba. canis. In addition, bats need to be added to future studies in the quest for the final host of Be. besnoiti.

  8. Combined amplicon pyrosequencing assays reveal presence of the apicomplexan "type-N" (cf. Gemmocystis cylindrus) and Chromera velia on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Slapeta, Jan; Linares, Marjorie C

    2013-01-01

    The coral is predominantly composed of the metabolically dependent coral host and the photosynthetic dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp. The system as a whole interacts with symbiotic eukaryotes, bacteria and viruses. Gemmocystiscylindrus (cf. "type-N" symbiont) belonging to the obligatory parasitic phylum Apicomplexa (Alveolata) is ubiquitous in the Caribbean coral, but its presence in the Great Barrier Reef coral has yet to be documented. Approaches allowing identification of the healthy community from the pathogenic or saprobic organisms are needed for sustainable coral reef monitoring. We investigated the diversity of eukaryotes associated with a common reef-building corals from the southern Great Barrier Reef. We used three tag encoded 454 amplicon pyrosequencing assays targeting eukaryote small-subunit rRNA gene to demonstrate the presence of the apicomplexan type-N and a photosynthetic sister species to Apicomplexa-Chromeravelia. Amplicon pyrosequencing revealed presence of the small-subunit rRNA genes of known eukaryotic pathogens (Cryptosporidium and Cryptococcus). We therefore conducted bacterial tag encoded amplicon pyrosequencing assay for small-subunit rRNA gene to support effluent exposure of the coral. Bacteria of faecal origin (Enterobacteriales) formed 41% of total sequences in contrast to 0-2% of the coral-associated bacterial communities with and without C. velia, respectively. This is the first time apicomplexan type-N has been detected in the Great Barrier Reef. Eukaryote tag encoded amplicon pyrosequencing assays demonstrate presence of apicomplexan type-N and C. Velia in total coral DNA. The data highlight the need for combined approaches for eukaryotic diversity studies coupled with bacterial community assessment to achieve a more realistic goals of defining the holobiont community and assessing coral disease. With increasing evidence of Apicomplexa in coral reef environments, it is important not only to understand the evolution of these

  9. Combined Amplicon Pyrosequencing Assays Reveal Presence of the Apicomplexan “type-N” (cf. Gemmocystis cylindrus) and Chromera velia on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    PubMed Central

    Šlapeta, Jan; Linares, Marjorie C.

    2013-01-01

    Background The coral is predominantly composed of the metabolically dependent coral host and the photosynthetic dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp. The system as a whole interacts with symbiotic eukaryotes, bacteria and viruses. Gemmocystiscylindrus (cf. “type-N” symbiont) belonging to the obligatory parasitic phylum Apicomplexa (Alveolata) is ubiquitous in the Caribbean coral, but its presence in the Great Barrier Reef coral has yet to be documented. Approaches allowing identification of the healthy community from the pathogenic or saprobic organisms are needed for sustainable coral reef monitoring. Methods & Principal Findings We investigated the diversity of eukaryotes associated with a common reef-building corals from the southern Great Barrier Reef. We used three tag encoded 454 amplicon pyrosequencing assays targeting eukaryote small-subunit rRNA gene to demonstrate the presence of the apicomplexan type-N and a photosynthetic sister species to Apicomplexa - Chromeravelia. Amplicon pyrosequencing revealed presence of the small-subunit rRNA genes of known eukaryotic pathogens (Cryptosporidium and Cryptococcus). We therefore conducted bacterial tag encoded amplicon pyrosequencing assay for small-subunit rRNA gene to support effluent exposure of the coral. Bacteria of faecal origin (Enterobacteriales) formed 41% of total sequences in contrast to 0-2% of the coral-associated bacterial communities with and without C. velia, respectively. Significance This is the first time apicomplexan type-N has been detected in the Great Barrier Reef. Eukaryote tag encoded amplicon pyrosequencing assays demonstrate presence of apicomplexan type-N and C. Velia in total coral DNA. The data highlight the need for combined approaches for eukaryotic diversity studies coupled with bacterial community assessment to achieve a more realistic goals of defining the holobiont community and assessing coral disease. With increasing evidence of Apicomplexa in coral reef environments, it is

  10. Studies of Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase and implications for the development of antiparasitic agents

    SciTech Connect

    Muench, Stephen P.; Prigge, Sean T.; McLeod, Rima; Rafferty, John B.; Kirisits, Michael J.; Roberts, Craig W.; Mui, Ernest J.; Rice, David W.

    2007-03-01

    The crystal structures of T. gondii and P. falciparum ENR in complex with NAD{sup +} and triclosan and of T. gondii ENR in an apo form have been solved to 2.6, 2.2 and 2.8 Å, respectively. Recent studies have demonstrated that submicromolar concentrations of the biocide triclosan arrest the growth of the apicomplexan parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii and inhibit the activity of the apicomplexan enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase (ENR). The crystal structures of T. gondii and P. falciparum ENR in complex with NAD{sup +} and triclosan and of T. gondii ENR in an apo form have been solved to 2.6, 2.2 and 2.8 Å, respectively. The structures of T. gondii ENR have revealed that, as in its bacterial and plant homologues, a loop region which flanks the active site becomes ordered upon inhibitor binding, resulting in the slow tight binding of triclosan. In addition, the T. gondii ENR–triclosan complex reveals the folding of a hydrophilic insert common to the apicomplexan family that flanks the substrate-binding domain and is disordered in all other reported apicomplexan ENR structures. Structural comparison of the apicomplexan ENR structures with their bacterial and plant counterparts has revealed that although the active sites of the parasite enzymes are broadly similar to those of their bacterial counterparts, there are a number of important differences within the drug-binding pocket that reduce the packing interactions formed with several inhibitors in the apicomplexan ENR enzymes. Together with other significant structural differences, this provides a possible explanation of the lower affinity of the parasite ENR enzyme family for aminopyridine-based inhibitors, suggesting that an effective antiparasitic agent may well be distinct from equivalent antimicrobials.

  11. Actin Filament Polymerization Regulates Gliding Motility by Apicomplexan ParasitesV⃞

    PubMed Central

    Wetzel, D.M.; Håkansson, S.; Hu, K.; Roos, D.; Sibley, L.D.

    2003-01-01

    Host cell entry by Toxoplasma gondii depends critically on actin filaments in the parasite, yet paradoxically, its actin is almost exclusively monomeric. In contrast to the absence of stable filaments in conventional samples, rapid-freeze electron microscopy revealed that actin filaments were formed beneath the plasma membrane of gliding parasites. To investigate the role of actin filaments in motility, we treated parasites with the filament-stabilizing drug jasplakinolide (JAS) and monitored the distribution of actin in live and fixed cells using yellow fluorescent protein (YFP)-actin. JAS treatment caused YFP-actin to redistribute to the apical and posterior ends, where filaments formed a spiral pattern subtending the plasma membrane. Although previous studies have suggested that JAS induces rigor, videomicroscopy demonstrated that JAS treatment increased the rate of parasite gliding by approximately threefold, indicating that filaments are rate limiting for motility. However, JAS also frequently reversed the normal direction of motility, disrupting forward migration and cell entry. Consistent with this alteration, subcortical filaments in JAS-treated parasites occurred in tangled plaques as opposed to the straight, roughly parallel orientation observed in control cells. These studies reveal that precisely controlled polymerization of actin filaments imparts the correct timing, duration, and directionality of gliding motility in the Apicomplexa. PMID:12589042

  12. Multivariate PLS Modeling of Apicomplexan FabD-Ligand Interaction Space for Mapping Target-Specific Chemical Space and Pharmacophore Fingerprints

    PubMed Central

    Surolia, Avadhesha

    2015-01-01

    Biomolecular recognition underlying drug-target interactions is determined by both binding affinity and specificity. Whilst, quantification of binding efficacy is possible, determining specificity remains a challenge, as it requires affinity data for multiple targets with the same ligand dataset. Thus, understanding the interaction space by mapping the target space to model its complementary chemical space through computational techniques are desirable. In this study, active site architecture of FabD drug target in two apicomplexan parasites viz. Plasmodium falciparum (PfFabD) and Toxoplasma gondii (TgFabD) is explored, followed by consensus docking calculations and identification of fifteen best hit compounds, most of which are found to be derivatives of natural products. Subsequently, machine learning techniques were applied on molecular descriptors of six FabD homologs and sixty ligands to induce distinct multivariate partial-least square models. The biological space of FabD mapped by the various chemical entities explain their interaction space in general. It also highlights the selective variations in FabD of apicomplexan parasites with that of the host. Furthermore, chemometric models revealed the principal chemical scaffolds in PfFabD and TgFabD as pyrrolidines and imidazoles, respectively, which render target specificity and improve binding affinity in combination with other functional descriptors conducive for the design and optimization of the leads. PMID:26535573

  13. Ciliate pellicular proteome identifies novel protein families with characteristic repeat motifs that are common to alveolates.

    PubMed

    Gould, Sven B; Kraft, Lesleigh G K; van Dooren, Giel G; Goodman, Christopher D; Ford, Kristina L; Cassin, Andrew M; Bacic, Antony; McFadden, Geoffrey I; Waller, Ross F

    2011-03-01

    The pellicles of alveolates (ciliates, apicomplexans, and dinoflagellates) share a common organization, yet perform very divergent functions, including motility, host cell invasion, and armor. The alveolate pellicle consists of a system of flattened membrane sacs (alveoli, which are the defining feature of the group) below the plasma membrane that is supported by a membrane skeleton as well as a network of microtubules and other filamentous elements. We recently showed that a family of proteins, alveolins, are common and unique to this pellicular structure in alveolates. To identify additional proteins that contribute to this structure, a pellicle proteome study was conducted for the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila. We found 1,173 proteins associated with this structure, 45% (529 proteins) of which represented novel proteins without matches to other functionally characterized proteins. Expression of four newly identified T. thermophila pellicular proteins as green fluorescent protein-fusion constructs confirmed pellicular location, and one new protein located in the oral apparatus. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that 21% of the putative pellicular proteins, predominantly the novel proteins, contained highly repetitive regions with strong amino acid biases for particular residues (K, E, Q, L, I, and V). When the T. thermophila novel proteins were compared with apicomplexan genomic data, 278 proteins with high sequence similarity were identified, suggesting that many of these putative pellicular components are shared between the alveolates. Of these shared proteins, 126 contained the distinctive repeat regions. Localization of two such proteins in Toxoplasma gondii confirmed their role in the pellicle and in doing so identified two new proteins of the apicomplexan invasive structure--the apical complex. Screening broadly for these repetitive domains in genomic data revealed large and actively evolving families of such proteins in alveolates, suggesting that these

  14. A Plastid Protein That Evolved from Ubiquitin and Is Required for Apicoplast Protein Import in Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Fellows, Justin D.; Cipriano, Michael J.; Agrawal, Swati

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Apicomplexan parasites cause a variety of important infectious diseases, including malaria, toxoplasma encephalitis, and severe diarrhea due to Cryptosporidium. Most apicomplexans depend on an organelle called the apicoplast which is derived from a red algal endosymbiont. The apicoplast is essential for the parasite as the compartment of fatty acid, heme, and isoprenoid biosynthesis. The majority of the approximate 500 apicoplast proteins are nucleus encoded and have to be imported across the four membranes that surround the apicoplast. Import across the second outermost membrane of the apicoplast, the periplastid membrane, depends on an apicoplast-specific endoplasmic reticulum-associated protein degradation (ERAD) complex and on enzymes of the associated ubiquitination cascade. However, identification of an apicoplast ubiquitin associated with this machinery has long been elusive. Here we identify a plastid ubiquitin-like protein (PUBL), an apicoplast protein that is derived from a ubiquitin ancestor but that has significantly changed in its primary sequence. PUBL is distinct from known ubiquitin-like proteins, and phylogenomic analyses suggest a clade specific to apicomplexans. We demonstrate that PUBL and the AAA ATPase CDC48AP both act to translocate apicoplast proteins across the periplastid membrane during protein import. Conditional null mutants and genetic complementation show that both proteins are critical for this process and for parasite survival. PUBL residues homologous to those that are required for ubiquitin conjugation onto target proteins are essential for this function, while those required for polyubiquitination and preprotein processing are dispensable. Our experiments provide a mechanistic understanding of the molecular machinery that drives protein import across the membranes of the apicoplast. PMID:28655825

  15. Repurposing of conserved autophagy-related protein ATG8 in a divergent eukaryote

    PubMed Central

    Lévêque, Maude F.; Nguyen, Hoa Mai; Besteiro, Sébastien

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Toxoplasma gondii and other apicomplexan parasites contain a peculiar non-photosynthetic plastid called the apicoplast, which is essential for their survival. The localization of autophagy-related protein ATG8 to the apicoplast in several apicomplexan species and life stages has recently been described, and we have shown this protein is essential for proper inheritance of this complex plastid into daughter cells during cell division. Although the mechanism behind ATG8 association to the apicoplast in T. gondii is related to the canonical conjugation system leading to autophagosome formation, its singular role seems independent from the initial catabolic purpose of autophagy. Here we also discuss further the functional evolution and innovative adaptations of the autophagy machinery to maintain this organelle during parasite division. PMID:27574540

  16. Evolution of mitosome metabolism and invasion-related proteins in Cryptosporidium.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shiyou; Roellig, Dawn M; Guo, Yaqiong; Li, Na; Frace, Michael A; Tang, Kevin; Zhang, Longxian; Feng, Yaoyu; Xiao, Lihua

    2016-12-08

    The switch from photosynthetic or predatory to parasitic life strategies by apicomplexans is accompanied with a reductive evolution of genomes and losses of metabolic capabilities. Cryptosporidium is an extreme example of reductive evolution among apicomplexans, with losses of both the mitosome genome and many metabolic pathways. Previous observations on reductive evolution were largely based on comparative studies of various groups of apicomplexans. In this study, we sequenced two divergent Cryptosporidium species and conducted a comparative genomic analysis to infer the reductive evolution of metabolic pathways and differential evolution of invasion-related proteins within the Cryptosporidium lineage. In energy metabolism, Cryptosporidium species differ from each other mostly in mitosome metabolic pathways. Compared with C. parvum and C. hominis, C. andersoni possesses more aerobic metabolism and a conventional electron transport chain, whereas C. ubiquitum has further reductions in ubiquinone and polyisprenoid biosynthesis and has lost both the conventional and alternative electron transport systems. For invasion-associated proteins, similar to C. hominis, a reduction in the number of genes encoding secreted MEDLE and insulinase-like proteins in the subtelomeric regions of chromosomes 5 and 6 was also observed in C. ubiquitum and C. andersoni, whereas mucin-type glycoproteins are highly divergent between the gastric C. andersoni and intestinal Cryptosporidium species. Results of the study suggest that rapidly evolving mitosome metabolism and secreted invasion-related proteins could be involved in tissue tropism and host specificity in Cryptosporidium spp. The finding of progressive reduction in mitosome metabolism among Cryptosporidium species improves our knowledge of organelle evolution within apicomplexans.

  17. Molecular assessment of apicomplexan parasites in the snake Psammophis from North Africa: do multiple parasite lineages reflect the final vertebrate host diet?

    PubMed

    Tomé, Beatriz; Maia, João P M C; Harris, D James

    2013-10-01

    The Apicomplexa are intracellular pathogens of animals, with the Coccidia being the largest group. Among these are the hemogregarines, which include some of the most common hemoparasites found in reptiles. Several studies have reported a possible pattern of prey-predator transmission for some of these parasites. Snakes from the Mediterranean region have been found to be parasitized with Hepatozoon spp. similar to those in lacertids and gekkonids, supporting the prey-predator transmission hypothesis. Here we analyzed specimens of the saurophagous genus Psammophis from North Africa, an ecologically different region. Through molecular analysis of tissue samples we detected 3 different apicomplexan parasites: Caryospora, Sarcocystis, and Hepatozoon. Caryospora was detected in a Forskål's sand snake Psammophis schokari from Algeria, constituting the first time these parasites have been detected from a tissue sample through molecular screening. The obtained Sarcocystis phylogeny does not reflect the relationships of their final hosts, with the parasites identified from snakes forming at least 3 unrelated groups, indicating that it is still premature to predict definitive host based on the phylogeny of these parasites. Three unrelated lineages of Hepatozoon parasites were identified in Psammophis, each closely related to lineages previously identified from different lizard groups, on which these snakes feed. This once again indicates that diet might be a key element in transmission, at least for Hepatozoon species of saurophagous snakes.

  18. Deep-sequencing to resolve complex diversity of apicomplexan parasites in platypuses and echidnas: Proof of principle for wildlife disease investigation.

    PubMed

    Šlapeta, Jan; Saverimuttu, Stefan; Vogelnest, Larry; Sangster, Cheryl; Hulst, Frances; Rose, Karrie; Thompson, Paul; Whittington, Richard

    2017-09-12

    The short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) are iconic egg-laying monotremes (Mammalia: Monotremata) from Australasia. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the utility of diversity profiles in disease investigations of monotremes. Using small subunit (18S) rDNA amplicon deep-sequencing we demonstrated the presence of apicomplexan parasites and confirmed by direct and cloned amplicon gene sequencing Theileria ornithorhynchi, Theileria tachyglossi, Eimeria echidnae and Cryptosporidium fayeri. Using a combination of samples from healthy and diseased animals, we show a close evolutionary relationship between species of coccidia (Eimeria) and piroplasms (Theileria) from the echidna and platypus. The presence of E. echidnae was demonstrated in faeces and tissues affected by disseminated coccidiosis. Moreover, the presence of E. echidnae DNA in the blood of echidnas was associated with atoxoplasma-like stages in white blood cells, suggesting Hepatozoon tachyglossi blood stages are disseminated E. echidnae stages. These next-generation DNA sequencing technologies are suited to material and organisms that have not been previously characterised and for which the material is scarce. The deep sequencing approach supports traditional diagnostic methods, including microscopy, clinical pathology and histopathology, to better define the status quo. This approach is particularly suitable for wildlife disease investigation. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. Aminopeptidase N1 (EtAPN1), an M1 metalloprotease of the apicomplexan parasite Eimeria tenella, participates in parasite development.

    PubMed

    Gras, Simon; Byzia, Anna; Gilbert, Florence B; McGowan, Sheena; Drag, Marcin; Silvestre, Anne; Niepceron, Alisson; Lecaille, Fabien; Lalmanach, Gilles; Brossier, Fabien

    2014-07-01

    Aminopeptidases N are metalloproteases of the M1 family that have been reported in numerous apicomplexan parasites, including Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, and Eimeria. While investigating the potency of aminopeptidases as therapeutic targets against coccidiosis, one of the most important avian diseases caused by the genus Eimeria, we identified and characterized Eimeria tenella aminopeptidase N1 (EtAPN1). Its inhibition by bestatin and amastatin, as well as its reactivation by divalent ions, is typical of zinc-dependent metalloproteases. EtAPN1 shared a similar sequence, three-dimensional structure, and substrate specificity and similar kinetic parameters with A-M1 from Plasmodium falciparum (PfA-M1), a validated target in the treatment of malaria. EtAPN1 is synthesized as a 120-kDa precursor and cleaved into 96-, 68-, and 38-kDa forms during sporulation. Further, immunolocalization assays revealed that, similar to PfA-M1, EtAPN1 is present during the intracellular life cycle stages in both the parasite cytoplasm and the parasite nucleus. The present results support the hypothesis of a conserved role between the two aminopeptidases, and we suggest that EtAPN1 might be a valuable target for anticoccidiosis drugs.

  20. Exploiting the Unique ATP-Binding Pocket of Toxoplasma Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase 1 To Identify Its Substrates

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites rely on calcium as a second messenger to regulate a variety of essential cellular processes. Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPK), which transduce these signals, are conserved among apicomplexans but absent from mammalian hosts, making them attractive targets for therapeutic intervention. Despite their importance, the signaling pathways CDPK regulate remain poorly characterized, and their protein substrates are completely unknown. In Toxoplasma gondii, CDPK1 is required for calcium-regulated secretion from micronemes, thereby controlling motility, invasion, and egress from host cells. CDPK1 is unique among parasite and mammalian kinases in containing glycine at the key “gatekeeper” residue, which results in an expanded ATP-binding pocket. In the present study, we use a synthetic ATPγS analogue that displays steric complementarity to the ATP-binding pocket and hence allows identification of protein substrates based on selective thiophosphorylation. The specificity of this approach was validated by the concordance between the identified phosphorylation sites and the in vitro substrate preference of CDPK1. We further demonstrate that the phosphorylation of predicted substrates is dependent on CDPK1 both in vivo and in vitro. This combined strategy for identifying the targets of specific protein kinases provides a platform for defining the roles of CDPKs in apicomplexans. PMID:23530747

  1. Role of the ER and Golgi in protein export by Apicomplexa.

    PubMed

    Coffey, Michael J; Jennison, Charlie; Tonkin, Christopher J; Boddey, Justin A

    2016-08-01

    Apicomplexan parasites cause diseases of medical and agricultural importance linked to dramatic changes they impart upon infected host cells. Following invasion, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum renovates the host erythrocyte using mechanisms previously believed to be malaria-specific. This involves proteolytic cleavage of effectors in the endoplasmic reticulum that licences proteins for translocation into the host cell. Recently, it was demonstrated that the related parasite Toxoplasma gondii, responsible for disease in immunocompromised individuals and congenital birth defects, has an analogous pathway with some differences, including proteolytic processing in the Golgi. Here we review the similarities and distinctions in export mechanisms between these and other Apicomplexan parasites to reconcile how this group of pathogens modify their host cells to survive and proliferate. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Species boundaries in gregarine apicomplexan parasites: a case study-comparison of morphometric and molecular variability in Lecudina cf. tuzetae (Eugregarinorida, Lecudinidae).

    PubMed

    Rueckert, Sonja; Villette, Petra M A H; Leander, Brian S

    2011-01-01

    Trophozoites of gregarine apicomplexans are large feeding cells with diverse morphologies that have played a prominent role in gregarine systematics. The range of variability in trophozoite shapes and sizes can be very high even within a single species depending on developmental stages and host environmental conditions; this makes the delimitation of different species of gregarines based on morphological criteria alone very difficult. Accordingly, comparisons of morphological variability and molecular variability in gregarines are necessary to provide a pragmatic framework for establishing species boundaries within this diverse and poorly understood group of parasites. We investigated the morphological and molecular variability present in the gregarine Lecudina cf. tuzetae from the intestines of Nereis vexillosa (Polychaeta) collected in two different locations in Canada. Three distinct morphotypes of trophozoites were identified and the small subunit (SSU) rDNA was sequenced either from multicell isolates of the same morphotype or from single cells. The aim of this investigation was to determine whether the different morphotypes and localities reflected phylogenetic relatedness as inferred from the SSU rDNA sequence data. Phylogenetic analyses of the SSU rDNA demonstrated that the new sequences did not cluster according to morphotype or locality and instead were intermingled within a strongly supported clade. A comparison of 1,657 bp from 45 new sequences demonstrated divergences between 0% and 3.9%. These data suggest that it is necessary to acquire both morphological and molecular data in order to effectively delimit the "clouds" of variation associated with each gregarine species and to unambiguously reidentify these species in the future.

  3. Cloning and analysis of a Toxoplasma gondii histone acetyltransferase: a novel chromatin remodelling factor in Apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Hettmann, C; Soldati, D

    1999-11-15

    The yeast transcriptional adaptor GCN5 functions as a histone acetyltransferase, directly linking chromatin modification to transcriptional regulation. Homologues of yeast GCN5 have been found in Tetrahymena, Drosophila, Arabidopsis and human, suggesting that this pathway of chromatin remodelling is evolutionarily conserved. Consistent with this view, we have identified the Toxoplasma gondii homologue, referred to here as TgGCN5. The gene codes for a protein of 474 amino acids with an estimated molecular mass of 53 kDa. The protein reveals two regions of close similarity with the GCN5 family members, the HAT domain and the bromodomain. Tg GCN5 occurs in a single copy in the T.gondii genome. The introduction of a second copy of TgGCN5 in T.gondii tachyzoites is toxic unless the HAT activity is disrupted by a single point mutation. Full TgGCN5 does not complement the growth defect in a yeast gcn5 (-)mutant strain, but a chimera comprising the T.gondii HAT domain fused to the remainder of yGCN5 does. These data show that T.gondii GNC5 is a histone acetyltransferase attesting to the significance of chromatin remodelling in gene regulation of Apicomplexa.

  4. Dinoflagellate phylogeny revisited: Using ribosomal proteins to resolve deep branching dinoflagellate clades

    PubMed Central

    Bachvaroff, Tsvetan R.; Gornik, Sebastian G.; Concepcion, Gregory T.; Waller, Ross F.; Mendez, Gregory S.; Lippmeier, J. Casey; Delwiche, Charles F.

    2014-01-01

    The alveolates are composed of three major lineages, the ciliates, dinoflagellates, and apicomplexans. Together these ‘protist’ taxa play key roles in primary production and ecology, as well as in illness of humans and other animals. The interface between the dinoflagellate and apicomplexan clades has been an area of recent discovery, blurring the distinction between these two clades. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis has yet to determine the position of basal dinoflagellate clades hence the deepest branches of the dinoflagellate tree currently remain unresolved. Large-scale mRNA sequencing was applied to 11 species of dinoflagellates, including strains of the syndinean genera Hematodinium and Amoebophrya, parasites of crustaceans and dinoflagellates, respectively, to optimize and update the dinoflagellate tree. From the transcriptome-scale data a total of 73 ribosomal protein-coding genes were selected for phylogeny. After individual gene orthology assessment, the genes were concatenated into a >15,000 amino acid alignment with 76 taxa from dinoflagellates, apicomplexans, ciliates, and the outgroup heterokonts. Overall the tree was well resolved and supported, when the data was subsampled with gblocks or constraint trees were tested with the approximately unbiased test. The deepest branches of the dinoflagellate tree can now be resolved with strong support, and provides a clearer view of the evolution of the distinctive traits of dinoflagellates. PMID:24135237

  5. Besnoitia besnoiti and Toxoplasma gondii: two apicomplexan strategies to manipulate the host cell centrosome and Golgi apparatus.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Rita; Nolasco, Sofia; Gonçalves, João; Cortes, Helder C; Leitão, Alexandre; Soares, Helena

    2014-09-01

    Besnoitia besnoiti and Toxoplasma gondii are two closely related parasites that interact with the host cell microtubule cytoskeleton during host cell invasion. Here we studied the relationship between the ability of these parasites to invade and to recruit the host cell centrosome and the Golgi apparatus. We observed that T. gondii recruits the host cell centrosome towards the parasitophorous vacuole (PV), whereas B. besnoiti does not. Notably, both parasites recruit the host Golgi apparatus to the PV but its organization is affected in different ways. We also investigated the impact of depleting and over-expressing the host centrosomal protein TBCCD1, involved in centrosome positioning and Golgi apparatus integrity, on the ability of these parasites to invade and replicate. Toxoplasma gondii replication rate decreases in cells over-expressing TBCCD1 but not in TBCCD1-depleted cells; while for B. besnoiti no differences were found. However, B. besnoiti promotes a reorganization of the Golgi ribbon previously fragmented by TBCCD1 depletion. These results suggest that successful establishment of PVs in the host cell requires modulation of the Golgi apparatus which probably involves modifications in microtubule cytoskeleton organization and dynamics. These differences in how T. gondii and B. besnoiti interact with their host cells may indicate different evolutionary paths.

  6. Cell division in Apicomplexan parasites is organized by a homolog of the striated rootlet fiber of algal flagella.

    PubMed

    Francia, Maria E; Jordan, Carly N; Patel, Jay D; Sheiner, Lilach; Demerly, Jessica L; Fellows, Justin D; de Leon, Jessica Cruz; Morrissette, Naomi S; Dubremetz, Jean-François; Striepen, Boris

    2012-01-01

    Apicomplexa are intracellular parasites that cause important human diseases including malaria and toxoplasmosis. During host cell infection new parasites are formed through a budding process that parcels out nuclei and organelles into multiple daughters. Budding is remarkably flexible in output and can produce two to thousands of progeny cells. How genomes and daughters are counted and coordinated is unknown. Apicomplexa evolved from single celled flagellated algae, but with the exception of the gametes, lack flagella. Here we demonstrate that a structure that in the algal ancestor served as the rootlet of the flagellar basal bodies is required for parasite cell division. Parasite striated fiber assemblins (SFA) polymerize into a dynamic fiber that emerges from the centrosomes immediately after their duplication. The fiber grows in a polarized fashion and daughter cells form at its distal tip. As the daughter cell is further elaborated it remains physically tethered at its apical end, the conoid and polar ring. Genetic experiments in Toxoplasma gondii demonstrate two essential components of the fiber, TgSFA2 and 3. In the absence of either of these proteins cytokinesis is blocked at its earliest point, the initiation of the daughter microtubule organizing center (MTOC). Mitosis remains unimpeded and mutant cells accumulate numerous nuclei but fail to form daughter cells. The SFA fiber provides a robust spatial and temporal organizer of parasite cell division, a process that appears hard-wired to the centrosome by multiple tethers. Our findings have broader evolutionary implications. We propose that Apicomplexa abandoned flagella for most stages yet retained the organizing principle of the flagellar MTOC. Instead of ensuring appropriate numbers of flagella, the system now positions the apical invasion complexes. This suggests that elements of the invasion apparatus may be derived from flagella or flagellum associated structures.

  7. Identification and Characterization of the Rhoptry Neck Protein 2 in Babesia divergens and B. microti

    PubMed Central

    Ord, Rosalynn L.; Rodriguez, Marilis; Cursino-Santos, Jeny R.; Hong, Hyunryung; Singh, Manpreet; Gray, Jeremy

    2016-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites include those of the genera Plasmodium, Cryptosporidium, and Toxoplasma and those of the relatively understudied zoonotic genus Babesia. In humans, babesiosis, particularly transfusion-transmitted babesiosis, has been emerging as a major threat to public health. Like malaria, the disease pathology is a consequence of the parasitemia which develops through cyclical replication of Babesia parasites in host erythrocytes. However, there are no exoerythrocytic stages in Babesia, so targeting of the blood stage and associated proteins to directly prevent parasite invasion is the most desirable option for effective disease control. Especially promising among such molecules are the rhoptry neck proteins (RONs), whose homologs have been identified in many apicomplexan parasites. RONs are involved in the formation of the moving junction, along with AMA1, but no RON has been identified and characterized in any Babesia spp. Here we identify the RON2 proteins of Babesia divergens (BdRON2) and B. microti (BmRON2) and show that they are localized apically and that anti-BdRON2 antibodies are significant inhibitors of parasite invasion in vitro. Neither protein is immunodominant, as both proteins react only marginally with sera from infected animals. Further characterization of the direct role of both BdRON2 and BmRON2 in parasite invasion is required, but knowledge of the level of conformity of RON2 proteins within the apicomplexan phylum, particularly that of the AMA1-RON2 complex at the moving junction, along with the availability of an animal model for B. microti studies, provides a key to target this complex with a goal of preventing the erythrocytic invasion of these parasites and to further our understanding of the role of these conserved ligands in invasion. PMID:26953328

  8. Proteins.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doolittle, Russell F.

    1985-01-01

    Examines proteins which give rise to structure and, by virtue of selective binding to other molecules, make genes. Binding sites, amino acids, protein evolution, and molecular paleontology are discussed. Work with encoding segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (exons) and noncoding stretches (introns) provides new information for hypotheses. (DH)

  9. Proteins.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doolittle, Russell F.

    1985-01-01

    Examines proteins which give rise to structure and, by virtue of selective binding to other molecules, make genes. Binding sites, amino acids, protein evolution, and molecular paleontology are discussed. Work with encoding segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (exons) and noncoding stretches (introns) provides new information for hypotheses. (DH)

  10. Protein

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Proteins are the major structural and functional components of all cells in the body. They are macromolecules that comprise 1 or more chains of amino acids that vary in their sequence and length and are folded into specific 3-dimensional structures. The sizes and conformations of proteins, therefor...

  11. Does protein phosphorylation govern host cell entry and egress by the Apicomplexa?

    PubMed

    Jacot, Damien; Soldati-Favre, Dominique

    2012-10-01

    Members of the phylum Apicomplexa are responsible for a wide range of diseases in humans and animals. The absence of an effective vaccine or safe curing drugs and the continuous emergence of resistant parasites to available treatments impose a high demand on the identification of novel targets for intervention against the apicomplexans. Protein kinases are considered attractive potential therapeutic targets not only against cancers but also to combat infectious diseases. The scope and aim of this review is to report on the recent progress in dissecting the impact of protein phosphorylation in regulating motility and invasion. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  12. Protein

    MedlinePlus

    ... Search for: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Email People Departments Calendar Careers Give my.harvard ... Nutrition Source Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health > The Nutrition Source > What Should I Eat? > Protein ...

  13. Toxoplasma gondii Toc75 Functions in Import of Stromal but not Peripheral Apicoplast Proteins.

    PubMed

    Sheiner, Lilach; Fellows, Justin D; Ovciarikova, Jana; Brooks, Carrie F; Agrawal, Swati; Holmes, Zachary C; Bietz, Irine; Flinner, Nadine; Heiny, Sabrina; Mirus, Oliver; Przyborski, Jude M; Striepen, Boris

    2015-12-01

    Apicomplexa are unicellular parasites causing important human and animal diseases, including malaria and toxoplasmosis. Most of these pathogens possess a relict but essential plastid, the apicoplast. The apicoplast was acquired by secondary endosymbiosis between a red alga and a flagellated eukaryotic protist. As a result the apicoplast is surrounded by four membranes. This complex structure necessitates a system of transport signals and translocons allowing nuclear encoded proteins to find their way to specific apicoplast sub-compartments. Previous studies identified translocons traversing two of the four apicoplast membranes. Here we provide functional support for the role of an apicomplexan Toc75 homolog in apicoplast protein transport. We identify two apicomplexan genes encoding Toc75 and Sam50, both members of the Omp85 protein family. We localize the respective proteins to the apicoplast and the mitochondrion of Toxoplasma and Plasmodium. We show that the Toxoplasma Toc75 is essential for parasite growth and that its depletion results in a rapid defect in the import of apicoplast stromal proteins while the import of proteins of the outer compartments is affected only as the secondary consequence of organelle loss. These observations along with the homology to Toc75 suggest a potential role in transport through the second innermost membrane.

  14. A small mitochondrial protein present in myzozoans is essential for malaria transmission

    PubMed Central

    Klug, Dennis; Mair, Gunnar R.; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Douglas, Ross G.

    2016-01-01

    Myzozoans (which include dinoflagellates, chromerids and apicomplexans) display notable divergence from their ciliate sister group, including a reduced mitochondrial genome and divergent metabolic processes. The factors contributing to these divergent processes are still poorly understood and could serve as potential drug targets in disease-causing protists. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a small mitochondrial protein from the rodent-infecting apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium berghei that is essential for development in its mosquito host. Parasites lacking the gene mitochondrial protein ookinete developmental defect (mpodd) showed malformed parasites that were unable to transmit to mosquitoes. Knockout parasites displayed reduced mitochondrial mass without affecting organelle integrity, indicating no role of the protein in mitochondrial biogenesis or morphology maintenance but a likely role in mitochondrial import or metabolism. Using genetic complementation experiments, we identified a previously unrecognized Plasmodium falciparum homologue that can rescue the mpodd(−) phenotype, thereby showing that the gene is functionally conserved. As far as can be detected, mpodd is found in myzozoans, has homologues in the phylum Apicomplexa and appears to have arisen in free-living dinoflagellates. This suggests that the MPODD protein has a conserved mitochondrial role that is important for myzozoans. While previous studies identified a number of essential proteins which are generally highly conserved evolutionarily, our study identifies, for the first time, a non-canonical protein fulfilling a crucial function in the mitochondrion during parasite transmission. PMID:27053680

  15. Subcompartmentalisation of Proteins in the Rhoptries Correlates with Ordered Events of Erythrocyte Invasion by the Blood Stage Malaria Parasite

    PubMed Central

    Zuccala, Elizabeth S.; Gout, Alexander M.; Dekiwadia, Chaitali; Marapana, Danushka S.; Angrisano, Fiona; Turnbull, Lynne; Riglar, David T.; Rogers, Kelly L.; Whitchurch, Cynthia B.; Ralph, Stuart A.; Speed, Terence P.; Baum, Jake

    2012-01-01

    Host cell infection by apicomplexan parasites plays an essential role in lifecycle progression for these obligate intracellular pathogens. For most species, including the etiological agents of malaria and toxoplasmosis, infection requires active host-cell invasion dependent on formation of a tight junction – the organising interface between parasite and host cell during entry. Formation of this structure is not, however, shared across all Apicomplexa or indeed all parasite lifecycle stages. Here, using an in silico integrative genomic search and endogenous gene-tagging strategy, we sought to characterise proteins that function specifically during junction-dependent invasion, a class of proteins we term invasins to distinguish them from adhesins that function in species specific host-cell recognition. High-definition imaging of tagged Plasmodium falciparum invasins localised proteins to multiple cellular compartments of the blood stage merozoite. This includes several that localise to distinct subcompartments within the rhoptries. While originating from the same organelle, however, each has very different dynamics during invasion. Apical Sushi Protein and Rhoptry Neck protein 2 release early, following the junction, whilst a novel rhoptry protein PFF0645c releases only after invasion is complete. This supports the idea that organisation of proteins within a secretory organelle determines the order and destination of protein secretion and provides a localisation-based classification strategy for predicting invasin function during apicomplexan parasite invasion. PMID:23049965

  16. Virtual Screening and Experimental Validation Identify Novel Inhibitors of the Plasmodium falciparum Atg8-Atg3 Protein-Protein Interaction.

    PubMed

    Hain, Adelaide U P; Miller, Alexia S; Levitskaya, Jelena; Bosch, Jürgen

    2016-04-19

    New therapies are needed against malaria, a parasitic infection caused by Plasmodium falciparum, as drug resistance emerges against the current treatment, artemisinin. We previously characterized the Atg8-Atg3 protein-protein interaction (PPI), which is essential for autophagy and parasite survival. Herein we illustrate the use of virtual library screening to selectively block the PPI in the parasite without inhibiting the homologous interaction in humans by targeting the A-loop of PfAtg8. This A-loop is important for Atg3 binding in Plasmodium, but is absent from the human Atg8 homologues. In this proof-of-concept study, we demonstrate a shift in lipidation state of PfAtg8 and inhibition of P. falciparum growth in both blood- and liver-stage cultures upon drug treatment. Our results illustrate how in silico screening and structure-aided drug design against a PPI can be used to identify new hits for drug development. Additionally, as we targeted a region of Atg8 that is conserved within apicomplexans, we predict that our small molecule will have cross-reactivity against other disease-causing apicomplexans, such as Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, Theileria, Neospora, Eimeria, and Babesia.

  17. SAS6-like protein in Plasmodium indicates that conoid-associated apical complex proteins persist in invasive stages within the mosquito vector

    PubMed Central

    Wall, Richard J.; Roques, Magali; Katris, Nicholas J.; Koreny, Ludek; Stanway, Rebecca R.; Brady, Declan; Waller, Ross F.; Tewari, Rita

    2016-01-01

    The SAS6-like (SAS6L) protein, a truncated paralogue of the ubiquitous basal body/centriole protein SAS6, has been characterised recently as a flagellum protein in trypanosomatids, but associated with the conoid in apicomplexan Toxoplasma. The conoid has been suggested to derive from flagella parts, but is thought to have been lost from some apicomplexans including the malaria-causing genus Plasmodium. Presence of SAS6L in Plasmodium, therefore, suggested a possible role in flagella assembly in male gametes, the only flagellated stage. Here, we have studied the expression and role of SAS6L throughout the Plasmodium life cycle using the rodent malaria model P. berghei. Contrary to a hypothesised role in flagella, SAS6L was absent during gamete flagellum formation. Instead, SAS6L was restricted to the apical complex in ookinetes and sporozoites, the extracellular invasive stages that develop within the mosquito vector. In these stages SAS6L forms an apical ring, as we show is also the case in Toxoplasma tachyzoites. The SAS6L ring was not apparent in blood-stage invasive merozoites, indicating that the apical complex is differentiated between the different invasive forms. Overall this study indicates that a conoid-associated apical complex protein and ring structure is persistent in Plasmodium in a stage-specific manner. PMID:27339728

  18. An Eimeria vaccine candidate based on Eimeria tenella immune mapped protein 1 and the TLR-5 agonist Salmonella typhimurium FliC flagellin

    SciTech Connect

    Yin, Guangwen; Qin, Mei; Liu, Xianyong; Suo, Jingxia; Tang, Xinming; Tao, Geru; Han, Qian; Suo, Xun; Wu, Wenxue

    2013-10-25

    Highlights: •We found a new protective protein – (IMPI) in Eimeria tenella. •EtIMP1-flagellin fusion protein is an effective immunogen against Eimeria infection. •Flagellin can be as an apicomplexan parasite vaccine adjuvant in chickens. -- Abstract: Immune mapped protein-1 (IMP1) is a new protective protein in apicomplexan parasites, and exits in Eimeria tenella. But its structure and immunogenicity in E. tenella are still unknown. In this study, IMPI in E. tenella was predicted to be a membrane protein. To evaluate immunogenicity of IMPI in E. tenella, a chimeric subunit vaccine consisting of E. tenella IMP1 (EtIMP1) and a molecular adjuvant (a truncated flagellin, FliC) was constructed and over-expressed in Escherichia coli and its efficacy against E. tenella infection was evaluated. Three-week-old AA broiler chickens were vaccinated with the recombinant EtIMP1-truncated FliC without adjuvant or EtIMP1 with Freund’s Complete Adjuvant. Immunization of chickens with the recombinant EtIMP1-truncated FliC fusion protein resulted in stronger cellular immune responses than immunization with only recombinant EtIMP1 with adjuvant. The clinical effect of the EtIMP1-truncated FliC without adjuvant was also greater than that of the EtIMP1 with adjuvant, which was evidenced by the differences between the two groups in body weight gain, oocyst output and caecal lesions of E. tenella-challenged chickens. The results suggested that the EtIMP1-flagellin fusion protein can be used as an effective immunogen in the development of subunit vaccines against Eimeria infection. This is the first demonstration of antigen-specific protective immunity against avian coccidiosis using a recombinant flagellin as an apicomplexan parasite vaccine adjuvant in chickens.

  19. A New Protein Superfamily: TPPP-Like Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Orosz, Ferenc

    2012-01-01

    The introduction of the term ‘Tubulin Polymerization Promoting Protein (TPPP)-like proteins’ is suggested. They constitute a eukaryotic protein superfamily, characterized by the presence of the p25alpha domain (Pfam05517, IPR008907), and named after the first identified member, TPPP/p25, exhibiting microtubule stabilizing function. TPPP-like proteins can be grouped on the basis of two characteristics: the length of their p25alpha domain, which can be long, short, truncated or partial, and the presence or absence of additional domain(s). TPPPs, in the strict sense, contain no other domains but one long or short p25alpha one (long- and short-type TPPPs, respectively). Proteins possessing truncated p25alpha domain are first described in this paper. They evolved from the long-type TPPPs and can be considered as arthropod-specific paralogs of long-type TPPPs. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the two groups (long-type and truncated TPPPs) split in the common ancestor of arthropods. Incomplete p25alpha domains can be found in multidomain TPPP-like proteins as well. The various subfamilies occur with a characteristic phyletic distribution: e. g., animal genomes/proteomes contain almost without exception long-type TPPPs; the multidomain apicortins occur almost exclusively in apicomplexan parasites. There are no data about the physiological function of these proteins except two human long-type TPPP paralogs which are involved in developmental processes of the brain and the musculoskeletal system, respectively. I predict that the superfamily members containing long or partial p25alpha domain are often intrinsically disordered proteins, while those with short or truncated domain(s) are structurally ordered. Interestingly, members of this superfamily connected or maybe connected to diseases are intrinsically disordered proteins. PMID:23166627

  20. Mammalian and malaria parasite cyclase-associated proteins catalyze nucleotide exchange on G-actin through a conserved mechanism.

    PubMed

    Makkonen, Maarit; Bertling, Enni; Chebotareva, Natalia A; Baum, Jake; Lappalainen, Pekka

    2013-01-11

    Cyclase-associated proteins (CAPs) are among the most highly conserved regulators of actin dynamics, being present in organisms from mammals to apicomplexan parasites. Yeast, plant, and mammalian CAPs are large multidomain proteins, which catalyze nucleotide exchange on actin monomers from ADP to ATP and recycle actin monomers from actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin for new rounds of filament assembly. However, the mechanism by which CAPs promote nucleotide exchange is not known. Furthermore, how apicomplexan CAPs, which lack many domains present in yeast and mammalian CAPs, contribute to actin dynamics is not understood. We show that, like yeast Srv2/CAP, mouse CAP1 interacts with ADF/cofilin and ADP-G-actin through its N-terminal α-helical and C-terminal β-strand domains, respectively. However, in the variation to yeast Srv2/CAP, mouse CAP1 has two adjacent profilin-binding sites, and it interacts with ATP-actin monomers with high affinity through its WH2 domain. Importantly, we revealed that the C-terminal β-sheet domain of mouse CAP1 is essential and sufficient for catalyzing nucleotide exchange on actin monomers, although the adjacent WH2 domain is not required for this function. Supporting these data, we show that the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum CAP, which is entirely composed of the β-sheet domain, efficiently promotes nucleotide exchange on actin monomers. Collectively, this study provides evidence that catalyzing nucleotide exchange on actin monomers via the β-sheet domain is the most highly conserved function of CAPs from mammals to apicomplexan parasites. Other functions, including interactions with profilin and ADF/cofilin, evolved in more complex organisms to adjust the specific role of CAPs in actin dynamics.

  1. Structure and function of a G-actin sequestering protein with a vital role in malaria oocyst development inside the mosquito vector.

    PubMed

    Hliscs, Marion; Sattler, Julia M; Tempel, Wolfram; Artz, Jennifer D; Dong, Aiping; Hui, Raymond; Matuschewski, Kai; Schüler, Herwig

    2010-04-09

    Cyclase-associated proteins (CAPs) are evolutionary conserved G-actin-binding proteins that regulate microfilament turnover. CAPs have a modular structure consisting of an N-terminal adenylate cyclase binding domain, a central proline-rich segment, and a C-terminal actin binding domain. Protozoan parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa, such as Cryptosporidium and the malaria parasite Plasmodium, express small CAP orthologs with homology to the C-terminal actin binding domain (C-CAP). Here, we demonstrate by reverse genetics that C-CAP is dispensable for the pathogenic Plasmodium blood stages. However, c-cap(-) parasites display a complete defect in oocyst development in the insect vector. By trans-species complementation we show that the Cryptosporidium parvum ortholog complements the Plasmodium gene functions. Purified recombinant C. parvum C-CAP protein binds actin monomers and prevents actin polymerization. The crystal structure of C. parvum C-CAP shows two monomers with a right-handed beta-helical fold intercalated at their C termini to form the putative physiological dimer. Our results reveal a specific vital role for an apicomplexan G-actin-binding protein during sporogony, the parasite replication phase that precedes formation of malaria transmission stages. This study also exemplifies how Plasmodium reverse genetics combined with biochemical and structural analyses of orthologous proteins can offer a fast track toward systematic gene characterization in apicomplexan parasites.

  2. Discovery of a diverse clade of gregarine apicomplexans (Apicomplexa: Eugregarinorida) from Pacific eunicid and onuphid polychaetes, including descriptions of Paralecudina n. gen., Trichotokara japonica n. sp., and T. eunicae n. sp.

    PubMed

    Rueckert, Sonja; Wakeman, Kevin C; Leander, Brian S

    2013-01-01

    Marine gregarines are poorly understood apicomplexan parasites with large trophozoites that inhabit the body cavities of marine invertebrates. Two novel species of gregarines were discovered in polychaete hosts collected in Canada and Japan. The trophozoites of Trichotokara japonica n. sp. were oval to rhomboidal shaped, and covered with longitudinal epicytic folds with a density of six to eight folds/micron. The nucleus was situated in the middle of the cell, and the mucron was elongated and covered with hair-like projections; antler-like projections also extended from the anterior tip of the mucron. The distinctively large trophozoites of Trichotokara eunicae n. sp. lacked an elongated mucron and had a tadpole-like cell shape consisting of a bulbous anterior region and a tapered tail-like posterior region. The cell surface was covered with longitudinal epicytic folds with a density of three to five folds/micron. Small subunit (SSU) rDNA sequences of both species were very divergent and formed a strongly supported clade with the recently described species Trichotokara nothriae and an environmental sequence (AB275074). This phylogenetic context combined with the morphological features of T. eunicae n. sp. required us to amend the description for Trichotokara. The sister clade to the Trichotokara clade consisted of environmental sequences and Lecudina polymorpha, which also possesses densely packed epicyctic folds (3-5 folds/micron) and a prominently elongated mucron. This improved morphological and molecular phylogenetic context justified the establishment of Paralecudina (ex. Lecudina) polymorpha n. gen. et comb. © 2012 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2012 International Society of Protistologists.

  3. Eimeria tenella rhomboid 3 has a potential role in microneme protein cleavage.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jun; Gong, Pengtao; Jia, Honglin; Li, Mingying; Zhang, Guocai; Zhang, Xichen; Li, Jianhua

    2014-03-17

    Invasion in several apicomplexan parasites, including Eimeria tenella, is accompanied by shedding of surface adhesins by intramembrane proteolysis mediated by rhomboid protease. We have previously identified E. tenella rhomboid 3 (EtROM3), but its precise role has not been elucidated. In this study, the interactions between EtROM3 and microneme (MIC) proteins were analyzed using the yeast two hybrid technique. The results showed that c-Myc-ROM3 fusion protein interacted with EtMIC4 protein in co-transformed AH109 yeasts, which was further confirmed by immunoprecipitation assay. Smaller EtMIC4 band from co-transformed cells suggested that EtROM3 was an active protease and involved in the cleavage of EtMIC4.

  4. Identification of new Palmitoylated Proteins in Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Caballero, Marina C.; Alonso, Andrés M.; Deng, Bin; Attias, Marcia; de Souza, Wanderley; Corvi, María M.

    2016-01-01

    Protein palmitoylation has been shown to be an important post-translational modification in eukaryotic cells. This modification alters the localization and/or the function of the targeted protein. In the recent years protein palmitoylation has risen in importance in apicomplexan parasites as well. In Toxoplasma gondii, some proteins have been reported to be modified by palmitate. With the development of new techniques that allow the isolation of palmitoylated proteins, this significant post-translational modification has begun to be studied in more detail in T. gondii. Here we describe the palmitoylome of the tachyzoite stage of T. gondii using a combination of the acyl-biotin exchange chemistry method and mass spectrometry analysis. We identified 401 proteins found in multiple cellular compartments, with a wide range of functions that vary from metabolic processes, gliding and host-cell invasion to even regulation of transcription and translation. Besides, we found that more rhoptry proteins than the ones already described for Toxoplasma are palmitoylated, suggesting an important role for this modification in the invasion mechanism of the host-cell. This study documents that protein palmitoylation is a common modification in T. gondii that could have an impact on different cellular processes. PMID:26825284

  5. Targeting a dynamic protein-protein interaction: fragment screening against the malaria myosin A motor complex.

    PubMed

    Douse, Christopher H; Vrielink, Nina; Wenlin, Zhang; Cota, Ernesto; Tate, Edward W

    2015-01-01

    Motility is a vital feature of the complex life cycle of Plasmodium falciparum, the apicomplexan parasite that causes human malaria. Processes such as host cell invasion are thought to be powered by a conserved actomyosin motor (containing myosin A or myoA), correct localization of which is dependent on a tight interaction with myosin A tail domain interacting protein (MTIP) at the inner membrane of the parasite. Although disruption of this protein-protein interaction represents an attractive means to investigate the putative roles of myoA-based motility and to inhibit the parasitic life cycle, no small molecules have been identified that bind to MTIP. Furthermore, it has not been possible to obtain a crystal structure of the free protein, which is highly dynamic and unstable in the absence of its natural myoA tail partner. Herein we report the de novo identification of the first molecules that bind to and stabilize MTIP via a fragment-based, integrated biophysical approach and structural investigations to examine the binding modes of hit compounds. The challenges of targeting such a dynamic system with traditional fragment screening workflows are addressed throughout.

  6. A HT/PEXEL motif in Toxoplasma dense granule proteins is a signal for protein cleavage but not export into the host cell

    PubMed Central

    Hsiao, Chia-Hung Christine; Hiller, N. Luisa; Haldar, Kasturi; Knoll, Laura J.

    2013-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites, such as Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium, secrete proteins for attachment, invasion and modulation of their host cells. The host targeting (HT), also known as the Plasmodium export element (PEXEL), directs Plasmodium proteins into erythrocytes to remodel the host cell and establish infection. Bioinformatic analysis of Toxoplasma revealed a HT/PEXEL-like motif at the N-terminal of several hypothetical unknown and dense granule proteins. Hemagglutinin (HA)-tagged versions of these uncharacterized proteins show co-localization with dense granule proteins found on the parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM). In contrast to Plasmodium, these Toxoplasma HT/PEXEL containing proteins are not exported into the host cell. Site directed mutagenesis of the Toxoplasma HT/PEXEL motif, RxLxD/E, shows that the arginine and leucine residues are permissible for protein cleavage. Mutations within the HT/PEXEL motif that prevent protein cleavage still allow for targeting to the PV but the proteins have a reduced association with the PVM. Addition of a Myc tag before and after the cleavage site shows that processed HT/PEXEL protein has increased PVM association. These findings suggest that while Toxoplasma and Plasmodium share similar HT/PEXEL motifs, Toxoplasma HT/PEXEL containing proteins interact with but do not cross the PVM. PMID:23356236

  7. Gliding Associated Proteins Play Essential Roles during the Formation of the Inner Membrane Complex of Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Gow, Matthew; Jiménez-Ruiz, Elena; Ferguson, David J. P.; Meissner, Markus

    2016-01-01

    The inner membrane complex (IMC) of apicomplexan parasites is a specialised structure localised beneath the parasite’s plasma membrane, and is important for parasite stability and intracellular replication. Furthermore, it serves as an anchor for the myosin A motor complex, termed the glideosome. While the role of this protein complex in parasite motility and host cell invasion has been well described, additional roles during the asexual life cycle are unknown. Here, we demonstrate that core elements of the glideosome, the gliding associated proteins GAP40 and GAP50 as well as members of the GAPM family, have critical roles in the biogenesis of the IMC during intracellular replication. Deletion or disruption of these genes resulted in the rapid collapse of developing parasites after initiation of the cell cycle and led to redistribution of other glideosome components. PMID:26845335

  8. Calcium-dependent microneme protein discharge and in vitro egress of Eimeria tenella sporozoites.

    PubMed

    Yan, Xinlei; Tao, Geru; Liu, Xianyong; Ji, Yongsheng; Suo, Xun

    2016-11-01

    Egress is a vital step in the endogenous development of apicomplexan parasites, as it assures the parasites exit from consumed host cells and entry into fresh ones. However, little information has previously been reported on this step of Eimeria spp. In this study, we investigated in vitro egress of Eimeria tenella sporozoites triggered by acetaldehyde. We found that addition of exogenous acetaldehyde induces egress of sporozoites from primary chicken kidney cells (PCKs) and stimulate secretion of E. tenella microneme 2 protein (EtMic 2). Moreover, by using cellular calcium inhibitors, we further proved that these processes were dependent on the intracellular calcium of the parasites. Our findings provide clues to the study of interaction between eimerian parasites and their hosts.

  9. Expression of Toxoplasma gondii dense granule protein7 (GRA7) in Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Yin, Guangwen; Qin, Mei; Liu, Xianyong; Suo, Jingxia; Suo, Xun

    2013-05-01

    Dense granules are specialized secretory organelles of Apicomplexa parasites; the dense granule (GRA) proteins are believed to play a role in intracellular survival and the nutrient/waste exchange mechanism with the host cell. Until now, limited information is available concerning the characterization of GRA proteins in Eimeria. Eimeria tenella and Toxoplasma gondii are apicomplexan protozoa and share many similarities in biology and genomics. We hypothesized that GRA proteins from T. gondii could be expressed and have a similar function in E. tenella. To confirm the expression and localization of the GRA protein in T. gondii and E. tenella, a transient transfection strategy was used to express T. gondii GRA7 tagged with yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) (GRA7-YFP); T. gondii tachyzoites were transfected with the plasmid pTgtubGRA7-YFP/sagCAT, and E. tenella sporozoites were transfected with the pEtmic1GRA7-YFP/act construct. The results show that fluorescence can be expressed mainly into the parasitophorous vacuoles (PVs) of the T. gondii. GRA7 of T. gondii can also be expressed in E. tenella and can lead the fluorescence protein into the PVs of the parasites and the cavity of the sporocysts. As for the extracellular stage, YFP gathered to form small particles in the released merozoites and sporozoites, suggesting a localization of the secretory organelles of E. tenella. These results suggest that GRA proteins have a conserved function across species of Apicomplexa in targeting proteins to the PVs.

  10. An Eimeria vaccine candidate based on Eimeria tenella immune mapped protein 1 and the TLR-5 agonist Salmonella typhimurium FliC flagellin.

    PubMed

    Yin, Guangwen; Qin, Mei; Liu, Xianyong; Suo, Jingxia; Tang, Xinming; Tao, Geru; Han, Qian; Suo, Xun; Wu, Wenxue

    2013-10-25

    Immune mapped protein-1 (IMP1) is a new protective protein in apicomplexan parasites, and exits in Eimeria tenella. But its structure and immunogenicity in E. tenella are still unknown. In this study, IMPI in E. tenella was predicted to be a membrane protein. To evaluate immunogenicity of IMPI in E. tenella, a chimeric subunit vaccine consisting of E. tenella IMP1 (EtIMP1) and a molecular adjuvant (a truncated flagellin, FliC) was constructed and over-expressed in Escherichia coli and its efficacy against E. tenella infection was evaluated. Three-week-old AA broiler chickens were vaccinated with the recombinant EtIMP1-truncated FliC without adjuvant or EtIMP1 with Freund's Complete Adjuvant. Immunization of chickens with the recombinant EtIMP1-truncated FliC fusion protein resulted in stronger cellular immune responses than immunization with only recombinant EtIMP1 with adjuvant. The clinical effect of the EtIMP1-truncated FliC without adjuvant was also greater than that of the EtIMP1 with adjuvant, which was evidenced by the differences between the two groups in body weight gain, oocyst output and caecal lesions of E. tenella-challenged chickens. The results suggested that the EtIMP1-flagellin fusion protein can be used as an effective immunogen in the development of subunit vaccines against Eimeria infection. This is the first demonstration of antigen-specific protective immunity against avian coccidiosis using a recombinant flagellin as an apicomplexan parasite vaccine adjuvant in chickens.

  11. The HU Protein Is Important for Apicoplast Genome Maintenance and Inheritance in Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Reiff, Sarah B.; Vaishnava, Shipra

    2012-01-01

    The apicoplast, a chloroplast-like organelle, is an essential cellular component of most apicomplexan parasites, including Plasmodium and Toxoplasma. The apicoplast maintains its own genome, a 35-kb DNA molecule that largely encodes proteins required for organellar transcription and translation. Interference with apicoplast genome maintenance and function is a validated target for drug therapy for malaria and toxoplasmosis. However, the many proteins required for genome maintenance and inheritance remain largely unstudied. Here we genetically characterize a nucleus-encoded homolog to the bacterial HU protein in Toxoplasma gondii. In bacteria, HU is a DNA-binding structural protein with fundamental roles in transcription, replication initiation, and DNA repair. Immunofluorescence assays reveal that in T. gondii this protein localizes to the apicoplast. We have found that the HU protein from Toxoplasma can successfully complement bacterial ΔhupA mutants, supporting a similar function. We were able to construct a genetic knockout of HU in Toxoplasma. This Δhu mutant is barely viable and exhibits significant growth retardation. Upon further analysis of the mutant phenotype, we find that this mutant has a dramatically reduced apicoplast genome copy number and, furthermore, suffers defects in the segregation of the apicoplast organelle. Our findings not only show that the HU protein is important for Toxoplasma cell biology but also demonstrate the importance of the apicoplast genome in the biogenesis of the organelle. PMID:22611021

  12. Analysis of the Sarcocystis neurona microneme protein SnMIC10: protein characteristics and expression during intracellular development.

    PubMed

    Hoane, Jessica S; Carruthers, Vernon B; Striepen, Boris; Morrison, David P; Entzeroth, Rolf; Howe, Daniel K

    2003-07-01

    Sarcocystis neurona, an apicomplexan parasite, is the primary causative agent of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. Like other members of the Apicomplexa, S. neurona zoites possess secretory organelles that contain proteins necessary for host cell invasion and intracellular survival. From a collection of S. neurona expressed sequence tags, we identified a sequence encoding a putative microneme protein based on similarity to Toxoplasma gondii MIC10 (TgMIC10). Pairwise sequence alignments of SnMIC10 to TgMIC10 and NcMIC10 from Neospora caninum revealed approximately 33% identity to both orthologues. The open reading frame of the S. neurona gene encodes a 255 amino acid protein with a predicted 39-residue signal peptide. Like TgMIC10 and NcMIC10, SnMIC10 is predicted to be hydrophilic, highly alpha-helical in structure, and devoid of identifiable adhesive domains. Antibodies raised against recombinant SnMIC10 recognised a protein band with an apparent molecular weight of 24 kDa in Western blots of S. neurona merozoites, consistent with the size predicted for SnMIC10. In vitro secretion assays demonstrated that this protein is secreted by extracellular merozoites in a temperature-dependent manner. Indirect immunofluorescence analysis of SnMIC10 showed a polar labelling pattern, which is consistent with the apical position of the micronemes, and immunoelectron microscopy provided definitive localisation of the protein to these secretory organelles. Further analysis of SnMIC10 in intracellular parasites revealed that expression of this protein is temporally regulated during endopolygeny, supporting the view that micronemes are only needed during host cell invasion. Collectively, the data indicate that SnMIC10 is a microneme protein that is part of the excreted/secreted antigen fraction of S. neurona. Identification and characterisation of additional S. neurona microneme antigens and comparisons to orthologues in other Apicomplexa could provide further insight into the

  13. Evolutionary implications of localization of the signaling scaffold protein parafusin to both cilia and the nucleus.

    PubMed

    Satir, Birgit Hegner; Wyroba, Elzbieta; Liu, Li; Lethan, Mette; Satir, Peter; Christensen, Søren Tvorup

    2015-02-01

    Parafusin (PFUS), a 63 kDa protein first discovered in the eukaryote Paramecium and known for its role in apicomplexan exocytosis, provides a model for the common origin of cellular systems employing scaffold proteins for targeting and signaling. PFUS is closely related to eubacterial rather than archeal phosphoglucomutases (PGM) - as we proved by comparison of their 88 sequences - but has no PGM activity. Immunofluorescence microscopy analysis with a PFUS-specific peptide antibody showed presence of this protein around the base region of primary cilia in a variety of mammalian cell types, including mouse embryonic (MEFs) and human foreskin fibroblasts (hFFs), human carcinoma stem cells (NT-2 cells), and human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. Further, PFUS localized to the nucleus of fibroblasts, and prominently to nucleoli of MEFs. Localization studies were confirmed by Western blot analysis, showing that the PFUS antibody specifically recognizes a single protein of ca. 63 kDa in both cytoplasmic and nuclear fractions. Finally, immunofluorescence microscopy analysis showed that PFUS localized to nuclei and cilia in Paramecium. These results support the suggestion that PFUS plays a role in signaling between nucleus and cilia, and that the cilium and the nucleus both evolved around the time of eukaryotic emergence. We hypothesize that near the beginnings of eukaryotic cell evolution, scaffold proteins such as PFUS arose as peripheral membrane protein identifiers for cytoplasmic membrane trafficking and were employed similarly during the subsequent evolution of exocytic, nuclear transport, and ciliogenic mechanisms. © 2014 International Federation for Cell Biology.

  14. Molecular characterization and analysis of a novel protein disulfide isomerase-like protein of Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Han, Hongyu; Dong, Hui; Zhu, Shunhai; Zhao, Qiping; Jiang, Lianlian; Wang, Yange; Li, Liujia; Wu, Youlin; Huang, Bing

    2014-01-01

    Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) and PDI-like proteins are members of the thioredoxin superfamily. They contain thioredoxin-like domains and catalyze the physiological oxidation, reduction and isomerization of protein disulfide bonds, which are involved in cell function and development in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In this study, EtPDIL, a novel PDI-like gene of Eimeria tenella, was cloned using rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) according to the expressed sequence tag (EST). The EtPDIL cDNA contained 1129 nucleotides encoding 216 amino acids. The deduced EtPDIL protein belonged to thioredoxin-like superfamily and had a single predicted thioredoxin domain with a non-classical thioredoxin-like motif (SXXC). BLAST analysis showed that the EtPDIL protein was 55-59% identical to PDI-like proteins of other apicomplexan parasites. The transcript and protein levels of EtPDIL at different development stages were investigated by real-time quantitative PCR and western blot. The messenger RNA and protein levels of EtPDIL were higher in sporulated oocysts than in unsporulated oocysts, sporozoites or merozoites. Protein expression was barely detectable in unsporulated oocysts. Western blots showed that rabbit antiserum against recombinant EtPDIL recognized only a native 24 kDa protein from parasites. Immunolocalization with EtPDIL antibody showed that EtPDIL had a disperse distribution in the cytoplasm of whole sporozoites and merozoites. After sporozoites were incubated in complete medium, EtPDIL protein concentrated at the anterior of the sporozoites and appeared on the surface of parasites. Specific staining was more intense and mainly located on the parasite surface after merozoites released from mature schizonts invaded DF-1 cells. After development of parasites in DF-1 cells, staining intensified in trophozoites, immature schizonts and mature schizonts. Antibody inhibition of EtPDIL function reduced the ability of E. tenella to invade DF-1 cells. These results

  15. Proteome-wide analysis reveals widespread lysine acetylation of major protein complexes in the malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Cobbold, Simon A.; Santos, Joana M.; Ochoa, Alejandro; Perlman, David H.; Llinás, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    Lysine acetylation is a ubiquitous post-translational modification in many organisms including the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, yet the full extent of acetylation across the parasite proteome remains unresolved. Moreover, the functional significance of acetylation or how specific acetyl-lysine sites are regulated is largely unknown. Here we report a seven-fold expansion of the known parasite ‘acetylome’, characterizing 2,876 acetylation sites on 1,146 proteins. We observe that lysine acetylation targets a diverse range of protein complexes and is particularly enriched within the Apicomplexan AP2 (ApiAP2) DNA-binding protein family. Using quantitative proteomics we determined that artificial perturbation of the acetate/acetyl-CoA balance alters the acetyl-lysine occupancy of several ApiAP2 DNA-binding proteins and related transcriptional proteins. This metabolic signaling could mediate significant downstream transcriptional responses, as we show that acetylation of an ApiAP2 DNA-binding domain ablates its DNA-binding propensity. Lastly, we investigated the acetyl-lysine targets of each class of lysine deacetylase in order to begin to explore how each class of enzyme contributes to regulating the P. falciparum acetylome. PMID:26813983

  16. Characterization of monoclonal antibodies that recognize the Eimeria tenella microneme protein MIC2.

    PubMed

    Sasai, Kazumi; Fetterer, Raymond H; Lillehoj, Hyun; Matusra, Satomi; Constantinoiu, Constantin C; Matsubayashi, Makoto; Tani, Hiroyuki; Baba, Eiichiroh

    2008-12-01

    The apicomplexan pathogens of Eimeria cause coccidiosis, an intestinal disease of chickens, which has a major economic impact on the poultry industry. Members of the Apicomplexa share an assortment of unique secretory organelles (rhoptries, micronemes and dense granules) that mediate invasion of host cells and formation and modification of the parasitophorous vacuole. Among these, microneme protein 2 from Eimeria tenella(EtMIC2) has a putative function in parasite adhesion to the host cell to initiate the invasion process. To investigate the role of EtMIC2 in host parasite interactions, the production and characterization of 12 monoclonal antibodies (mabs) produced against recombinant EtMIC2 proteins is described. All mabs reacted with molecules belonging to the apical complex of sporozoites and merozoites of E. tenella, E. acervulina and E. maxima in an immunofluorescence assay. By Western blot analysis, the mabs identified a developmentally regulated protein of 42 kDa corresponding to EtMIC 2 and cross-reacted with proteins in developmental stages of E. acervulina. Collectively, these mabs are useful tools for the detailed investigation of the characterization of EtMIC2 related proteins in Eimeria species.

  17. Characterization and localization of an Eimeria-specific protein in Eimeria maxima.

    PubMed

    Fetterer, Raymond H; Schwarz, Ryan S; Miska, Katarzyna B; Jenkins, Mark C; Barfield, Ruth C; Murphy, Charles

    2013-10-01

    A recently completed analysis of Eimeria maxima transcriptome identified a gene with homology to sequences expressed by E. tenella and E. acervulina but lacking homology with other organisms including other apicomplexans. This gene, designated Eimeria-specific protein (ESP), codes for a protein with a predicted molecular weight of 19 kDa. The ESP gene was cloned and the recombinant protein expressed in bacteria and purified for preparation of specific antisera. Quantitative RT-PCR showed transcription of ESP was low in unsporulated oocysts and after 24 h of sporulation. However, transcription nearly doubled after 48 h of sporulation and reached its highest levels in sporozoites (SZ) and merozoites (MZ). The protein was detectable by Western blot in both sporulated oocysts and in SZ and MZ. Immuno-localization by light microscopy identified ESP in paired structures in the anterior of SZ and MZ. Immuno-localization by electron microscopy identified ESP in MZ rhoptries but no specific staining of any SZ structures was detected. In addition, localization studies on intestinal sections recovered from birds 120-h post-infection indicates that oocysts do not stain with anti-ESP but staining of microgametocytes and developing oocysts was observed. The results indicate that ESP is associated with the rhoptry of E. maxima and that the protein may have functions in other developmental stages.

  18. Molecular cloning of ribosomal P protein in Toxoplasma gondii and the availability to detect antibody against recombinant protein in toxoplasmosis patients

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Hye-Jin; Kim, Sera

    2003-01-01

    Among the panel of monoclonal antibodies (mAb) against Toxoplasma gondii, mAb of Tg621 (Tg621) clone blotted 38 kDa protein which localized in the cytoplasm of tachyzoites by immunofluorescence microscopy. The protein was not released into the parasitophorous vacuole during or after invasion. The cDNA fragment encoding the protein was obtained by screening a T. gondii cDNA expression library with Tg621. The full length cDNA sequence was completed with 5'-RACE as 1,592 bp, which contained open reading frame of 942 bp. The deduced amino acid sequence of Tg621 consisted of a polypeptide of 313 amino acids, with significant homology to ribosomal P proteins (RPP) of other organisms especially high to those of apicomplexan species. The expressed and purified TgRPP was assayed in western blot with the sera of toxoplasmosis patients and normal sera, which resulted in the 74.0% of positive reactions in toxoplasmosis patients whereas 8.3% in normal group. Therefore, the antibody formation against TgRPP in toxoplasmosis patients was regarded as specific for T. gondii infection and suggested a potential autoantibody. PMID:12815319

  19. Toxoplasma ISP4 is a central IMC sub-compartment protein whose localization depends on palmitoylation but not myristoylation

    PubMed Central

    Fung, Connie; Beck, Josh R.; Robertson, Seth D.; Gubbels, Marc-Jan; Bradley, Peter J.

    2012-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites utilize a peripheral membrane system called the inner membrane complex (IMC) to facilitate host cell invasion and parasite replication. We recently identified a novel family of Toxoplasma IMC Sub-compartment Proteins (ISP1/2/3) that localize to sub-domains of the IMC using a targeting mechanism that is dependent on coordinated myristoylation and palmitoylation of a series of residues in the N-terminus of the protein. While the precise functions of the ISPs are unknown, deletion of ISP2 results in replication defects, suggesting that this family of proteins plays a role in daughter cell formation. Here we have characterized a fourth ISP family member (ISP4) and discovered that this protein localizes to the central IMC sub-compartment, similar to ISP2. Like ISP1/3, ISP4 is dispensable for the tachyzoite lytic cycle as the disruption of ISP4 does not produce any gross replication or growth defects. Surprisingly, targeting of ISP4 to the IMC membranes is dependent on residues predicted for palmitoylation but not myristoylation, setting its trafficking apart from the other ISP proteins and demonstrating distinct mechanisms of protein localization to the IMC membranes, even within a family of highly-related proteins. PMID:22659420

  20. The role of palmitoylation for protein recruitment to the inner membrane complex of the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Wetzel, Johanna; Herrmann, Susann; Swapna, Lakshmipuram Seshadri; Prusty, Dhaneswar; John Peter, Arun T; Kono, Maya; Saini, Sidharth; Nellimarla, Srinivas; Wong, Tatianna Wai Ying; Wilcke, Louisa; Ramsay, Olivia; Cabrera, Ana; Biller, Laura; Heincke, Dorothee; Mossman, Karen; Spielmann, Tobias; Ungermann, Christian; Parkinson, John; Gilberger, Tim W

    2015-01-16

    To survive and persist within its human host, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum utilizes a battery of lineage-specific innovations to invade and multiply in human erythrocytes. With central roles in invasion and cytokinesis, the inner membrane complex, a Golgi-derived double membrane structure underlying the plasma membrane of the parasite, represents a unique and unifying structure characteristic to all organisms belonging to a large phylogenetic group called Alveolata. More than 30 structurally and phylogenetically distinct proteins are embedded in the IMC, where a portion of these proteins displays N-terminal acylation motifs. Although N-terminal myristoylation is catalyzed co-translationally within the cytoplasm of the parasite, palmitoylation takes place at membranes and is mediated by palmitoyl acyltransferases (PATs). Here, we identify a PAT (PfDHHC1) that is exclusively localized to the IMC. Systematic phylogenetic analysis of the alveolate PAT family reveals PfDHHC1 to be a member of a highly conserved, apicomplexan-specific clade of PATs. We show that during schizogony this enzyme has an identical distribution like two dual-acylated, IMC-localized proteins (PfISP1 and PfISP3). We used these proteins to probe into specific sequence requirements for IMC-specific membrane recruitment and their interaction with differentially localized PATs of the parasite.

  1. A SAS-6-like protein suggests that the Toxoplasma conoid complex evolved from flagellar components.

    PubMed

    de Leon, Jessica Cruz; Scheumann, Nicole; Beatty, Wandy; Beck, Josh R; Tran, Johnson Q; Yau, Candace; Bradley, Peter J; Gull, Keith; Wickstead, Bill; Morrissette, Naomi S

    2013-07-01

    SAS-6 is required for centriole biogenesis in diverse eukaryotes. Here, we describe a novel family of SAS-6-like (SAS6L) proteins that share an N-terminal domain with SAS-6 but lack coiled-coil tails. SAS6L proteins are found in a subset of eukaryotes that contain SAS-6, including diverse protozoa and green algae. In the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, SAS-6 localizes to the centriole but SAS6L is found above the conoid, an enigmatic tubulin-containing structure found at the apex of a subset of alveolate organisms. Loss of SAS6L causes reduced fitness in Toxoplasma. The Trypanosoma brucei homolog of SAS6L localizes to the basal-plate region, the site in the axoneme where the central-pair microtubules are nucleated. When endogenous SAS6L is overexpressed in Toxoplasma tachyzoites or Trypanosoma trypomastigotes, it forms prominent filaments that extend through the cell cytoplasm, indicating that it retains a capacity to form higher-order structures despite lacking a coiled-coil domain. We conclude that although SAS6L proteins share a conserved domain with SAS-6, they are a functionally distinct family that predates the last common ancestor of eukaryotes. Moreover, the distinct localization of the SAS6L protein in Trypanosoma and Toxoplasma adds weight to the hypothesis that the conoid complex evolved from flagellar components.

  2. Spliced Leader RNAs, Mitochondrial Gene Frameshifts and Multi-Protein Phylogeny Expand Support for the Genus Perkinsus as a Unique Group of Alveolates

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Huan; Campbell, David A.; Sturm, Nancy R.; Dungan, Christopher F.; Lin, Senjie

    2011-01-01

    The genus Perkinsus occupies a precarious phylogenetic position. To gain a better understanding of the relationship between perkinsids, dinoflagellates and other alveolates, we analyzed the nuclear-encoded spliced-leader (SL) RNA and mitochondrial genes, intron prevalence, and multi-protein phylogenies. In contrast to the canonical 22-nt SL found in dinoflagellates (DinoSL), P. marinus has a shorter (21-nt) and a longer (22-nt) SL with slightly different sequences than DinoSL. The major SL RNA transcripts range in size between 80–83 nt in P. marinus, and ∼83 nt in P. chesapeaki, significantly larger than the typical ≤56-nt dinoflagellate SL RNA. In most of the phylogenetic trees based on 41 predicted protein sequences, P. marinus branched at the base of the dinoflagellate clade that included the ancient taxa Oxyrrhis and Amoebophrya, sister to the clade of apicomplexans, and in some cases clustered with apicomplexans as a sister to the dinoflagellate clade. Of 104 Perkinsus spp. genes examined 69.2% had introns, a higher intron prevalence than in dinoflagellates. Examination of Perkinsus spp. mitochondrial cytochrome B and cytochrome C oxidase subunit I genes and their cDNAs revealed no mRNA editing, but these transcripts can only be translated when frameshifts are introduced at every AGG and CCC codon as if AGGY codes for glycine and CCCCU for proline. These results, along with the presence of the numerous uncharacterized ‘marine alveolate group I' and Perkinsus-like lineages separating perkinsids from core dinoflagellates, expand support for the affiliation of the genus Perkinsus with an independent lineage (Perkinsozoa) positioned between the phyla of Apicomplexa and Dinoflagellata. PMID:21629701

  3. Secreted protein kinases regulate cyst burden during chronic toxoplasmosis.

    PubMed

    Jones, Nathaniel G; Wang, Qiuling; Sibley, L David

    2017-02-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an apicomplexan parasite that secretes a large number of protein kinases and pseudokinases from its rhoptry organelles. Although some rhoptry kinases (ROPKs) act as virulence factors, many remain uncharacterized. In this study, predicted ROPKs were assessed for bradyzoite expression then prioritized for a reverse genetic analysis in the type II strain Pru that is amenable to targeted disruption. Using CRISPR/Cas9, we engineered C-terminally epitope tagged ROP21 and ROP27 and demonstrated their localization to the parasitophorous vacuole and cyst matrix. ROP21 and ROP27 were not secreted from microneme, rhoptry, or dense granule organelles, but rather were located in small vesicles consistent with a constitutive pathway. Using CRISPR/Cas9, the genes for ROP21, ROP27, ROP28, and ROP30 were deleted individually and in combination, and the mutant parasites were assessed for growth and their ability to form tissue cysts in mice. All knockouts lines were normal for in vitro growth and bradyzoite differentiation, but a combined ∆rop21/∆rop17 knockout led to a 50% reduction in cyst burden in vivo. Our findings question the existing annotation of ROPKs based solely on bioinformatic techniques and yet highlight the importance of secreted kinases in determining the severity of chronic toxoplasmosis.

  4. ApicoAMP: the first computational model for identifying apicoplast-targeted transmembrane proteins in Apicomplexa.

    PubMed

    Cilingir, Gokcen; Lau, Audrey O T; Broschat, Shira L

    2013-12-01

    Computational identification of apicoplast-targeted proteins is important in drug target determination for diseases such as malaria. While there are established methods for identifying proteins with a bipartite signal in multiple species of Apicomplexa, not all apicoplast-targeted proteins possess this bipartite signature. The publication of recent experimental findings of apicoplast membrane proteins, called transmembrane proteins, that do not possess a bipartite signal has made it feasible to devise a machine learning approach for identifying this new class of apicoplast-targeted proteins computationally. In this work, we develop a method for predicting apicoplast-targeted transmembrane proteins for multiple species of Apicomplexa, whereby several classifiers trained on different feature sets and based on different algorithms are evaluated and combined in an ensemble classification model to obtain the best expected performance. The feature sets considered are the hydrophobicity and composition characteristics of amino acids over transmembrane domains, the existence of short sequence motifs over cytosolically disposed regions, and Gene Ontology (GO) terms associated with given proteins. Our model, ApicoAMP, is an ensemble classification model that combines decisions of classifiers following the majority vote principle. ApicoAMP is trained on a set of proteins from 11 apicomplexan species and achieves 91% overall expected accuracy. ApicoAMP is the first computational model capable of identifying apicoplast-targeted transmembrane proteins in Apicomplexa. The ApicoAMP prediction software is available at http://code.google.com/p/apicoamp/ and http://bcb.eecs.wsu.edu. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Nonessential Plastid-Encoded Ribosomal Proteins in Tobacco: A Developmental Role for Plastid Translation and Implications for Reductive Genome Evolution[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Fleischmann, Tobias T.; Scharff, Lars B.; Alkatib, Sibah; Hasdorf, Sebastian; Schöttler, Mark A.; Bock, Ralph

    2011-01-01

    Plastid genomes of higher plants contain a conserved set of ribosomal protein genes. Although plastid translational activity is essential for cell survival in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), individual plastid ribosomal proteins can be nonessential. Candidates for nonessential plastid ribosomal proteins are ribosomal proteins identified as nonessential in bacteria and those whose genes were lost from the highly reduced plastid genomes of nonphotosynthetic plastid-bearing lineages (parasitic plants, apicomplexan protozoa). Here we report the reverse genetic analysis of seven plastid-encoded ribosomal proteins that meet these criteria. We have introduced knockout alleles for the corresponding genes into the tobacco plastid genome. Five of the targeted genes (ribosomal protein of the large subunit22 [rpl22], rpl23, rpl32, ribosomal protein of the small subunit3 [rps3], and rps16) were shown to be essential even under heterotrophic conditions, despite their loss in at least some parasitic plastid-bearing lineages. This suggests that nonphotosynthetic plastids show elevated rates of gene transfer to the nuclear genome. Knockout of two ribosomal protein genes, rps15 and rpl36, yielded homoplasmic transplastomic mutants, thus indicating nonessentiality. Whereas Δrps15 plants showed only a mild phenotype, Δrpl36 plants were severely impaired in photosynthesis and growth and, moreover, displayed greatly altered leaf morphology. This finding provides strong genetic evidence that chloroplast translational activity influences leaf development, presumably via a retrograde signaling pathway. PMID:21934145

  6. Characterization of acyl carrier protein and LytB in Babesia bovis apicoplast

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The apicoplast is a highly specialized organelle that mediates required functions in the growth and replication of apicomplexan parasites. Despite structural conservation of the apicoplast among different parasite genera and species, there are also critical differences in the metabolic requirements ...

  7. Lysine acetylation is widespread on proteins of diverse function and localization in the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Jeffers, Victoria; Sullivan, William J

    2012-06-01

    While histone proteins are the founding members of lysine acetylation substrates, it is now clear that hundreds of other proteins can be acetylated in multiple compartments of the cell. Our knowledge of the scope of this modification throughout the kingdom of life is beginning to emerge, as proteome-wide lysine acetylation has been documented in prokaryotes, Arabidopsis thaliana, Drosophila melanogaster, and human cells. Using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to identify parasite peptides enriched by immunopurification with acetyl-lysine antibody, we produced the first proteome-wide analysis of acetylation for a protozoan organism, the opportunistic apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The results show that lysine acetylation is abundant in the actively proliferating tachyzoite form of the parasite, which causes acute toxoplasmosis. Our approach successfully identified known acetylation marks on Toxoplasma histones and α-tubulin and detected over 400 novel acetylation sites on a wide variety of additional proteins, including those with roles in transcription, translation, metabolism, and stress responses. Importantly, an extensive set of parasite-specific proteins, including those found in organelles unique to Apicomplexa, is acetylated in the parasite. Our data provide a wealth of new information that improves our understanding of the evolution of this vital regulatory modification while potentially revealing novel therapeutic avenues. We conclude from this study that lysine acetylation was prevalent in the early stages of eukaryotic cell evolution and occurs on proteins involved in a remarkably diverse array of cellular functions, including those that are specific to parasites.

  8. A Novel Family of Toxoplasma IMC Proteins Displays a Hierarchical Organization and Functions in Coordinating Parasite Division

    PubMed Central

    Beck, Josh R.; Rodriguez-Fernandez, Imilce A.; Cruz de Leon, Jessica; Huynh, My-Hang; Carruthers, Vern B.; Morrissette, Naomi S.; Bradley, Peter J.

    2010-01-01

    Apicomplexans employ a peripheral membrane system called the inner membrane complex (IMC) for critical processes such as host cell invasion and daughter cell formation. We have identified a family of proteins that define novel sub-compartments of the Toxoplasma gondii IMC. These IMC Sub-compartment Proteins, ISP1, 2 and 3, are conserved throughout the Apicomplexa, but do not appear to be present outside the phylum. ISP1 localizes to the apical cap portion of the IMC, while ISP2 localizes to a central IMC region and ISP3 localizes to a central plus basal region of the complex. Targeting of all three ISPs is dependent upon N-terminal residues predicted for coordinated myristoylation and palmitoylation. Surprisingly, we show that disruption of ISP1 results in a dramatic relocalization of ISP2 and ISP3 to the apical cap. Although the N-terminal region of ISP1 is necessary and sufficient for apical cap targeting, exclusion of other family members requires the remaining C-terminal region of the protein. This gate-keeping function of ISP1 reveals an unprecedented mechanism of interactive and hierarchical targeting of proteins to establish these unique sub-compartments in the Toxoplasma IMC. Finally, we show that loss of ISP2 results in severe defects in daughter cell formation during endodyogeny, indicating a role for the ISP proteins in coordinating this unique process of Toxoplasma replication. PMID:20844581

  9. Functional characterizations of malonyl-CoA:acyl carrier protein transacylase (MCAT) in Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Sun, Mingfei; Zhu, Guan; Qin, Zonghua; Wu, Caiyan; Lv, Minna; Liao, Shenquan; Qi, Nanshan; Xie, Mingquan; Cai, Jianping

    2012-07-01

    Eimeria tenella, an apicomplexan parasite in chickens, possesses an apicoplast and its associated metabolic pathways including the Type II fatty acid synthesis (FAS II). Malonyl-CoA:acyl-carry protein transacylase (MCAT) encoded by the fabD gene is one of the essential enzymes in the FAS II system. In the present study, the entire E. tenella MCAT gene (EtfabD) was cloned and sequenced. Immunolabeling located this protein in the apicoplast organelle in coccidial sporozoites. Functional replacement of the fabD gene with amber mutation of E. coli temperature-sensitive LA2-89 strain by E. tenella EtMCAT demonstrated that EcFabD and EtMCAT perform the same biochemical function. The recombinant EtMCAT protein was expressed and its general biochemical features were also determined. An alkaloid natural product corytuberine (CAS: 517-56-6) could specifically inhibit the EtMCAT activity (IC(50)=16.47μM), but the inhibition of parasite growth in vitro by corytuberine was very weak (the predicted MIC(50)=0.65mM).

  10. RON12, a novel Plasmodium-specific rhoptry neck protein important for parasite proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Knuepfer, Ellen; Suleyman, Oniz; Dluzewski, Anton R; Straschil, Ursula; O'Keeffe, Aisling H; Ogun, Solabomi A; Green, Judith L; Grainger, Munira; Tewari, Rita; Holder, Anthony A

    2014-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites invade host cells by a conserved mechanism: parasite proteins are secreted from apical organelles, anchored in the host cell plasma membrane, and then interact with integral membrane proteins on the zoite surface to form the moving junction (MJ). The junction moves from the anterior to the posterior of the parasite resulting in parasite internalization into the host cell within a parasitophorous vacuole (PV). Conserved as well as coccidia-unique rhoptry neck proteins (RONs) have been described, some of which associate with the MJ. Here we report a novel RON, which we call RON12. RON12 is found only in Plasmodium and is highly conserved across the genus. RON12 lacks a membrane anchor and is a major soluble component of the nascent PV. The bulk of RON12 secretion happens late during invasion (after parasite internalization) allowing accumulation in the fully formed PV with a small proportion of RON12 also apparent occasionally in structures resembling the MJ. RON12, unlike most other RONs is not essential, but deletion of the gene does affect parasite proliferation. The data suggest that although the overall mechanism of invasion by Apicomplexanparasites is conserved, additional components depending on the parasite–host cell combination are required. PMID:23937520

  11. Molecular Cloning and Characterization of Babesia orientalis Rhoptry Neck 2 BoRON2 Protein

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Long; He, Pei; He, Junwei; Sun, Yali; Huang, Yuan

    2017-01-01

    Babesiosis caused by Babesia orientalis is one of the most prevalent infections of water buffalo transmitted by Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides causing a parasitic and hemolytic disease. The organelles proteins localized in apical membrane especially rhoptries neck and microneme protein form a complex called moving junction important during invasion process of parasites belonging to apicomplexan group, including Babesia species. A truncated fragment coding a 936 bps fragment was cloned in pMD-19T and subcloned into pET32 (a)+ expression vector, expressed in E. coli BL21. Purified recombinant BoRON2 was used to produce polyclonal antibody against BoRON2. Here, we identified the full sequence of gene encoding the rhoptry neck 2 protein that we named BoRON2 which is 4035 bp in full-length open reading frame without introns, encoding a polypeptide of 1345 amino acids. Western blot of rBoRON2 probed with buffalo positive serum analysis revealed a band of around 150 kDa in parasite lysates, suggesting an active involvement during invasion process. These findings most likely are constructive in perspective of ongoing research focused particularly on water buffalo babesiosis prevention and therapeutics and globally provide new information for genes comparative analysis. PMID:28775897

  12. Split photosystem protein, linear-mapping topology, and growth of structural complexity in the plastid genome of Chromera velia.

    PubMed

    Janouskovec, Jan; Sobotka, Roman; Lai, De-Hua; Flegontov, Pavel; Koník, Peter; Komenda, Josef; Ali, Shahjahan; Prásil, Ondrej; Pain, Arnab; Oborník, Miroslav; Lukes, Julius; Keeling, Patrick J

    2013-11-01

    The canonical photosynthetic plastid genomes consist of a single circular-mapping chromosome that encodes a highly conserved protein core, involved in photosynthesis and ATP generation. Here, we demonstrate that the plastid genome of the photosynthetic relative of apicomplexans, Chromera velia, departs from this view in several unique ways. Core photosynthesis proteins PsaA and AtpB have been broken into two fragments, which we show are independently transcribed, oligoU-tailed, translated, and assembled into functional photosystem I and ATP synthase complexes. Genome-wide transcription profiles support expression of many other highly modified proteins, including several that contain extensions amounting to hundreds of amino acids in length. Canonical gene clusters and operons have been fragmented and reshuffled into novel putative transcriptional units. Massive genomic coverage by paired-end reads, coupled with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and polymerase chain reaction, consistently indicate that the C. velia plastid genome is linear-mapping, a unique state among all plastids. Abundant intragenomic duplication probably mediated by recombination can explain protein splits, extensions, and genome linearization and is perhaps the key driving force behind the many features that defy the conventional ways of plastid genome architecture and function.

  13. Investigation of SnSPR1, a novel and abundant surface protein of Sarcocystis neurona merozoites.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Deqing; Howe, Daniel K

    2008-04-15

    An expressed sequence tag (EST) sequencing project has produced over 15,000 partial cDNA sequences from the equine pathogen Sarcocystis neurona. While many of the sequences are clear homologues of previously characterized genes, a significant number of the S. neurona ESTs do not exhibit similarity to anything in the extensive sequence databases that have been generated. In an effort to characterize parasite proteins that are novel to S. neurona, a seemingly unique gene was selected for further investigation based on its abundant representation in the collection of ESTs and the predicted presence of a signal peptide and glycolipid anchor addition on the encoded protein. The gene was expressed in E. coli, and monospecific polyclonal antiserum against the recombinant protein was produced by immunization of a rabbit. Characterization of the native protein in S. neurona merozoites and schizonts revealed that it is a low molecular weight surface protein that is expressed throughout intracellular development of the parasite. The protein was designated Surface Protein 1 (SPR1) to reflect its display on the outer surface of merozoites and to distinguish it from the ubiquitous SAG/SRS surface antigens of the heteroxenous Coccidia. Interestingly, infection assays in the presence of the polyclonal antiserum suggested that SnSPR1 plays some role in attachment and/or invasion of host cells by S. neurona merozoites. The work described herein represents a general template for selecting and characterizing the various unidentified gene sequences that are plentiful in the EST databases for S. neurona and other apicomplexans. Furthermore, this study illustrates the value of investigating these novel sequences since it can offer new candidates for diagnostic or vaccine development while also providing greater insight into the biology of these parasites.

  14. Identifying Novel Cell Cycle Proteins in Apicomplexa Parasites through Co-Expression Decision Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Carrie L.; Lucas, Olivier; Wuchty, Stefan; Xue, Bin; Uversky, Vladimir N.; White, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Hypothetical proteins comprise roughly half of the predicted gene complement of Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum and represent the largest class of uniquely functioning proteins in these parasites. Following the idea that functional relationships can be informed by the timing of gene expression, we devised a strategy to identify the core set of apicomplexan cell division cycling genes with important roles in parasite division, which includes many uncharacterized proteins. We assembled an expanded list of orthologs from the T. gondii and P. falciparum genome sequences (2781 putative orthologs), compared their mRNA profiles during synchronous replication, and sorted the resulting set of dual cell cycle regulated orthologs (744 total) into protein pairs conserved across many eukaryotic families versus those unique to the Apicomplexa. The analysis identified more than 100 ortholog gene pairs with unknown function in T. gondii and P. falciparum that displayed co-conserved mRNA abundance, dynamics of cyclical expression and similar peak timing that spanned the complete division cycle in each parasite. The unknown cyclical mRNAs encoded a diverse set of proteins with a wide range of mass and showed a remarkable conservation in the internal organization of ordered versus disordered structural domains. A representative sample of cyclical unknown genes (16 total) was epitope tagged in T. gondii tachyzoites yielding the discovery of new protein constituents of the parasite inner membrane complex, key mitotic structures and invasion organelles. These results demonstrate the utility of using gene expression timing and dynamic profile to identify proteins with unique roles in Apicomplexa biology. PMID:24841368

  15. Sites of interaction between aldolase and thrombospondin-related anonymous protein in plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Buscaglia, Carlos A; Coppens, Isabelle; Hol, Wim G J; Nussenzweig, Victor

    2003-12-01

    Gliding motility and host cell invasion by apicomplexan parasites are empowered by an acto-myosin motor located underneath the parasite plasma membrane. The motor is connected to host cell receptors through trans-membrane invasins belonging to the thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP) family. A recent study indicates that aldolase bridges the cytoplasmic tail of MIC2, the homologous TRAP protein in Toxoplasma, and actin. Here, we confirm these unexpected findings in Plasmodium sporozoites and identify conserved features of the TRAP family cytoplasmic tail required to bind aldolase: a subterminal tryptophan residue and two noncontiguous stretches of negatively charged amino acids. The aldolase substrate and other compounds that bind to the active site inhibit its interaction with TRAP and with F-actin, suggesting that the function of the motor is metabolically regulated. Ultrastructural studies in salivary gland sporozoites localize aldolase to the periphery of the secretory micronemes containing TRAP. Thus, the interaction between aldolase and the TRAP tail takes place during or preceding the biogenesis of the micronemes. The release of their contents in the anterior pole of the parasite upon contact with the target cells should bring simultaneously aldolase, TRAP and perhaps F-actin to the proper subcellular location where the motor is engaged.

  16. Microneme Protein 5 Regulates the Activity of Toxoplasma Subtilisin 1 by Mimicking a Subtilisin Prodomain*

    PubMed Central

    Saouros, Savvas; Dou, Zhicheng; Henry, Maud; Marchant, Jan; Carruthers, Vern B.; Matthews, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is the model parasite of the phylum Apicomplexa, which contains obligate intracellular parasites of medical and veterinary importance. Apicomplexans invade host cells by a multistep process involving the secretion of adhesive microneme protein (MIC) complexes. The subtilisin protease TgSUB1 trims several MICs on the parasite surface to activate gliding motility and host invasion. Although a previous study showed that expression of the secretory protein TgMIC5 suppresses TgSUB1 activity, the mechanism was unknown. Here, we solve the three-dimensional structure of TgMIC5 by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), revealing that it mimics a subtilisin prodomain including a flexible C-terminal peptide that may insert into the subtilisin active site. We show that TgMIC5 is an almost 50-fold more potent inhibitor of TgSUB1 activity than the small molecule inhibitor N-[N-(N-acetyl-l-leucyl)-l-leucyl]-l-norleucine (ALLN). Moreover, we demonstrate that TgMIC5 is retained on the parasite plasma membrane via its physical interaction with the membrane-anchored TgSUB1. PMID:22896704

  17. Plasmodium falciparum: genetic and immunogenic characterisation of the rhoptry neck protein PfRON4.

    PubMed

    Morahan, Belinda J; Sallmann, Georgina B; Huestis, Robert; Dubljevic, Valentina; Waller, Karena L

    2009-08-01

    The Apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma and Plasmodium, respectively, cause toxoplasmosis and malaria in humans and although they invade different host cells they share largely conserved invasion mechanisms. Plasmodium falciparum merozoite invasion of red blood cells results from a series of co-ordinated events that comprise attachment of the merozoite, its re-orientation, release of the contents of the invasion-related apical organelles (the rhoptries and micronemes) followed by active propulsion of the merozoite into the cell via an actin-myosin motor. During this process, a tight junction between the parasite and red blood cell plasma membranes is formed and recent studies have identified rhoptry neck proteins, including PfRON4, that are specifically associated with the tight junction during invasion. Here, we report the structure of the gene that encodes PfRON4 and its apparent limited diversity amongst geographically diverse P. falciparum isolates. We also report that PfRON4 protein sequences elicit immunogenic responses in natural human malaria infections.

  18. Spatiotemporal and Functional Characterisation of the Plasmodium falciparum cGMP-Dependent Protein Kinase

    PubMed Central

    Hopp, Christine S.; Flueck, Christian; Solyakov, Lev; Tobin, Andrew; Baker, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Signalling by 3′–5′-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) exists in virtually all eukaryotes. In the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium, the cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) has previously been reported to play a critical role in four key stages of the life cycle. The Plasmodium falciparum isoform (PfPKG) is essential for the initiation of gametogenesis and for blood stage schizont rupture and work on the orthologue from the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei (PbPKG) has shown additional roles in ookinete differentiation and motility as well as liver stage schizont development. In the present study, PfPKG expression and subcellular location in asexual blood stages was investigated using transgenic epitope-tagged PfPKG-expressing P. falciparum parasites. In Western blotting experiments and immunofluorescence analysis (IFA), maximal PfPKG expression was detected at the late schizont stage. While IFA suggested a cytosolic location, a degree of overlap with markers of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) was found and subcellular fractionation showed some association with the peripheral membrane fraction. This broad localisation is consistent with the notion that PfPKG, as with the mammalian orthologue, has numerous cellular substrates. This idea is further supported by the global protein phosphorylation pattern of schizonts which was substantially changed following PfPKG inhibition, suggesting a complex role for PfPKG during schizogony. PMID:23139764

  19. Malaria parasites possess a telomere repeat-binding protein that shares ancestry with transcription factor IIIA.

    PubMed

    Bertschi, Nicole L; Toenhake, Christa G; Zou, Angela; Niederwieser, Igor; Henderson, Rob; Moes, Suzette; Jenoe, Paul; Parkinson, John; Bartfai, Richard; Voss, Till S

    2017-03-13

    Telomere repeat-binding factors (TRFs) are essential components of the molecular machinery that regulates telomere function. TRFs are widely conserved across eukaryotes and bind duplex telomere repeats via a characteristic MYB-type domain. Here, we identified the telomere repeat-binding protein PfTRZ in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, a member of the Alveolate phylum for which TRFs have not been described so far. PfTRZ lacks an MYB domain and binds telomere repeats via a C2H2-type zinc finger domain instead. In vivo, PfTRZ binds with high specificity to the telomeric tract and to interstitial telomere repeats upstream of subtelomeric virulence genes. Conditional depletion experiments revealed that PfTRZ regulates telomere length homeostasis and is required for efficient cell cycle progression. Intriguingly, we found that PfTRZ also binds to and regulates the expression of 5S rDNA genes. Combined with detailed phylogenetic analyses, our findings identified PfTRZ as a remote functional homologue of the basic transcription factor TFIIIA, which acquired a new function in telomere maintenance early in the apicomplexan lineage. Our work sheds unexpected new light on the evolution of telomere repeat-binding proteins and paves the way for dissecting the presumably divergent mechanisms regulating telomere functionality in one of the most deadly human pathogens.

  20. Genome-wide expression patterns of calcium-dependent protein kinases in Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jin-Lei; Huang, Si-Yang; Zhang, Nian-Zhang; Chen, Jia; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2015-06-04

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are found in plants and some Apicomplexan parasites but not in animals or fungi. CDPKs have been shown to play important roles in various calcium-signaling pathways such as host cell invasion, egress and protein secretion in Toxoplasma gondii. The objectives of the present study were to examine the T. gondii CDPK genes expression patterns during different development stages and stress responses. We carried out a comprehensive expression analysis of CDPK genes based on previously published microarray datasets, and we also used real time quantitative RT-PCR to study ten T. gondii CDPK genes expression patterns under acid, alkali, high temperature and low temperature conditions. Microarrays analysis indicated that some TgCDPK genes exhibited different expression levels in IFN-γ stimuli conditions or at different developmental stages, suggesting that CDPK genes may play different roles in these processes. Expression profiles under low temperature, high temperature, acid and alkaline indicated that most CDPK may be involved in regulating high temperature, acid and alkaline signaling pathways. We present a genome-wide expression analysis of CDPK genes in T. gondii for the first time, and the mRNA levels change with abiotic and biotic stresses, suggesting their functional roles in these processes. These results will provide a solid basis for future functional studies of the CDPK gene family in T. gondii.

  1. Rhoptry protein 5 (ROP5) Is a Key Virulence Factor in Neospora caninum

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Lei; Liu, Jing; Li, Muzi; Fu, Yong; Zhang, Xiao; Liu, Qun

    2017-01-01

    Neospora caninum, of the Apicomplexa phylum, is a common cause of abortions in cattle and nervous system dysfunction in dogs. Rhoptry proteins of Apicomplexa play an important role in virulence. The objectives of this study were to study functions of NcROP5 in N. caninum by deleting the NcROP5 gene from the wild Nc-1 strain. We selected NcROP5 in ToxoDB and successfully constructed an NcROP5 gene-deleted vector, pTCR-NcROP5-CD KO. Then we screened the NcROP5 knockout strains (ΔNcROP5) at the gene, protein and transcription levels. Plaque assay, host cell invasion assay and intracellular proliferation test showed that the ΔNcROP5 strain had less plaque space, weakened invasion capacity and slower intracellular growth. Animal testing showed significantly lower cerebral load of ΔNcROP5 than the load of the Nc-1 strain, as well as a loss of virulence for the ΔNcROP5 strains. Phenotypic analyses using the label-free LC-MS/MS assay-based proteomic method and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis showed a reduction of NcGRA7 transcription and altered expression of multiple proteins including the apicomplexan family of binding proteins. The present study indicated that ROP5 is a key virulence factor in N. caninum in mice. The proteomic profiling of Nc-1 and ΔNcROP5 provided some data on differential proteins. These data provide a foundation for future research of protein functions in N. caninum. PMID:28326073

  2. Efficient invasion by Toxoplasma depends on the subversion of host protein networks.

    PubMed

    Guérin, Amandine; Corrales, Rosa Milagros; Parker, Michele L; Lamarque, Mauld H; Jacot, Damien; El Hajj, Hiba; Soldati-Favre, Dominique; Boulanger, Martin J; Lebrun, Maryse

    2017-08-28

    Apicomplexan parasites are important pathogens of humans and domestic animals, including Plasmodium species (the agents of malaria) and Toxoplasma gondii, which is responsible for toxoplasmosis. They replicate within the cells of their animal hosts, to which they gain access using a unique parasite-driven invasion process. At the core of the invasion machine is a structure at the interface between the invading parasite and host cell called the moving junction (MJ) (1) . The MJ serves as both a molecular doorway to the host cell and an anchor point enabling the parasite to engage its motility machinery to drive the penetration of the host cell (2) , ultimately yielding a protective vacuole (3) . The MJ is established through self-assembly of parasite proteins at the parasite-host interface (4) . However, it is unknown whether host proteins are subverted for MJ formation. Here, we show that Toxoplasma parasite rhoptry neck proteins (RON2, RON4 and RON5) cooperate to actively recruit the host CIN85, CD2AP and the ESCRT-I components ALIX and TSG101 to the MJ during invasion. We map the interactions in detail and demonstrate that the parasite mimics and subverts conserved binding interfaces with remarkable specificity. Parasite mutants unable to recruit these host proteins show inefficient host cell invasion in culture and attenuated virulence in mice. This study reveals molecular mechanisms by which parasites subvert widely conserved host machinery to force highly efficient host cell access. Toxoplasma gondii uses its proteins RON2, RON4 and RON5 to recruit host proteins, including the ESCRT-I components ALIX and TSG101 to the moving junction, a multimolecular structure that enables invasion.

  3. Pivotal and distinct role for Plasmodium actin capping protein alpha during blood infection of the malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Ganter, Markus; Rizopoulos, Zaira; Schüler, Herwig; Matuschewski, Kai

    2015-01-01

    Accurate regulation of microfilament dynamics is central to cell growth, motility and response to environmental stimuli. Stabilizing and depolymerizing proteins control the steady-state levels of filamentous (F-) actin. Capping protein (CP) binds to free barbed ends, thereby arresting microfilament growth and restraining elongation to remaining free barbed ends. In all CPs characterized to date, alpha and beta subunits form the active heterodimer. Here, we show in a eukaryotic parasitic cell that the two CP subunits can be functionally separated. Unlike the beta subunit, the CP alpha subunit of the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium is refractory to targeted gene deletion during blood infection in the mammalian host. Combinatorial complementation of Plasmodium berghei CP genes with the orthologs from Plasmodium falciparum verified distinct activities of CP alpha and CP alpha/beta during parasite life cycle progression. Recombinant Plasmodium CP alpha could be produced in Escherichia coli in the absence of the beta subunit and the protein displayed F-actin capping activity. Thus, the functional separation of two CP subunits in a parasitic eukaryotic cell and the F-actin capping activity of CP alpha expand the repertoire of microfilament regulatory mechanisms assigned to CPs. PMID:25565321

  4. Toxoplasma exports dense granule proteins beyond the vacuole to the host cell nucleus and rewires the host genome expression.

    PubMed

    Bougdour, Alexandre; Tardieux, Isabelle; Hakimi, Mohamed-Ali

    2014-03-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is the most widespread apicomplexan parasite and occupies a large spectrum of niches by infecting virtually any warm-blooded animals. As an obligate intracellular parasite, Toxoplasma has evolved a repertoire of strategies to fine-tune the cellular environment in an optimal way to promote growth and persistence in host tissues hence increasing the chance to be transmitted to new hosts. Short and long-term intracellular survival is associated with Toxoplasma ability to both evade the host deleterious immune defences and to stimulate a beneficial immune balance by governing host cell gene expression. It is only recently that parasite proteins responsible for driving these transcriptional changes have been identified. While proteins contained in the apical secretory Rhoptry organelle have already been identified as bona fide secreted effectors that divert host signalling pathways, recent findings revealed that dense granule proteins should be added to the growing list of effectors as they reach the host cell cytoplasm and nucleus and target various host cell pathways in the course of cell infection. Herein, we emphasize on a novel subfamily of dense granule residentproteins, exemplified with the GRA16 and GRA24 members we recently discovered as both are exported beyond the vacuole-containing parasites and reach the host cell nucleus to reshape the host genome expression. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Pivotal and distinct role for Plasmodium actin capping protein alpha during blood infection of the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Ganter, Markus; Rizopoulos, Zaira; Schüler, Herwig; Matuschewski, Kai

    2015-04-01

    Accurate regulation of microfilament dynamics is central to cell growth, motility and response to environmental stimuli. Stabilizing and depolymerizing proteins control the steady-state levels of filamentous (F-) actin. Capping protein (CP) binds to free barbed ends, thereby arresting microfilament growth and restraining elongation to remaining free barbed ends. In all CPs characterized to date, alpha and beta subunits form the active heterodimer. Here, we show in a eukaryotic parasitic cell that the two CP subunits can be functionally separated. Unlike the beta subunit, the CP alpha subunit of the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium is refractory to targeted gene deletion during blood infection in the mammalian host. Combinatorial complementation of Plasmodium berghei CP genes with the orthologs from Plasmodium falciparum verified distinct activities of CP alpha and CP alpha/beta during parasite life cycle progression. Recombinant Plasmodium CP alpha could be produced in Escherichia coli in the absence of the beta subunit and the protein displayed F-actin capping activity. Thus, the functional separation of two CP subunits in a parasitic eukaryotic cell and the F-actin capping activity of CP alpha expand the repertoire of microfilament regulatory mechanisms assigned to CPs.

  6. Enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase inhibitors: an updated patent review (2011 - 2015).

    PubMed

    Zitko, Jan; Doležal, Martin

    2016-09-01

    Enoyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) reductase (ENR) is a limiting step enzyme in the Fatty Acid Synthase II system. In mammals, there is no homologue to ENR, which makes it an optimal candidate target for selective anti-infective drugs. Up-to-date, only two ENR inhibitors are used in clinical practice. This review is a survey on important patents on low molecular weight compounds with ENR inhibiting activity published in 2011-2015. Common patent databases (SciFinder, esp@cenet, WIPO) were used to locate patent applications on the proposed topic and in the timespan of 2011-2015. In 2011-2015, we have observed patents in previously known structural groups of diphenyl ethers and acrylamides as well as new structural classes, often identified by high-throughput screening campaigns. The spectrum of activity of applied derivatives covers significant bacteria, mycobacteria, and apicomplexan parasites (Plasmodia and Toxoplasma). Good news from research of ENR inhibitors: a) four selective anti-staphylococcal compounds applied in 2011-2015 or earlier were pushed to Phase I or Phase II clinical trials and some of them proved safety and tolerability after peroral and/or intravenous administration; b) big pharma companies have renewed their interest in the development of new anti-infective compounds against resistant strains of clinical relevance.

  7. Proteolytic activity of Plasmodium falciparum subtilisin-like protease 3 on parasite profilin, a multifunctional protein.

    PubMed

    Alam, Asrar; Bhatnagar, Raj K; Relan, Udbhav; Mukherjee, Paushali; Chauhan, Virander S

    2013-10-01

    Subtilisin-like proteases of malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfSUB1, 2 and 3) are expressed at late asexual blood stages. PfSUB1 and 2 are considered important drug targets due to their essentiality for parasite blood stages and role in merozoite egress and invasion of erythrocytes. We have earlier shown the in vitro serine protease activity of PfSUB3 and its localization at asexual blood stages. In this study, we attempted to identify the biological substrate(s) of PfSUB3 and found parasite profilin (PfPRF) as a substrate of the protease. Eukaryotic profilins are multifunctional proteins with primary role in regulation of actin filament assembly. PfPRF possesses biochemical features of eukaryotic profilins and its rodent ortholog is essential in blood stages. Profilin from related apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii (TgPRF) is known to be involved in parasite motility, host cell invasion, active egress from host cell, immune evasion and virulence in mice. In this study, mature PfSUB3 proteolysed recombinant PfPRF in a dose-dependent manner in in vitro assays. Recombinant PfPRF was assessed for its proinflammatory activity and found to induce high level of TNF-α and low but significant level of IL-12 from mouse bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. Proteolysis of PfPRF by PfSUB3 is suggestive of the probable role of the protease in the processes of motility, virulence and immune evasion.

  8. The structure of the D3 domain of Plasmodium falciparum myosin tail interacting protein MTIP in complex with a nanobody.

    PubMed

    Khamrui, Susmita; Turley, Stewart; Pardon, Els; Steyaert, Jan; Fan, Erkang; Verlinde, Christophe L M J; Bergman, Lawrence W; Hol, Wim G J

    2013-08-01

    Apicomplexan parasites enter host cells by many sophisticated steps including use of an ATP-powered invasion machinery. The machinery consists of multiple proteins, including a special myosin (MyoA) which moves along an actin fiber and which is connected to the myosin tail interaction protein (MTIP). Here we report a crystal structure of the major MyoA-binding domain (D3) of Plasmodium falciparum MTIP in complex with an anti-MTIP nanobody. In this complex, the MyoA-binding groove in MTIP-D3 is considerably less accessible than when occupied by the MyoA helix, due to a shift of two helices. The nanobody binds to an area slightly overlapping with the MyoA binding groove, covering a hydrophobic region next to the groove entrance. This provides a new avenue for arriving at compounds interfering with the invasion machinery since small molecules binding simultaneously to the nanobody binding site and the adjacent MyoA binding groove would prevent MyoA binding by MTIP. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Three old and one new: protein import into red algal-derived plastids surrounded by four membranes.

    PubMed

    Stork, Simone; Lau, Julia; Moog, Daniel; Maier, Uwe-G

    2013-10-01

    Engulfment of a red or green alga by another eukaryote and subsequent reduction of the symbiont to an organelle, termed a complex plastid, is a process known as secondary endosymbiosis and is shown in a diverse group of eukaryotic organisms. Important members are heterokontophytes, haptophytes, cryptophytes, and apicomplexan parasites, all of them with complex plastids of red algal origin surrounded by four membranes. Although the evolutionary relationship between these organisms is still debated, they share common mechanisms for plastid protein import. In this review, we describe recent findings and current models on preprotein import into complex plastids with a special focus on the second outermost plastid membrane. Derived from the plasma membrane of the former endosymbiont, the evolution of protein transport across this so-called periplastidal membrane most likely represented the challenge in the transition from an endosymbiont to a host-dependent organelle. Here, remodeling and relocation of the symbiont endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) machinery gave rise to a translocon complex termed symbiont-specific ERAD-like machinery and provides a fascinating insight into complex cellular evolution.

  10. Analysis of Noncanonical Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinases in Toxoplasma gondii by Targeted Gene Deletion Using CRISPR/Cas9

    PubMed Central

    Long, Shaojun; Wang, Qiuling

    2016-01-01

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are expanded in apicomplexan parasites, especially in Toxoplasma gondii where 14 separate genes encoding these enzymes are found. Although previous studies have shown that several CDPKs play a role in controlling invasion, egress, and cell division in T. gondii, the roles of most of these genes are unexplored. Here we developed a more efficient method for gene disruption using CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein 9) that was modified to completely delete large, multiexonic genes from the genome and to allow serial replacement by recycling of the selectable marker using Cre-loxP. Using this system, we generated a total of 24 mutants in type 1 and 2 genetic backgrounds to ascertain the functions of noncanonical CDPKs. Remarkably, although we were able to confirm the essentiality of CDPK1 and CDPK7, the majority of CDPKs had no discernible phenotype for growth in vitro or infection in the mouse model. The exception to this was CDPK6, loss of which leads to reduced plaquing, fitness defect in a competition assay, and reduced tissue cyst formation in chronically infected mice. Our findings highlight the utility of CRISPR/Cas9 for rapid serial gene deletion and also suggest that additional models are needed to reveal the functions of many genes in T. gondii. PMID:26755159

  11. The gatekeeper residue and beyond: homologous calcium-dependent protein kinases as drug development targets for veterinarian Apicomplexa parasites.

    PubMed

    Keyloun, Katelyn R; Reid, Molly C; Choi, Ryan; Song, Yifan; Fox, Anna M W; Hillesland, Heidi K; Zhang, Zhongsheng; Vidadala, RamaSubbaRao; Merritt, Ethan A; Lau, Audrey O T; Maly, Dustin J; Fan, Erkang; Barrett, Lynn K; Van Voorhis, Wesley C; Ojo, Kayode K

    2014-09-01

    Specific roles of individual CDPKs vary, but in general they mediate essential biological functions necessary for parasite survival. A comparative analysis of the structure-activity relationships (SAR) of Neospora caninum, Eimeria tenella and Babesia bovis calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) together with those of Plasmodium falciparum, Cryptosporidium parvum and Toxoplasma gondii was performed by screening against 333 bumped kinase inhibitors (BKIs). Structural modelling and experimental data revealed that residues other than the gatekeeper influence compound-protein interactions resulting in distinct sensitivity profiles. We subsequently defined potential amino-acid structural influences within the ATP-binding cavity for each orthologue necessary for consideration in the development of broad-spectrum apicomplexan CDPK inhibitors. Although the BKI library was developed for specific inhibition of glycine gatekeeper CDPKs combined with low inhibition of threonine gatekeeper human SRC kinase, some library compounds exhibit activity against serine- or threonine-containing CDPKs. Divergent BKI sensitivity of CDPK homologues could be explained on the basis of differences in the size and orientation of the hydrophobic pocket and specific variation at other amino-acid positions within the ATP-binding cavity. In particular, BbCDPK4 and PfCDPK1 are sensitive to a larger fraction of compounds than EtCDPK1 despite the presence of a threonine gatekeeper in all three CDPKs.

  12. COMPLETE GENOME SEQUENCE OF THE APICOMPLEXAN, CRYPTOSPORIDIUM (R828043)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  13. Molecular characterization and analysis of a novel calcium-dependent protein kinase from Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Han, H Y; Zhu, S H; Jiang, L L; Li, Y; Dong, H; Zhao, Q P; Kong, C L; Huang, B

    2013-05-01

    The calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are unique enzymes found only in plants, green algae, ciliates and apicomplexan parasites. In this study, a novel CDPK gene of Eimeria tenella, designed EtCDPK3, was cloned using rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) based on the expressed sequence tag (EST). The entire cDNA of EtCDPK3 contained 1637 nucleotides encoding 433 amino acids and the deduced EtCDPK3 protein had canonical characteristic domains identified in other CDPKs, including a well-conserved amino-terminal kinase domain and a carboxy-terminal calmodulin-like structure with 4 EF-hand motifs for calcium binding. The expression profiles of the EtCDPK3 gene in different development stages were investigated by real-time quantitative PCR. Messenger RNA levels from the EtCDPK3 gene were higher in sporozoites than in other stages (unsporulated oocysts, sporulated oocysts and merozoites). Western blot analysis showed that rabbit antiserum against recombinant EtCDPK3 could recognize a native 49 kDa protein band of parasite. Indirect immunofluorescent antibody labelling revealed dispersed localization of EtCDPK3 during the first schizogony and intense specific staining. EtCDPK3 was located at the apical end of the sporozoites after early infection of DF-1 cells and the protein was highly expressed. Inhibition of EtCDPK3 function using specific antibodies reduced the ability of E. tenella to invade host cells. These results suggested that EtCDPK3 may be involved in invasion and survival of the parasite intracellular stages of E. tenella. Because this kinase family is absent from hosts, it represents a valid target that could be exploited for chemotherapy against Eimeria spp.

  14. Protein Condensation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunton, James D.; Shiryayev, Andrey; Pagan, Daniel L.

    2014-07-01

    Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Globular protein structure; 3. Experimental methods; 4. Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics; 5. Protein-protein interactions; 6. Theoretical studies of equilibrium; 7. Nucleation theory; 8. Experimental studies of nucleation; 9. Lysozyme; 10. Some other globular proteins; 11. Membrane proteins; 12. Crystallins and cataracts; 13. Sickle hemoglobin and sickle cell anemia; 14, Alzheimer's disease; Index.

  15. Protein Condensation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunton, James D.; Shiryayev, Andrey; Pagan, Daniel L.

    2007-09-01

    Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Globular protein structure; 3. Experimental methods; 4. Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics; 5. Protein-protein interactions; 6. Theoretical studies of equilibrium; 7. Nucleation theory; 8. Experimental studies of nucleation; 9. Lysozyme; 10. Some other globular proteins; 11. Membrane proteins; 12. Crystallins and cataracts; 13. Sickle hemoglobin and sickle cell anemia; 14, Alzheimer's disease; Index.

  16. The Toxoplasma gondii calcium-dependent protein kinase 7 is involved in early steps of parasite division and is crucial for parasite survival.

    PubMed

    Morlon-Guyot, Juliette; Berry, Laurence; Chen, Chun-Ti; Gubbels, Marc-Jan; Lebrun, Maryse; Daher, Wassim

    2014-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites express various calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs), and some of them play essential roles in invasion and egress. Five of the six CDPKs conserved in most Apicomplexa have been studied at the molecular and cellular levels in Plasmodium species and/or in Toxoplasma gondii parasites, but the function of CDPK7 was so far uncharacterized. In T. gondii, during intracellular replication, two parasites are formed within a mother cell through a unique process called endodyogeny. Here we demonstrate that the knock-down of CDPK7 protein in T. gondii results in pronounced defects in parasite division and a major growth deficiency, while it is dispensable for motility, egress and microneme exocytosis. In cdpk7-depleted parasites, the overall DNA content was not impaired, but the polarity of daughter cells budding and the fate of several subcellular structures or proteins involved in cell division were affected, such as the centrosomes and the kinetochore. Overall, our data suggest that CDPK7 is crucial for proper maintenance of centrosome integrity required for the initiation of endodyogeny. Our findings provide a first insight into the probable role of calcium-dependent signalling in parasite multiplication, in addition to its more widely explored role in invasion and egress.

  17. The Toxoplasma gondii Calcium Dependent Protein Kinase 7 is involved in early steps of parasite division and is crucial for parasite survival

    PubMed Central

    Morlon-Guyot, Juliette; Berry, Laurence; Chen, Chun-Ti; Gubbels, Marc-Jan; Lebrun, Maryse; Daher, Wassim

    2014-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites express various Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinases (CDPKs), and some of them play essential roles in invasion and egress. Five of the six CDPKs conserved in most Apicomplexa have been studied at the molecular and cellular levels in Plasmodium species and/or in Toxoplasma gondii parasites, but the function of CDPK7 was so far uncharacterized. In T. gondii, during intracellular replication, two parasites are formed within a mother cell through a unique process called endodyogeny. Here we demonstrate that the knock-down of CDPK7 protein in T. gondii results in pronounced defects in parasite division and a major growth deficiency, while it is dispensable for motility, egress and microneme exocytosis. In cdpk7-depleted parasites, the overall DNA content was not impaired, but the polarity of daughter cells budding and the fate of several sub-cellular structures or proteins involved in cell division were affected, such as the centrosomes and the kinetochore. Overall, our data suggest that CDPK7 is crucial for proper maintenance of centrosome integrity required for the initiation of endodyogeny. Our findings provide a first insight into the probable role of calcium-dependent signalling in parasite multiplication, in addition to its more widely explored role in invasion and egress. PMID:24011186

  18. On the origin of chloroplasts, import mechanisms of chloroplast-targeted proteins, and loss of photosynthetic ability - review.

    PubMed

    Vesteg, M; Vacula, R; Krajcovic, J

    2009-01-01

    Primary plastids of green algae (including land plants), red algae and glaucophytes are bounded by two membranes and are thought to be derived from a single primary endosymbiosis of a cyanobacterium in a eukaryotic host. Complex plastids of euglenids and chlorarachneans bounded by three and four membranes, respectively, most likely arose via two separate secondary endosymbioses of a green alga in a eukaryotic host. Secondary plastids of cryptophyta, haptophyta, heterokontophyta and apicomplexan parasites bounded by four membranes, and plastids of dinoflagellates bounded by three membranes could have arisen via a single secondary endosymbiosis of a red alga in a eukaryotic host (chromalveolate hypothesis). However, the scenario of separate tertiary origins (symbioses of an alga possessing secondary plastids in a eukaryotic host) of some (or even most) chromalveolate plastids can be also consistent with the current data. The protein import into complex plastids differs from the import into primary plastids, as complex plastids contain one or two extra membrane(s). In organisms with primary plastids, plastid-targeted proteins contain N-terminal transit peptide which ferries proteins through the protein import machineries (multiprotein complexes) of the two (originally cyanobacterial) membranes. In organisms with complex plastids, the secretory signal sequence directing proteins to endomembrane system and afterwards through extra outermost membrane(s) is generally present upstream of the classical transit peptide. Several free-living as well as parasitic eukaryotes possess non-photosynthetic plastids. These plastids have generally retained the plastid genome, functional plastid transcriptional and translational apparatus, and various metabolic pathways, suggesting that though these plastids lost their photosynthetic ability, they are essential for the mentioned organisms. Nevertheless, some eukaryotes could have lost chloroplast compartment completely.

  19. Identification of Toxoplasma TgPH1, a pleckstrin homology domain-containing protein that binds to the phosphoinositide PI(3,5)P2.

    PubMed

    Daher, Wassim; Morlon-Guyot, Juliette; Alayi, Tchilabalo Dilezitoko; Tomavo, Stan; Wengelnik, Kai; Lebrun, Maryse

    2016-05-01

    The phosphoinositide phosphatidylinositol-3,5-bisphosphate (PI(3,5)P2) plays crucial roles in the maintenance of lysosome/vacuole morphology, membrane trafficking and regulation of endolysosome-localized membrane channel activity. In Toxoplasma gondii, we previously reported that PI(3,5)P2 is essential for parasite survival by controlling homeostasis of the apicoplast, a particular organelle of algal origin. Here, by using a phosphoinositide pull-down assay, we identified TgPH1 in Toxoplasma a protein conserved in many apicomplexan parasites. TgPH1 binds specifically to PI(3,5)P2, shows punctate intracellular localization, but plays no vital role for tachyzoite growth in vitro. TgPH1 is a protein predominantly formed by a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. So far, PH domains have been described to bind preferentially to bis- or trisphosphate phosphoinositides containing two adjacent phosphates (i.e. PI(3,4)P2, PI(4,5)P2, PI(3,4,5)P3). Therefore, our study reveals an unusual feature of TgPH1 which binds preferentially to PI(3,5)P2.

  20. Development of transgenic lines of Eimeria tenella expressing M2e-enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (M2e-EYFP).

    PubMed

    Liu, Xianyong; Zou, Jun; Yin, Guangwen; Su, Huali; Huang, Xiaoxi; Li, Jianan; Xie, Li; Cao, Yingqiong; Cui, Yujuan; Suo, Xun

    2013-03-31

    Eimeria parasites are obligate intracellular apicomplexan protists that can cause coccidiosis, resulting in substantial economic losses in the poultry industry annually. As the component of anticoccidial vaccines, seven Eimeria spp. of chickens are characterized with potent immunogenicity. Whether genetically modified Eimeria spp. maintains this property or not needs to be verified. In this study, two identical transgenic lines of Eimeria tenella were developed by virtue of single sporocyst isolation from a stably transfected population expressing fused protein of M2 ectodomain of avian influenza virus (M2e) and enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP). The chromosomal integration and expression of M2e-EYFP were confirmed by Southern blot, plasmid rescue and Western blot analysis. We found that the reproduction of transgenic parasites was higher than that of the parental strain. Chickens challenged with wild type E. tenella after immunization with 200 oocysts of transgenic parasites had similar performance compared to those in non-immunized and non-challenged group. In another trial, the performance of transgenic parasite-immunized birds was also comparable to that of the Decoquinate Premix-treated chickens. These results suggest that this transgenic line of E. tenella is capable of inducing potent protection against homologous challenge as a live anticoccidial vaccine. Taking together, our study indicates that transgenic eimerian parasites have the potential to be developed as a vaccine vehicle for animal use in the future.

  1. NDR proteins

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Alan M

    2010-01-01

    N-myc downregulated (NDR) genes were discovered more than fifteen years ago. Indirect evidence support a role in tumor progression and cellular differentiation, but their biochemical function is still unknown. Our detailed analyses on Arabidopsis NDR proteins (deisgnated NDR-like, NDL) show their involvement in altering auxin transport, local auxin gradients and expression level of auxin transport proteins. Animal NDL proteins may be involved in membrane recycling of E-cadherin and effector for the small GTPase. In light of these findings, we hypothesize that NDL proteins regulate vesicular trafficking of auxin transport facilitator PIN proteins by biochemically alterating the local lipid environment of PIN proteins. PMID:20724844

  2. Proteins (image)

    MedlinePlus

    ... is an important nutrient that builds muscles and bones and provides energy. Protein can help with weight control because it helps you feel full and satisfied from your meals. The healthiest proteins are the leanest. This means ...

  3. Dietary Proteins

    MedlinePlus

    ... and maintain bones, muscles and skin. We get proteins in our diet from meat, dairy products, nuts, and certain grains ... level of physical activity. Most Americans eat enough protein in their diet.

  4. Protein Structure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asmus, Elaine Garbarino

    2007-01-01

    Individual students model specific amino acids and then, through dehydration synthesis, a class of students models a protein. The students clearly learn amino acid structure, primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structure in proteins and the nature of the bonds maintaining a protein's shape. This activity is fun, concrete, inexpensive and…

  5. Protein Structure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asmus, Elaine Garbarino

    2007-01-01

    Individual students model specific amino acids and then, through dehydration synthesis, a class of students models a protein. The students clearly learn amino acid structure, primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structure in proteins and the nature of the bonds maintaining a protein's shape. This activity is fun, concrete, inexpensive and…

  6. Therapeutic proteins.

    PubMed

    Dimitrov, Dimiter S

    2012-01-01

    Protein-based therapeutics are highly successful in clinic and currently enjoy unprecedented recognition of their potential. More than 100 genuine and similar number of modified therapeutic proteins are approved for clinical use in the European Union and the USA with 2010 sales of US$108 bln; monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) accounted for almost half (48%) of the sales. Based on their pharmacological activity, they can be divided into five groups: (a) replacing a protein that is deficient or abnormal; (b) augmenting an existing pathway; (c) providing a novel function or activity; (d) interfering with a molecule or organism; and (e) delivering other compounds or proteins, such as a radionuclide, cytotoxic drug, or effector proteins. Therapeutic proteins can also be grouped based on their molecular types that include antibody-based drugs, Fc fusion proteins, anticoagulants, blood factors, bone morphogenetic proteins, engineered protein scaffolds, enzymes, growth factors, hormones, interferons, interleukins, and thrombolytics. They can also be classified based on their molecular mechanism of activity as (a) binding non-covalently to target, e.g., mAbs; (b) affecting covalent bonds, e.g., enzymes; and (c) exerting activity without specific interactions, e.g., serum albumin. Most protein therapeutics currently on the market are recombinant and hundreds of them are in clinical trials for therapy of cancers, immune disorders, infections, and other diseases. New engineered proteins, including bispecific mAbs and multispecific fusion proteins, mAbs conjugated with small molecule drugs, and proteins with optimized pharmacokinetics, are currently under development. However, in the last several decades, there are no conceptually new methodological developments comparable, e.g., to genetic engineering leading to the development of recombinant therapeutic proteins. It appears that a paradigm change in methodologies and understanding of mechanisms is needed to overcome major

  7. Antimicrobial effects of murine mesenchymal stromal cells directed against Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum: role of immunity-related GTPases (IRGs) and guanylate-binding proteins (GBPs).

    PubMed

    Spekker, K; Leineweber, M; Degrandi, D; Ince, V; Brunder, S; Schmidt, S K; Stuhlsatz, S; Howard, J C; Schares, G; Degistirici, O; Meisel, R; Sorg, R V; Seissler, J; Hemphill, A; Pfeffer, K; Däubener, W

    2013-06-01

    Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have a multilineage differentiation potential and provide immunosuppressive and antimicrobial functions. Murine as well as human MSCs restrict the proliferation of T cells. However, species-specific differences in the underlying molecular mechanisms have been described. Here, we analyzed the antiparasitic effector mechanisms active in murine MSCs. Murine MSCs, in contrast to human MSCs, could not restrict the growth of a highly virulent strain of Toxoplasma gondii (BK) after stimulation with IFN-γ. However, the growth of a type II strain of T. gondii (ME49) was strongly inhibited by IFN-γ-activated murine MSCs. Immunity-related GTPases (IRGs) as well as guanylate-binding proteins (GBPs) contributed to this antiparasitic effect. Further analysis showed that IFN-γ-activated mMSCs also inhibit the growth of Neospora caninum, a parasite belonging to the apicomplexan group as well. Detailed studies with murine IFN-γ-activated MSC indicated an involvement in IRGs like Irga6, Irgb6 and Irgd in the inhibition of N. caninum. Additional data showed that, furthermore, GBPs like mGBP1 and mGBP2 could have played a role in the anti-N. caninum effect of murine MSCs. These data underline that MSCs, in addition to their regenerative and immunosuppressive activity, function as antiparasitic effector cells as well. However, IRGs are not present in the human genome, indicating a species-specific difference in anti-T. gondii and anti-N. caninum effect between human and murine MSCs.

  8. Protein from intestinal Eimeria protozoan stimulates IL-12 release from dendritic cells, exhibits antitumor properties in vivo and is correlated with low intestinal tumorigenicity.

    PubMed

    Rosenberg, Barnett; Juckett, David A; Aylsworth, Charles F; Dimitrov, Nikolay V; Ho, Siu-Cheong; Judge, John W; Kessel, Sarah; Quensen, Janet; Wong, Kwai-Pheng Ho; Zlatkin, Igor; Zlatkin, Tanya

    2005-05-01

    The small intestine (SI) of vertebrates exhibits low tumorigenesis and rarely supports metastatic growth from distant tumors. Many theories have been proposed to address this phenomenon, but none has been consistently supported. One candidate mechanism is that the vast immunologic compartment of the SI provides a heightened level of tumor immunosurveillance. Consistent with this, we have identified a molecule of low abundance from bovine SI that has the hallmarks of a potent immunostimulant and may be associated with the natural suppression of cancer in the intestinal tract. The protein originates from an endemic gut protozoan, Eimeria spp., and is homologous to the antigen 3-1E previously isolated from the avian apicomplexan E. acervulina. We show here that it is a very potent stimulator of IL-12 release from dendritic cells, upregulates inflammatory modulators in vivo (IL-12, MCP-1, IL-6, TNF-alpha and INF-gamma) and has antitumor properties in mice. In addition, it is synergistic in vitro with anti-CD40 antibody, IFN-gamma, IL-4 and GM-CSF; is active across species barriers in vivo; and has no observable toxicity. Based on these activities, we speculate that it is an inducer of protozoan-targeted innate immunity, which may explain its potential benefit to the intestinal tract and potency as an agent in cancer immunotherapy.

  9. Analysis of stage specific protein expression during babesia bovis development within rhipicephalus microplus female ticks

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Arthropod borne pathogens have a complex life cycle that includes asexual reproduction of haploid stages in mammalian erythrocytes and development of diploid stages in the vector. Transition of Apicomplexan pathogens between the mammalian host and the arthropod vector is critical for ongoing transmi...

  10. Characterization of monoclonal antibodies that recognize the Eimeria tenella microneme protein MIC2

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The Apicomplexan pathogens of the species Eimeria cause coccidiosis, an intestinal disease of chickens, which has a major economic impact on the poultry industry. Members of the phylum Apicomplexa share an assortment of unique secretory organelles (rhoptries, micronemes and dense granules) that me...

  11. Antibodies against thrombospondin-related anonymous protein do not inhibit Plasmodium sporozoite infectivity in vivo.

    PubMed

    Gantt, S; Persson, C; Rose, K; Birkett, A J; Abagyan, R; Nussenzweig, V

    2000-06-01

    Thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP), a candidate malaria vaccine antigen, is required for Plasmodium sporozoite gliding motility and cell invasion. For the first time, the ability of antibodies against TRAP to inhibit sporozoite infectivity in vivo is evaluated in detail. TRAP contains an A-domain, a well-characterized adhesive motif found in integrins. We modeled here a three-dimensional structure of the TRAP A-domain of Plasmodium yoelii and located regions surrounding the MIDAS (metal ion-dependent adhesion site), the presumed business end of the domain. Mice were immunized with constructs containing these A-domain regions but were not protected from sporozoite challenge. Furthermore, monoclonal and rabbit polyclonal antibodies against the A-domain, the conserved N terminus, and the repeat region of TRAP had no effect on the gliding motility or sporozoite infectivity to mice. TRAP is located in micronemes, secretory organelles of apicomplexan parasites. Accordingly, the antibodies tested here stained cytoplasmic TRAP brightly by immunofluorescence. However, very little TRAP could be detected on the surface of sporozoites. In contrast, a dramatic relocalization of TRAP onto the parasite surface occurred when sporozoites were treated with calcium ionophore. This likely mimics the release of TRAP from micronemes when a sporozoite contacts its target cell in vivo. Contact with hepatoma cells in culture also appeared to induce the release of TRAP onto the surface of sporozoites. If large amounts of TRAP are released in close proximity to its cellular receptor(s), effective competitive inhibition by antibodies may be difficult to achieve.

  12. Antibodies against Thrombospondin-Related Anonymous Protein Do Not Inhibit Plasmodium Sporozoite Infectivity In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Gantt, Soren; Persson, Cathrine; Rose, Keith; Birkett, Ashley J.; Abagyan, Ruben; Nussenzweig, Victor

    2000-01-01

    Thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP), a candidate malaria vaccine antigen, is required for Plasmodium sporozoite gliding motility and cell invasion. For the first time, the ability of antibodies against TRAP to inhibit sporozoite infectivity in vivo is evaluated in detail. TRAP contains an A-domain, a well-characterized adhesive motif found in integrins. We modeled here a three-dimensional structure of the TRAP A-domain of Plasmodium yoelii and located regions surrounding the MIDAS (metal ion-dependent adhesion site), the presumed business end of the domain. Mice were immunized with constructs containing these A-domain regions but were not protected from sporozoite challenge. Furthermore, monoclonal and rabbit polyclonal antibodies against the A-domain, the conserved N terminus, and the repeat region of TRAP had no effect on the gliding motility or sporozoite infectivity to mice. TRAP is located in micronemes, secretory organelles of apicomplexan parasites. Accordingly, the antibodies tested here stained cytoplasmic TRAP brightly by immunofluorescence. However, very little TRAP could be detected on the surface of sporozoites. In contrast, a dramatic relocalization of TRAP onto the parasite surface occurred when sporozoites were treated with calcium ionophore. This likely mimics the release of TRAP from micronemes when a sporozoite contacts its target cell in vivo. Contact with hepatoma cells in culture also appeared to induce the release of TRAP onto the surface of sporozoites. If large amounts of TRAP are released in close proximity to its cellular receptor(s), effective competitive inhibition by antibodies may be difficult to achieve. PMID:10816526

  13. Protein kinases of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: the kinome of a divergent eukaryote

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Pauline; Equinet, Leila; Packer, Jeremy; Doerig, Christian

    2004-01-01

    Background Malaria, caused by the parasitic protist Plasmodium falciparum, represents a major public health problem in the developing world. The P. falciparum genome has been sequenced, which provides new opportunities for the identification of novel drug targets. Eukaryotic protein kinases (ePKs) form a large family of enzymes with crucial roles in most cellular processes; hence malarial ePKS represent potential drug targets. We report an exhaustive analysis of the P. falciparum genomic database (PlasmoDB) aimed at identifying and classifying all ePKs in this organism. Results Using a variety of bioinformatics tools, we identified 65 malarial ePK sequences and constructed a phylogenetic tree to position these sequences relative to the seven established ePK groups. Predominant features of the tree were: (i) that several malarial sequences did not cluster within any of the known ePK groups; (ii) that the CMGC group, whose members are usually involved in the control of cell proliferation, had the highest number of malarial ePKs; and (iii) that no malarial ePK clustered with the tyrosine kinase (TyrK) or STE groups, pointing to the absence of three-component MAPK modules in the parasite. A novel family of 20 ePK-related sequences was identified and called FIKK, on the basis of a conserved amino acid motif. The FIKK family seems restricted to Apicomplexa, with 20 members in P. falciparum and just one member in some other Apicomplexan species. Conclusion The considerable phylogenetic distance between Apicomplexa and other Eukaryotes is reflected by profound divergences between the kinome of malaria parasites and that of yeast or mammalian cells. PMID:15479470

  14. Protein tentacles.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Stephen C

    2017-05-27

    Virus structures were among the earliest illustrations of how regulated protein assembly can proceed by folding of polypeptide-chain segments into complementary sites on partner proteins. I draw on Caspar's image of protein "tentacles" and his metaphor of SV40 pentamers as five-legged, aquatic organisms ("pentopuses") to suggest a helpful vocabulary. "Tentacular interactions" among component subunits organize most subcellular molecular machines. Their selective advantages include facile regulation of both assembly and disassembly by modifying enzymes and by folding chaperones. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. A configuration space of homologous proteins conserving mutual information and allowing a phylogeny inference based on pair-wise Z-score probabilities.

    PubMed

    Bastien, Olivier; Ortet, Philippe; Roy, Sylvaine; Maréchal, Eric

    2005-03-10

    Popular methods to reconstruct molecular phylogenies are based on multiple sequence alignments, in which addition or removal of data may change the resulting tree topology. We have sought a representation of homologous proteins that would conserve the information of pair-wise sequence alignments, respect probabilistic properties of Z-scores (Monte Carlo methods applied to pair-wise comparisons) and be the basis for a novel method of consistent and stable phylogenetic reconstruction. We have built up a spatial representation of protein sequences using concepts from particle physics (configuration space) and respecting a frame of constraints deduced from pair-wise alignment score properties in information theory. The obtained configuration space of homologous proteins (CSHP) allows the representation of real and shuffled sequences, and thereupon an expression of the TULIP theorem for Z-score probabilities. Based on the CSHP, we propose a phylogeny reconstruction using Z-scores. Deduced trees, called TULIP trees, are consistent with multiple-alignment based trees. Furthermore, the TULIP tree reconstruction method provides a solution for some previously reported incongruent results, such as the apicomplexan enolase phylogeny. The CSHP is a unified model that conserves mutual information between proteins in the way physical models conserve energy. Applications include the reconstruction of evolutionary consistent and robust trees, the topology of which is based on a spatial representation that is not reordered after addition or removal of sequences. The CSHP and its assigned phylogenetic topology, provide a powerful and easily updated representation for massive pair-wise genome comparisons based on Z-score computations.

  16. Total protein

    MedlinePlus

    ... 2016:chap 215. Read More Agammaglobulinemia Albumin - blood (serum) test Amino acids Antibody Burns Chronic Congenital nephrotic syndrome Fibrinogen blood test Glomerulonephritis Hemoglobin Liver disease Malabsorption Multiple myeloma Polycythemia vera Protein in diet ...

  17. Protein Crystallizability.

    PubMed

    Smialowski, Pawel; Wong, Philip

    2016-01-01

    Obtaining diffracting quality crystals remains a major challenge in protein structure research. We summarize and compare methods for selecting the best protein targets for crystallization, construct optimization and crystallization condition design. Target selection methods are divided into algorithms predicting the chance of successful progression through all stages of structural determination (from cloning to solving the structure) and those focusing only on the crystallization step. We tried to highlight pros and cons of different approaches examining the following aspects: data size, redundancy and representativeness, overfitting during model construction, and results evaluation. In summary, although in recent years progress was made and several sequence properties were reported to be relevant for crystallization, the successful prediction of protein crystallization behavior and selection of corresponding crystallization conditions continue to challenge structural researchers.

  18. Protein Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, Alexander A.

    2005-01-01

    Nucleation, growth and perfection of protein crystals will be overviewed along with crystal mechanical properties. The knowledge is based on experiments using optical and force crystals behave similar to inorganic crystals, though with a difference in orders of magnitude in growing parameters. For example, the low incorporation rate of large biomolecules requires up to 100 times larger supersaturation to grow protein, rather than inorganic crystals. Nucleation is often poorly reproducible, partly because of turbulence accompanying the mixing of precipitant with protein solution. Light scattering reveals fluctuations of molecular cluster size, its growth, surface energies and increased clustering as protein ages. Growth most often occurs layer-by-layer resulting in faceted crystals. New molecular layer on crystal face is terminated by a step where molecular incorporation occurs. Quantitative data on the incorporation rate will be discussed. Rounded crystals with molecularly disordered interfaces will be explained. Defects in crystals compromise the x-ray diffraction resolution crucially needed to find the 3D atomic structure of biomolecules. The defects are immobile so that birth defects stay forever. All lattice defects known for inorganics are revealed in protein crystals. Contribution of molecular conformations to lattice disorder is important, but not studied. This contribution may be enhanced by stress field from other defects. Homologous impurities (e.g., dimers, acetylated molecules) are trapped more willingly by a growing crystal than foreign protein impurities. The trapped impurities induce internal stress eliminated in crystals exceeding a critical size (part of mni for ferritin, lysozyme). Lesser impurities are trapped from stagnant, as compared to the flowing, solution. Freezing may induce much more defects unless quickly amorphysizing intracrystalline water.

  19. Toxoplasma DJ-1 Regulates Organelle Secretion by a Direct Interaction with Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase 1.

    PubMed

    Child, Matthew A; Garland, Megan; Foe, Ian; Madzelan, Peter; Treeck, Moritz; van der Linden, Wouter A; Oresic Bender, Kristina; Weerapana, Eranthie; Wilson, Mark A; Boothroyd, John C; Reese, Michael L; Bogyo, Matthew

    2017-02-28

    Human DJ-1 is a highly conserved and yet functionally enigmatic protein associated with a heritable form of Parkinson's disease. It has been suggested to be a redox-dependent regulatory scaffold, binding to proteins to modulate their function. Here we present the X-ray crystal structure of the Toxoplasma orthologue Toxoplasma gondii DJ-1 (TgDJ-1) at 2.1-Å resolution and show that it directly associates with calcium-dependent protein kinase 1 (CDPK1). The TgDJ-1 structure identifies an orthologously conserved arginine dyad that acts as a phospho-gatekeeper motif to control complex formation. We determined that the binding of TgDJ-1 to CDPK1 is sensitive to oxidation and calcium, and that this interaction potentiates CDPK1 kinase activity. Finally, we show that genetic deletion of TgDJ-1 results in upregulation of CDPK1 expression and that disruption of the CDPK1/TgDJ-1 complex in vivo prevents normal exocytosis of parasite virulence-associated organelles called micronemes. Overall, our data suggest that TgDJ-1 functions as a noncanonical kinase-regulatory scaffold that integrates multiple intracellular signals to tune microneme exocytosis in T. gondiiIMPORTANCE Apicomplexan parasites such as Toxoplasma and Plasmodium are obligate intracellular parasites that require the protective environment of a host cell in order to replicate and survive within a host organism. These parasites secrete effector proteins from specialized apical organelles to select and invade a chosen host cell. The secretion of these organelles is a tightly regulated process coordinated by endogenous small molecules and calcium-dependent protein kinases. We previously identified the Toxoplasma orthologue of the highly conserved protein DJ-1 as a regulator of microneme secretion, but the molecular basis for this was not known. We have now identified the molecular mechanism for how TgDJ-1 regulates microneme secretion. TgDJ-1 interacts with the kinase responsible for the secretion of these

  20. Stable expression of a GFP-BSD fusion protein in transfected and blasticidin-selected B. bovis merozoites

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Babesia bovis is a tick-borne apicomplexan parasite that causes an acute disease in cattle. This study describes stable expression of an exogenous gfp-bsd gene in B. bovis transformed parasites. Cultured B. bovis infected erythrocytes of the biologically cloned Mo7 strain were transfected by electro...

  1. DNA vaccination with a gene encoding Toxoplasma gondii Rhoptry Protein 17 induces partial protective immunity against lethal challenge in mice

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hai-Long; Wang, Yu-Jing; Pei, Yan-Jiang; Bai, Ji-Zhong; Yin, Li-Tian; Guo, Rui; Yin, Guo-Rong

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular apicomplexan parasite that affects humans and various vertebrate livestock and causes serious economic losses. To develop an effective vaccine against T. gondii infection, we constructed a DNA vaccine encoding the T. gondii rhoptry protein 17 (TgROP17) and evaluated its immune protective efficacy against acute T. gondii infection in mice. The DNA vaccine (p3×Flag-CMV-14-ROP17) was intramuscularly injected to BALB/c mice and the immune responses of the vaccinated mice were determined. Compared to control mice treated with empty vector or PBS, mice immunized with the ROP17 vaccine showed a relatively high level of specific anti-T. gondii antibodies, and a mixed IgG1/IgG2a response with predominance of IgG2a production. The immunized mice also displayed a specific lymphocyte proliferative response, a Th1-type cellular immune response with production of IFN-γ and interleukin-2, and increased number of CD8+ T cells. Immunization with the ROP17 DNA significantly prolonged the survival time (15.6 ± 5.4 days, P < 0.05) of mice after challenge infection with the virulent T. gondii RH strain (Type I), compared with the control groups which died within 8 days. Therefore, our data suggest that DNA vaccination with TgROP17 triggers significant humoral and cellular responses and induces effective protection in mice against acute T. gondii infection, indicating that TgROP17 is a promising vaccine candidate against acute toxoplasmosis. PMID:26842927

  2. Brain microvessel cross-presentation is a hallmark of experimental cerebral malaria.

    PubMed

    Howland, Shanshan W; Poh, Chek Meng; Gun, Sin Yee; Claser, Carla; Malleret, Benoit; Shastri, Nilabh; Ginhoux, Florent; Grotenbreg, Gijsbert M; Rénia, Laurent

    2013-07-01

    Cerebral malaria is a devastating complication of Plasmodium falciparum infection. Its pathogenesis is complex, involving both parasite- and immune-mediated events. CD8(+) T cells play an effector role in murine experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) induced by Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA) infection. We have identified a highly immunogenic CD8 epitope in glideosome-associated protein 50 that is conserved across rodent malaria species. Epitope-specific CD8(+) T cells are induced during PbA infection, migrating to the brain just before neurological signs manifest. They are functional, cytotoxic and can damage the blood-brain barrier in vivo. Such CD8(+) T cells are also found in the brain during infection with parasite strains/species that do not induce neuropathology. We demonstrate here that PbA infection causes brain microvessels to cross-present parasite antigen, while non-ECM-causing parasites do not. Further, treatment with fast-acting anti-malarial drugs before the onset of ECM reduces parasite load and thus antigen presentation in the brain, preventing ECM death. Thus our data suggest that combined therapies targeting both the parasite and host antigen-presenting cells may improve the outcome of CM patients. © 2013 The Authors. Published by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd on behalf of EMBO.

  3. Brain microvessel cross-presentation is a hallmark of experimental cerebral malaria

    PubMed Central

    Howland, Shanshan W; Poh, Chek Meng; Gun, Sin Yee; Claser, Carla; Malleret, Benoit; Shastri, Nilabh; Ginhoux, Florent; Grotenbreg, Gijsbert M; Rénia, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    Cerebral malaria is a devastating complication of Plasmodium falciparum infection. Its pathogenesis is complex, involving both parasite- and immune-mediated events. CD8+ T cells play an effector role in murine experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) induced by Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA) infection. We have identified a highly immunogenic CD8 epitope in glideosome-associated protein 50 that is conserved across rodent malaria species. Epitope-specific CD8+ T cells are induced during PbA infection, migrating to the brain just before neurological signs manifest. They are functional, cytotoxic and can damage the blood–brain barrier in vivo. Such CD8+ T cells are also found in the brain during infection with parasite strains/species that do not induce neuropathology. We demonstrate here that PbA infection causes brain microvessels to cross-present parasite antigen, while non-ECM-causing parasites do not. Further, treatment with fast-acting anti-malarial drugs before the onset of ECM reduces parasite load and thus antigen presentation in the brain, preventing ECM death. Thus our data suggest that combined therapies targeting both the parasite and host antigen-presenting cells may improve the outcome of CM patients. PMID:23681698

  4. Detecting protein-protein interactions using Renilla luciferase fusion proteins.

    PubMed

    Burbelo, Peter D; Kisailus, Adam E; Peck, Jeremy W

    2002-11-01

    We have developed a novel system designated the luciferase assay for protein detection (LAPD) to study protein-protein interactions. This method involves two protein fusions, a soluble reporter fusion and a fusion for immobilizing the target protein. The soluble reporter is an N-terminal Renilla luciferase fusion protein that exhibits high Renilla luciferase activity. Crude cleared lysates from transfected Cos1 cells that express the Renilla luciferase fusion protein can be used in binding assays with immobilized target proteins. Following incubation and washing, target-bound Renilla luciferase fusion proteins produce light from the coelenterazine substrate, indicating an interaction between the two proteins of interest. As proof of the principle, we reproduced known, transient protein-protein interactions between the Cdc42 GTPase and its effector proteins. GTPase Renilla fusion proteins produced in Cos1 cells were tested with immobilized recombinant GST-N-WASP and CEP5 effector proteins. Using this assay, we could detect specific interactions of Cdc42 with these effector proteins in approximately 50 min. The specificity of these interactions was demonstrated by showing that they were GTPase-specific and GTP-dependent and not seen with other unrelated target proteins. These results suggest that the LAPD method, which is both rapid and sensitive, may have research and practical applications.

  5. The malarial drug target Plasmodium falciparum 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate reductoisomerase (PfDXR): development of a 3-D model for identification of novel, structural and functional features and for inhibitor screening.

    PubMed

    Goble, Jessica L; Adendorff, Matthew R; de Beer, Tjaart A P; Stephens, Linda L; Blatch, Gregory L

    2010-01-01

    A three-dimensional model of the malarial drug target protein PfDXR was generated, and validated using structure-checking programs and protein docking studies. Structural and functional features unique to PfDXR were identified using the model and comparative sequence analyses with apicomplexan and non-apicomplexan DXR proteins. Furthermore, we have used the model to develop an efficient approach to screen for potential tool compounds for use in the rational design of novel DXR inhibitors.

  6. Interaction entropy for protein-protein binding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Zhaoxi; Yan, Yu N.; Yang, Maoyou; Zhang, John Z. H.

    2017-03-01

    Protein-protein interactions are at the heart of signal transduction and are central to the function of protein machine in biology. The highly specific protein-protein binding is quantitatively characterized by the binding free energy whose accurate calculation from the first principle is a grand challenge in computational biology. In this paper, we show how the interaction entropy approach, which was recently proposed for protein-ligand binding free energy calculation, can be applied to computing the entropic contribution to the protein-protein binding free energy. Explicit theoretical derivation of the interaction entropy approach for protein-protein interaction system is given in detail from the basic definition. Extensive computational studies for a dozen realistic protein-protein interaction systems are carried out using the present approach and comparisons of the results for these protein-protein systems with those from the standard normal mode method are presented. Analysis of the present method for application in protein-protein binding as well as the limitation of the method in numerical computation is discussed. Our study and analysis of the results provided useful information for extracting correct entropic contribution in protein-protein binding from molecular dynamics simulations.

  7. Learning about Proteins

    MedlinePlus

    ... What Happens in the Operating Room? Learning About Proteins KidsHealth > For Kids > Learning About Proteins A A ... the foods you eat. continue Different Kinds of Protein Protein from animal sources, such as meat and ...

  8. Protein Microarray Technology

    PubMed Central

    Hall, David A.; Ptacek, Jason

    2007-01-01

    Protein chips have emerged as a promising approach for a wide variety of applications including the identification of protein-protein interactions, protein-phospholipid interactions, small molecule targets, and substrates of proteins kinases. They can also be used for clinical diagnostics and monitoring disease states. This article reviews current methods in the generation and applications of protein microarrays. PMID:17126887

  9. Length, protein protein interactions, and complexity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Taison; Frenkel, Daan; Gupta, Vishal; Deem, Michael W.

    2005-05-01

    The evolutionary reason for the increase in gene length from archaea to prokaryotes to eukaryotes observed in large-scale genome sequencing efforts has been unclear. We propose here that the increasing complexity of protein-protein interactions has driven the selection of longer proteins, as they are more able to distinguish among a larger number of distinct interactions due to their greater average surface area. Annotated protein sequences available from the SWISS-PROT database were analyzed for 13 eukaryotes, eight bacteria, and two archaea species. The number of subcellular locations to which each protein is associated is used as a measure of the number of interactions to which a protein participates. Two databases of yeast protein-protein interactions were used as another measure of the number of interactions to which each S. cerevisiae protein participates. Protein length is shown to correlate with both number of subcellular locations to which a protein is associated and number of interactions as measured by yeast two-hybrid experiments. Protein length is also shown to correlate with the probability that the protein is encoded by an essential gene. Interestingly, average protein length and number of subcellular locations are not significantly different between all human proteins and protein targets of known, marketed drugs. Increased protein length appears to be a significant mechanism by which the increasing complexity of protein-protein interaction networks is accommodated within the natural evolution of species. Consideration of protein length may be a valuable tool in drug design, one that predicts different strategies for inhibiting interactions in aberrant and normal pathways.

  10. EDITORIAL: Precision proteins Precision proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demming, Anna

    2010-06-01

    Since the birth of modern day medicine, during the times of Hippocrates in ancient Greece, the profession has developed from the rudimentary classification of disease into a rigorous science with an inspiring capability to treat and cure. Scientific methodology has distilled clinical diagnostic tools from the early arts of prognosis, which used to rely as much on revelation and prophecy, as intuition and judgement [1]. Over the past decade, research into the interactions between proteins and nanosystems has provided some ingenious and apt techniques for delving into the intricacies of anatomical systems. In vivo biosensing has emerged as a vibrant field of research, as much of medical diagnosis relies on the detection of substances or an imbalance in the chemicals in the body. The inherent properties of nanoscale structures, such as cantilevers, make them well suited to biosensing applications that demand the detection of molecules at very low concentrations. Measurable deflections in cantilevers functionalised with antibodies provide quantitative indicators of the presence of specific antigens when the two react. Such developments have roused mounting interest in the interactions of proteins with nanostructures, such as carbon nanotubes [3], which have demonstrated great potential as generic biomarkers. Plasmonic properties are also being exploited in sensing applications, such as the molecular sentinel recently devised by researchers in the US. The device uses the plasmonic properties of a silver nanoparticle linked to a Raman labelled hairpin DNA probe to signal changes in the probe geometry resulting from interactions with substances in the environment. Success stories so far include the detection of two specific genes associated with breast cancer [4]. A greater understanding of how RNA interference regulates gene expression has highlighted the potential of using this natural process as another agent for combating disease in personalized medicine. However, the

  11. High-resolution structures of Thermus thermophilus enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase in the apo form, in complex with NAD+ and in complex with NAD+ and triclosan

    PubMed Central

    Otero, José M.; Noël, Ann-Josée; Guardado-Calvo, Pablo; Llamas-Saiz, Antonio L.; Wende, Wolfgang; Schierling, Benno; Pingoud, Alfred; van Raaij, Mark J.

    2012-01-01

    Enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (ENR; the product of the fabI gene) is an important enzyme that is involved in the type II fatty-acid-synthesis pathway of bacteria, plants, apicomplexan protozoa and mitochondria. Harmful pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Plasmodium falciparum use the type II fatty-acid-synthesis system, but not mammals or fungi, which contain a type I fatty-acid-synthesis pathway consisting of one or two multifunctional enzymes. For this reason, specific inhibitors of ENR are attractive antibiotic candidates. Triclosan, a broad-range antibacterial agent, binds to ENR, inhibiting fatty-acid synthesis. As humans do not have an ENR enzyme, they are not affected. Here, high-resolution structures of Thermus thermophilus (Tth) ENR in the apo form, bound to NAD+ and bound to NAD+ plus triclosan are reported. Differences from and similarities to other known ENR structures are reported; in general, the structures are very similar. The cofactor-binding site is also very similar to those of other ENRs and, as reported for other species, triclosan leads to greater ordering of the loop that covers the cofactor-binding site, which, together with the presence of triclosan itself, presumably provides tight binding of the dinucleotide, preventing cycling of the cofactor. Differences between the structures of Tth ENR and other ENRs are the presence of an additional β-sheet at the N-terminus and a larger number of salt bridges and side-chain hydrogen bonds. These features may be related to the high thermal stability of Tth ENR. PMID:23027736

  12. The role of a parasite-specific allosteric site in the distinctive activation behavior of Eimeria tenella cGMP-dependent protein kinase.

    PubMed

    Salowe, Scott P; Wiltsie, Judyann; Liberator, Paul A; Donald, Robert G K

    2002-04-02

    A cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) was recently identified as an anticoccidial target for the apicomplexan parasite Eimeria tenella [Gurnett, A., Liberator, P. A., Dulski, P., Salowe, S., Donald, R. G. K., Anderson, J., Wiltsie, J., Diaz, C., Harris, G., Chang, B., Darkin-Rattray, S. J., Nare, B., Crumley, T., Blum, P., Misura, A., Tamas, T., Sardana, M., Yuan, J., Biftu, T., and Schmatz, D. (2002) J. Biol. Chem. (in press)]. Unlike the PKGs of higher organisms that have two cGMP binding sites in their regulatory domain, the PKG from Eimeria tenella (Et-PKG) contains three putative cGMP binding sites and has distinctive activation properties, including a very large stimulation by cGMP ( approximately 1000-fold) with significant cooperativity (Hill coefficient of 1.7). During our investigation of Et-PKG activation, we found that 8-substituted cGMP analogues are weak partial activators. For example, 8-NBD-cGMP provides a maximal stimulation of activity of only 20-fold with little evident cooperativity, although cGMP can synergize with the analogue to provide full activation. The results suggest that partial activation is a consequence of restricted binding of 8-NBD-cGMP to a subset of cGMP sites in the enzyme. Site-directed mutagenesis of conserved arginine and glutamate residues in the parasite-specific third cGMP site confirms that this site is an important functional participant in the allosteric regulation of the kinase and that it exhibits very high selectivity against 8-NBD-cGMP. Since the results are consistent with full activation of Et-PKG requiring cyclic nucleotide binding in all three allosteric sites, one role for the additional cGMP site may be to establish a stricter regulatory mechanism for the kinase activity than is present in the PKGs of higher organisms containing only two allosteric sites.

  13. Shotgun protein sequencing.

    SciTech Connect

    Faulon, Jean-Loup Michel; Heffelfinger, Grant S.

    2009-06-01

    A novel experimental and computational technique based on multiple enzymatic digestion of a protein or protein mixture that reconstructs protein sequences from sequences of overlapping peptides is described in this SAND report. This approach, analogous to shotgun sequencing of DNA, is to be used to sequence alternative spliced proteins, to identify post-translational modifications, and to sequence genetically engineered proteins.

  14. Protein Crystal Based Nanomaterials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, Jeffrey A.; VanRoey, Patrick

    2001-01-01

    This is the final report on a NASA Grant. It concerns a description of work done, which includes: (1) Protein crystals cross-linked to form fibers; (2) Engineering of protein to favor crystallization; (3) Better knowledge-based potentials for protein-protein contacts; (4) Simulation of protein crystallization.

  15. Protein-losing enteropathy

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007338.htm Protein-losing enteropathy To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Protein-losing enteropathy is an abnormal loss of protein ...

  16. Protein and Heart Health

    MedlinePlus

    ... It Works Healthy Workplace Food and Beverage Toolkit Protein and Heart Health Updated:May 5,2015 Protein ... said. What’s the harm in getting too much protein? The main problem is that often the extra ...

  17. Protein splicing: selfish genes invade cellular proteins.

    PubMed

    Neff, N F

    1993-12-01

    Protein splicing is a series of enzymatic events involving intramolecular protein breakage, rejoining and intron homing, in which introns are able to promote the recombinative transposition of their own coding sequences. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic spliced proteins have conserved similar gene structure, but little amino acid identity. The genes coding for these spliced proteins contain internal in-frame introns that encode polypeptides that apparently self-excise from the resulting host protein sequences. Excision of the 'protein intron' is coupled with joining of the two flanking protein regions encoded by exons of the host gene. Some introns of this type encode DNA endonucleases, related to Group I RNA intron gene products, that stimulate gene conversion and self-transmission.

  18. Nanotechnologies in protein microarrays.

    PubMed

    Krizkova, Sona; Heger, Zbynek; Zalewska, Marta; Moulick, Amitava; Adam, Vojtech; Kizek, Rene

    2015-01-01

    Protein microarray technology became an important research tool for study and detection of proteins, protein-protein interactions and a number of other applications. The utilization of nanoparticle-based materials and nanotechnology-based techniques for immobilization allows us not only to extend the surface for biomolecule immobilization resulting in enhanced substrate binding properties, decreased background signals and enhanced reporter systems for more sensitive assays. Generally in contemporarily developed microarray systems, multiple nanotechnology-based techniques are combined. In this review, applications of nanoparticles and nanotechnologies in creating protein microarrays, proteins immobilization and detection are summarized. We anticipate that advanced nanotechnologies can be exploited to expand promising fields of proteins identification, monitoring of protein-protein or drug-protein interactions, or proteins structures.

  19. PREFACE: Protein protein interactions: principles and predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nussinov, Ruth; Tsai, Chung-Jung

    2005-06-01

    Proteins are the `workhorses' of the cell. Their roles span functions as diverse as being molecular machines and signalling. They carry out catalytic reactions, transport, form viral capsids, traverse membranes and form regulated channels, transmit information from DNA to RNA, making possible the synthesis of new proteins, and they are responsible for the degradation of unnecessary proteins and nucleic acids. They are the vehicles of the immune response and are responsible for viral entry into the cell. Given their importance, considerable effort has been centered on the prediction of protein function. A prime way to do this is through identification of binding partners. If the function of at least one of the components with which the protein interacts is known, that should let us assign its function(s) and the pathway(s) in which it plays a role. This holds since the vast majority of their chores in the living cell involve protein-protein interactions. Hence, through the intricate network of these interactions we can map cellular pathways, their interconnectivities and their dynamic regulation. Their identification is at the heart of functional genomics; their prediction is crucial for drug discovery. Knowledge of the pathway, its topology, length, and dynamics may provide useful information for forecasting side effects. The goal of predicting protein-protein interactions is daunting. Some associations are obligatory, others are continuously forming and dissociating. In principle, from the physical standpoint, any two proteins can interact, but under what conditions and at which strength? The principles of protein-protein interactions are general: the non-covalent interactions of two proteins are largely the outcome of the hydrophobic effect, which drives the interactions. In addition, hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions play important roles. Thus, many of the interactions observed in vitro are the outcome of experimental overexpression. Protein disorder

  20. Protein Structure Prediction by Protein Threading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Ying; Liu, Zhijie; Cai, Liming; Xu, Dong

    The seminal work of Bowie, Lüthy, and Eisenberg (Bowie et al., 1991) on "the inverse protein folding problem" laid the foundation of protein structure prediction by protein threading. By using simple measures for fitness of different amino acid types to local structural environments defined in terms of solvent accessibility and protein secondary structure, the authors derived a simple and yet profoundly novel approach to assessing if a protein sequence fits well with a given protein structural fold. Their follow-up work (Elofsson et al., 1996; Fischer and Eisenberg, 1996; Fischer et al., 1996a,b) and the work by Jones, Taylor, and Thornton (Jones et al., 1992) on protein fold recognition led to the development of a new brand of powerful tools for protein structure prediction, which we now term "protein threading." These computational tools have played a key role in extending the utility of all the experimentally solved structures by X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), providing structural models and functional predictions for many of the proteins encoded in the hundreds of genomes that have been sequenced up to now.

  1. Protein sequence comparison and protein evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Pearson, W.R.

    1995-12-31

    This tutorial was one of eight tutorials selected to be presented at the Third International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology which was held in the United Kingdom from July 16 to 19, 1995. This tutorial examines how the information conserved during the evolution of a protein molecule can be used to infer reliably homology, and thus a shared proteinfold and possibly a shared active site or function. The authors start by reviewing a geological/evolutionary time scale. Next they look at the evolution of several protein families. During the tutorial, these families will be used to demonstrate that homologous protein ancestry can be inferred with confidence. They also examine different modes of protein evolution and consider some hypotheses that have been presented to explain the very earliest events in protein evolution. The next part of the tutorial will examine the technical aspects of protein sequence comparison. Both optimal and heuristic algorithms and their associated parameters that are used to characterize protein sequence similarities are discussed. Perhaps more importantly, they survey the statistics of local similarity scores, and how these statistics can both be used to improve the selectivity of a search and to evaluate the significance of a match. They them examine distantly related members of three protein families, the serine proteases, the glutathione transferases, and the G-protein-coupled receptors (GCRs). Finally, the discuss how sequence similarity can be used to examine internal repeated or mosaic structures in proteins.

  2. Whey protein fractionation

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Concentrated whey protein products from cheese whey, such as whey protein concentrate (WPC) and whey protein isolate (WPI), contain more than seven different types of proteins: alpha-lactalbumin (alpha-LA), beta-lactoglobulin (beta-LG), bovine serum albumin (BSA), immunoglobulins (Igs), lactoferrin ...

  3. Mirror Image Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Le; Lu, Wuyuan

    2017-01-01

    Proteins composed entirely of unnatural D-amino acids and the achiral amino acid glycine are mirror image forms of their native L-protein counterparts. Recent advances in chemical protein synthesis afford unique and facile synthetic access to domain-sized mirror image D-proteins, enabling protein research to be conducted through “the looking glass” and in a way previously unattainable. D-proteins can facilitate structure determination of their native L-forms that are difficult to crystallize (racemic X-ray crystallography); D-proteins can serve as the bait for library screening to ultimately yield pharmacologically superior D-peptide/D-protein therapeutics (mirror image phage display); D-proteins can also be used as a powerful mechanistic tool for probing molecular events in biology. This review examines recent progress in the application of mirror image proteins to structural biology, drug discovery, and immunology. PMID:25282524

  4. Protein- protein interaction detection system using fluorescent protein microdomains

    DOEpatents

    Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Cabantous, Stephanie

    2010-02-23

    The invention provides a protein labeling and interaction detection system based on engineered fragments of fluorescent and chromophoric proteins that require fused interacting polypeptides to drive the association of the fragments, and further are soluble and stable, and do not change the solubility of polypeptides to which they are fused. In one embodiment, a test protein X is fused to a sixteen amino acid fragment of GFP (.beta.-strand 10, amino acids 198-214), engineered to not perturb fusion protein solubility. A second test protein Y is fused to a sixteen amino acid fragment of GFP (.beta.-strand 11, amino acids 215-230), engineered to not perturb fusion protein solubility. When X and Y interact, they bring the GFP strands into proximity, and are detected by complementation with a third GFP fragment consisting of GFP amino acids 1-198 (strands 1-9). When GFP strands 10 and 11 are held together by interaction of protein X and Y, they spontaneous association with GFP strands 1-9, resulting in structural complementation, folding, and concomitant GFP fluorescence.

  5. Molecular modelling of protein-protein/protein-solvent interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luchko, Tyler

    The inner workings of individual cells are based on intricate networks of protein-protein interactions. However, each of these individual protein interactions requires a complex physical interaction between proteins and their aqueous environment at the atomic scale. In this thesis, molecular dynamics simulations are used in three theoretical studies to gain insight at the atomic scale about protein hydration, protein structure and tubulin-tubulin (protein-protein) interactions, as found in microtubules. Also presented, in a fourth project, is a molecular model of solvation coupled with the Amber molecular modelling package, to facilitate further studies without the need of explicitly modelled water. Basic properties of a minimally solvated protein were calculated through an extended study of myoglobin hydration with explicit solvent, directly investigating water and protein polarization. Results indicate a close correlation between polarization of both water and protein and the onset of protein function. The methodology of explicit solvent molecular dynamics was further used to study tubulin and microtubules. Extensive conformational sampling of the carboxy-terminal tails of 8-tubulin was performed via replica exchange molecular dynamics, allowing the characterisation of the flexibility, secondary structure and binding domains of the C-terminal tails through statistical analysis methods. Mechanical properties of tubulin and microtubules were calculated with adaptive biasing force molecular dynamics. The function of the M-loop in microtubule stability was demonstrated in these simulations. The flexibility of this loop allowed constant contacts between the protofilaments to be maintained during simulations while the smooth deformation provided a spring-like restoring force. Additionally, calculating the free energy profile between the straight and bent tubulin configurations was used to test the proposed conformational change in tubulin, thought to cause microtubule

  6. Combinatorial protein reagents to manipulate protein function.

    PubMed

    Colas, P

    2000-02-01

    The design and use of combinatorial protein libraries has become a fast moving field in molecular biology. Different experimental systems supporting various selection schemes are now available. The latest breakthroughs include evolutionary experiments to improve existing binding surfaces, selections of homodimerizing peptides, the use of peptide aptamers to disrupt protein interactions inside living cells, and functional selections of aptamers to probe regulatory networks.

  7. Surface Mediated Protein Disaggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radhakrishna, Mithun; Kumar, Sanat K.

    2014-03-01

    Preventing protein aggregation is of both biological and industrial importance. Biologically these aggregates are known to cause amyloid type diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Protein aggregation leads to reduced activity of the enzymes in industrial applications. Inter-protein interactions between the hydrophobic residues of the protein are known to be the major driving force for protein aggregation. In the current paper we show how surface chemistry and curvature can be tuned to mitigate these inter-protein interactions. Our results calculated in the framework of the Hydrophobic-Polar (HP) lattice model show that, inter-protein interactions can be drastically reduced by increasing the surface hydrophobicity to a critical value corresponding to the adsorption transition of the protein. At this value of surface hydrophobicity, proteins lose inter-protein contacts to gain surface contacts and thus the surface helps in reducing the inter-protein interactions. Further, we show that the adsorption of the proteins inside hydrophobic pores of optimal sizes are most efficient both in reducing inter-protein contacts and simultaneously retaining most of the native-contacts due to strong protein-surface interactions coupled with stabilization due to the confinement. Department of Energy (Grant No DE-FG02-11ER46811).

  8. Physics of protein motility and motor proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolomeisky, Anatoly B.

    2013-09-01

    Motor proteins are enzymatic molecules that transform chemical energy into mechanical motion and work. They are critically important for supporting various cellular activities and functions. In the last 15 years significant progress in understanding the functioning of motor proteins has been achieved due to revolutionary breakthroughs in single-molecule experimental techniques and strong advances in theoretical modelling. However, microscopic mechanisms of protein motility are still not well explained, and the collective efforts of many scientists are needed in order to solve these complex problems. In this special section the reader will find the latest advances on the difficult road to mapping motor proteins dynamics in various systems. Recent experimental developments have allowed researchers to monitor and to influence the activity of single motor proteins with a high spatial and temporal resolution. It has stimulated significant theoretical efforts to understand the non-equilibrium nature of protein motility phenomena. The latest results from all these advances are presented and discussed in this special section. We would like to thank the scientists from all over the world who have reported their latest research results for this special section. We are also grateful to the staff and editors of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter for their invaluable help in handling all the administrative and refereeing activities. The field of motor proteins and protein motility is fast moving, and we hope that this collection of articles will be a useful source of information in this highly interdisciplinary area. Physics of protein motility and motor proteins contents Physics of protein motility and motor proteinsAnatoly B Kolomeisky Identification of unique interactions between the flexible linker and the RecA-like domains of DEAD-box helicase Mss116 Yuan Zhang, Mirkó Palla, Andrew Sun and Jung-Chi Liao The load dependence of the physical properties of a molecular motor

  9. Evidence for a recent population bottleneck in an Apicomplexan parasite of caribou and reindeer, Besnoitia tarandi.

    PubMed

    Madubata, Chioma; Dunams-Morel, Detiger B; Elkin, Brett; Oksanen, Antti; Rosenthal, Benjamin M

    2012-12-01

    The evolutionary history and epidemiology of parasites may be reflected in the extent and geographic distribution of their genetic variation. Among coccidian parasites, the population structure of only Toxoplasma gondii has been extensively examined. Intraspecific variation in other coccidia, for example, those assigned to the genus Besnoitia, remains poorly defined. Here, we characterize the extent of genetic variation among populations of Besnoitia tarandi, a parasite whose intermediate hosts include reindeer/caribou (Rangifer tarandus). Isolates from the Canadian Arctic and Finnish sub-Arctic were genotyped at six microsatellite loci, the first internal transcribed spacer region of nuclear rDNA, and the RNA polymerase β subunit (rpoB) encoded in the plastid genome. Remarkably, all isolates exhibited the same multilocus genotype, regardless of the isolate's geographic origin. This absolute monomorphism occurred despite the capacity of these loci to vary, as established by evident differentiation between B. tarandi and two other species of Besnoitia, and variation among four isolates of B. besnoiti. The surprising lack of genetic variation across the sampled range suggests that B. tarandi may have experienced a recent population bottleneck. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. New paradigms for understanding and step changes in treating active and chronic, persistent apicomplexan infections

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Toxoplasma gondii, the most common parasitic infection of the human brain and eye, persists across lifetimes, can progressively damage sight, and is currently incurable. New, curative medicines are needed urgently. Herein, we developed novel models to facilitate drug development: EGS strain T. gondi...

  11. Eugregarines reduce susceptibility of the hide beetle, Dermestes maculatus, to apicomplexan pathogens and retard larval development

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Eugregarines are abundant in a great diversity of invertebrates, and yet their relationships with their hosts are subject to controversy and confusion. We tested the effect of the eugregarine, Pyxinia crystalligera, on growth, development, and susceptibility to two Apicomplexa pathogens of the hide ...

  12. Evidence for a population bottleneck in an Apicomplexan parasite of caribou and reindeer, Besnoitia tarandi

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The evolutionary history and epidemiology of parasites may be reflected in the extent and geographic distribution of their genetic variation. Among coccidian parasites, the population structure of only Toxoplasma gondii has been extensively examined. Intraspecific variation in other coccidia, for ...

  13. Parasitology as a Teaching Tool: Isolation of Apicomplexan Cysts from Store-Bought Meat

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eggleston, Tracy L.; Fitzpatrick, Eileen; Hager, Kristin M.

    2008-01-01

    There are obstacles to teaching science; however, these obstacles are not insurmountable. One obstacle is the students themselves. Students often labor under the misconception or anxiety that the course material will be too difficult to understand, or boring (mind-numbing), or that the information learned will not be applicable in their day-to-day…

  14. New paradigms for understanding and step changes in treating active and chronic, persistent apicomplexan infections

    PubMed Central

    McPhillie, Martin; Zhou, Ying; El Bissati, Kamal; Dubey, Jitender; Lorenzi, Hernan; Capper, Michael; Lukens, Amanda K; Hickman, Mark; Muench, Stephen; Verma, Shiv Kumar; Weber, Christopher R.; Wheeler, Kelsey; Gordon, James; Sanders, Justin; Moulton, Hong; Wang, Kai; Kim, Taek-Kyun; He, Yuqing; Santos, Tatiana; Woods, Stuart; Lee, Patty; Donkin, David; Kim, Eric; Fraczek, Laura; Lykins, Joseph; Esaa, Farida; Alibana-Clouser, Fatima; Dovgin, Sarah; Weiss, Louis; Brasseur, Gael; Wirth, Dyann; Kent, Michael; Hood, Leroy; Meunieur, Brigitte; Roberts, Craig W.; Hasnain, S. Samar; Antonyuk, Svetlana V.; Fishwick, Colin; McLeod, Rima

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii, the most common parasitic infection of human brain and eye, persists across lifetimes, can progressively damage sight, and is currently incurable. New, curative medicines are needed urgently. Herein, we develop novel models to facilitate drug development: EGS strain T. gondii forms cysts in vitro that induce oocysts in cats, the gold standard criterion for cysts. These cysts highly express cytochrome b. Using these models, we envisioned, and then created, novel 4-(1H)-quinolone scaffolds that target the cytochrome bc1 complex Qi site, of which, a substituted 5,6,7,8-tetrahydroquinolin-4-one inhibits active infection (IC50, 30 nM) and cysts (IC50, 4 μM) in vitro, and in vivo (25 mg/kg), and drug resistant Plasmodium falciparum (IC50, <30 nM), with clinically relevant synergy. Mutant yeast and co-crystallographic studies demonstrate binding to the bc1 complex Qi site. Our results have direct impact on improving outcomes for those with toxoplasmosis, malaria, and ~2 billion persons chronically infected with encysted bradyzoites. PMID:27412848

  15. Base excision repair apurinic/apyrimidinic endonucleases in apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Onyango, David O.; Naguleswaran, Arunasalam; Delaplane, Sarah; Reed, April; Kelley, Mark R.; Georgiadis, Millie M.; Sullivan, William J.

    2011-01-01

    DNA repair is essential for cell viability and proliferation. In addition to reactive oxygen produced as a byproduct of their own metabolism, intracellular parasites also have to manage oxidative stress generated as a defense mechanism by the host. The spontaneous loss of DNA bases due to hydrolysis and oxidative DNA damage in intracellular parasites is great, but little is known about the type of DNA repair machineries that exist in these early-branching eukaryotes. However, it is clear processes similar to DNA base excision repair (BER) must exist to rectify spontaneous and host-mediated damage in Toxoplasma gondii. Here we report that Toxoplasma gondii, an opportunistic protozoan pathogen, possesses two apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonucleases that function in DNA BER. We characterize the enzymatic activities of Toxoplasma exonuclease III (ExoIII, or Ape1) and endonuclease IV (EndoIV, or Apn1), designated TgAPE and TgAPN, respectively. Over-expression of TgAPN in Toxoplasma conferred protection from DNA damage, and viable knockouts of TgAPN were not obtainable. We generated an inducible TgAPN knockdown mutant using a ligand-controlled destabilization domain to establish that TgAPN is critical for Toxoplasma to recover from DNA damage. The importance of TgAPN and the fact that humans lack any observable APN family activity highlights TgAPN as a promising candidate for drug development to treat toxoplasmosis. PMID:21353648

  16. Looks can deceive: molecular identity of an intraerythrocytic apicomplexan parasite in Australian gliders.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Bing Y; Hartigan, Ashlie; Reppas, George; Higgins, Damien P; Canfield, Paul J; Slapeta, Jan

    2009-02-05

    Two yellow-bellied gliders (Petaurus australis) had an intraerythrocytic parasite closely related to the cyst-forming coccidia (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae). The parasitaemia persisted for 3 months or more but was observed to clear within 3 years in captivity. The parasite appears not to significantly debilitate its infected host. Traditionally, using morphological identification, the intraerythrocytic parasite would have been classified within the Hepatozoon species typically found in red blood cells. However, molecular diagnostic techniques targeting the parasite's SSU rDNA and LSU rDNA demonstrated the unusual identity of this blood parasite and disputed its identity as a haemogregarine parasite of the genus Hepatozoon. The sequence was compared with available sequences from diverse mammalian and non-mammalian blood parasites (malaria, piroplasms, hemosporidia and sarcosporidia). The intraerythrocytic blood parasite was found to be most closely related to the cyst-forming coccidia including Besnoitia spp., Cystoisospora spp., Hammondia spp., Hyaloklossia lieberkuehni, Neospora caninum, Sarcocystis spp. and Toxoplasma gondii. The life cycle of this intraerythrocytic parasite remains unknown. The presented DNA identification demonstrates its suitability for an improved identification of blood parasites.

  17. Parasitology as a Teaching Tool: Isolation of Apicomplexan Cysts from Store-Bought Meat

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eggleston, Tracy L.; Fitzpatrick, Eileen; Hager, Kristin M.

    2008-01-01

    There are obstacles to teaching science; however, these obstacles are not insurmountable. One obstacle is the students themselves. Students often labor under the misconception or anxiety that the course material will be too difficult to understand, or boring (mind-numbing), or that the information learned will not be applicable in their day-to-day…

  18. Neutrophil extracellular trap formation as innate immune reactions against the apicomplexan parasite Eimeria bovis.

    PubMed

    Behrendt, Jan Hillern; Ruiz, Antonio; Zahner, Horst; Taubert, Anja; Hermosilla, Carlos

    2010-01-15

    Eimeria bovis infections are under immunological control and recent studies have emphasized the role of early PMN-mediated innate immune responses in infected calves. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) have recently been demonstrated to act as a killing mechanism of PMN against several pathogens. In the present study, the interactions of bovine PMN with sporozoites of E. bovis were investigated in this respect in vitro. For demonstration and quantification of NET formation, extracellular DNA was stained by Sytox Orange. Fluorescence images after Sytox Orange staining as well as scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed NET formation to occur upon contact with E. bovis sporozoites. Exposure of PMN to viable sporozoites induced stronger NET formation than to dead or homogenized parasites. NET formation was abolished by treatment with DNase and could be reduced by diphenylene iodonium, which is described as a potent inhibitor of NADPH oxidase. After sporozoite and PMN co-culture, extracellular fibres were found attached to sporozoites and seemed to trap them, strongly suggesting that NETs immobilize E. bovis sporozoites and thereby prevent them from infecting host cells. Thus, transfer of sporozoites, previously being confronted with PMN, to adequate host cells resulted in clearly reduced infection rates when compared to PMN-free controls. NET formation by PMN may therefore represent an effector mechanism in early innate immune reactions against E. bovis. This is the first report indicating Eimeria-induced NET formation.

  19. Molecular cloning and functional expression of mannitol-1-phosphatase from the apicomplexan parasite Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Liberator, P; Anderson, J; Feiglin, M; Sardana, M; Griffin, P; Schmatz, D; Myers, R W

    1998-02-13

    A metabolic pathway responsible for the biosynthesis and utilization of mannitol is present in the seven species of Eimeria that infect chickens, but is not in the avian host. Mannitol-1-phosphatase (M1Pase), a key enzyme for mannitol biosynthesis, is a highly substrate-specific phosphatase and, accordingly, represents an attractive chemotherapeutic target. Amino acid sequence of tryptic peptides obtained from biochemically purified Eimeria tenella M1Pase was used to synthesize degenerate oligonucleotide hybridization probes. Using these reagents, a partial genomic clone and full-length cDNA clones have been isolated and characterized. The deduced amino acid sequence of E. tenella M1Pase shows limited overall homology to members of the phosphohistidine family of phosphatases. This limited homology to other histidine phosphatases does, however, include several conserved residues that have been shown to be essential for their catalytic activity. Kinetic parameters of recombinant M1Pase expressed in bacteria are essentially identical to those of the biochemically purified preparation from E. tenella. Moreover, recombinant M1Pase is subject to active site-directed, hydroxylamine-reversible inhibition by the histidine-selective acylating reagent diethyl pyrocarbonate. These results indicate the presence of an essential histidine residue(s) at the M1Pase active site, as predicted for a histidine phosphatase.

  20. A genetic linkage map for the apicomplexan protozoan parasite Eimeria maxima and comparison with Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Blake, Damer P; Oakes, Richard; Smith, Adrian L

    2011-02-01

    Eimeria maxima is one of the seven Eimeria spp. that infect the chicken and cause the disease coccidiosis. The well characterised immunogenicity and genetic diversity associated with E. maxima promote its use in genetics-led studies on avian coccidiosis. The development of a genetic map for E. maxima, presented here based upon 647 amplified fragment length polymorphism markers typed from 22 clonal hybrid lines and assembled into 13 major linkage groups, is a major new resource for work with this parasite. Comparison with genetic maps produced for other coccidial parasites indicates relatively high levels of genetic recombination. Conversion of ∼14% of the markers representing the major linkage groups to sequence characterised amplified region markers can provide a scaffold for the assembly of future genomic sequences as well as providing a foundation for more detailed genetic maps. Comparison with the Eimeria tenella genetic map produced 10years ago has revealed a less biased marker distribution, with no more than nine markers mapped within any unresolved heritable unit. Nonetheless, preliminary bioinformatic characterisation of the three largest publicly available genomic E. maxima sequences suggest that the feature-poor/feature-rich structure which has previously been found to define the first sequenced E. tenella chromosome also defines the E. maxima genome. The significance of such a segmented genome and the apparent potential for variation in genetic recombination will be relevant to haplotype stability and the longevity of future anticoccidial strategies based upon multiple loci targeted by novel chemotherapeutic drugs or recombinant subunit vaccines.

  1. Modulation of activation-associated host cell gene expression by the apicomplexan parasite Theileria annulata

    PubMed Central

    Durrani, Zeeshan; Weir, William; Pillai, Sreerekha; Kinnaird, Jane; Shiels, Brian

    2012-01-01

    Summary Infection of bovine leucocytes by Theileria annulata results in establishment of transformed, infected cells. Infection of the host cell is known to promote constitutive activation of pro-inflammatory transcription factors that have the potential to be beneficial or detrimental. In this study we have compared the effect of LPS activation on uninfected bovine leucocytes (BL20 cells) and their Theileria-infected counterpart (TBL20). Gene expression profiles representing activated uninfected BL20 relative to TBL20 cells were also compared. The results show that while prolonged stimulation with LPS induces cell death and activation of NF-κB in BL20 cells, the viability of Theileria-infected cells was unaffected. Analysis of gene expression networks provided evidence that the parasite establishes tight control over pathways associated with cellular activation by modulating reception of extrinsic stimuli and by significantly altering the expression outcome of genes targeted by infection-activated transcription factors. Pathway analysis of the data set identified novel candidate genes involved in manipulation of cellular functions associated with the infected transformed cell. The data indicate that the T. annulata parasite can irreversibly reconfigure host cell gene expression networks associated with development of inflammatory disease and cancer to generate an outcome thatis beneficial to survival and propagation of the infected leucocyte. PMID:22533473

  2. Eugregarines reduce susceptibility of the hide beetle, Dermestes maculatus, to apicomplexan pathogens and retard larval development.

    PubMed

    Lord, Jeffrey C; Omoto, Charlotte K

    2012-10-01

    Eugregarines are abundant in a great diversity of invertebrates, and yet their relationships with their hosts are subject to controversy and confusion. We tested the effect of the eugregarine, Pyxinia crystalligera, on growth, development, and susceptibility to two Apicomplexa pathogens of the hide beetle, D. maculatus. Heavy infection with eugregarines provided partial protection from two pathogenic members of Apicomplexa, M. trogodermae and A. tribolii. Infection with P. crystalligera caused lower weight in beetle larvae, but did not significantly retard pupation or adult emergence. A. tribolii infection of Lepidoptera and M. trogodermae infection of D. maculatus are reported for the first time. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. Antiparasitic Activity of Sulfur- and Fluorine-Containing Bisphosphonates against Trypanosomatids and Apicomplexan Parasites.

    PubMed

    Galaka, Tamila; Ferrer Casal, Mariana; Storey, Melissa; Li, Catherine; Chao, María N; Szajnman, Sergio H; Docampo, Roberto; Moreno, Silvia N J; Rodriguez, Juan B

    2017-01-04

    Based on crystallographic data of the complexes 2-alkyl(amino)ethyl-1,1-bisphosphonates-Trypanosoma cruzi farnesyl diphosphate synthase, some linear 1,1-bisphosphonic acids and other closely related derivatives were designed, synthesized and biologically evaluated against T. cruzi, the responsible agent of Chagas disease and against Toxoplasma gondii, the etiologic agent of toxoplasmosis and also towards the target enzymes farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase of T. cruzi (TcFPPS) and T gondii (TgFPPS), respectively. The isoprenoid-containing 1,1-bisphosphonates exhibited modest antiparasitic activity, whereas the linear α-fluoro-2-alkyl(amino)ethyl-1,1-bisphosphonates were unexpectedly devoid of antiparasitic activity. In spite of not presenting efficient antiparasitic activity, these data turned out to be very important to establish a structural activity relationship.

  4. Population, genetic, and antigenic diversity of the apicomplexan Eimeria tenella and their relevance to vaccine development.

    PubMed

    Blake, Damer P; Clark, Emily L; Macdonald, Sarah E; Thenmozhi, Venkatachalam; Kundu, Krishnendu; Garg, Rajat; Jatau, Isa D; Ayoade, Simeon; Kawahara, Fumiya; Moftah, Abdalgader; Reid, Adam James; Adebambo, Ayotunde O; Álvarez Zapata, Ramón; Srinivasa Rao, Arni S R; Thangaraj, Kumarasamy; Banerjee, Partha S; Dhinakar-Raj, G; Raman, M; Tomley, Fiona M

    2015-09-22

    The phylum Apicomplexa includes serious pathogens of humans and animals. Understanding the distribution and population structure of these protozoan parasites is of fundamental importance to explain disease epidemiology and develop sustainable controls. Predicting the likely efficacy and longevity of subunit vaccines in field populations relies on knowledge of relevant preexisting antigenic diversity, population structure, the likelihood of coinfection by genetically distinct strains, and the efficiency of cross-fertilization. All four of these factors have been investigated for Plasmodium species parasites, revealing both clonal and panmictic population structures with exceptional polymorphism associated with immunoprotective antigens such as apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1). For the coccidian Toxoplasma gondii only genomic diversity and population structure have been defined in depth so far; for the closely related Eimeria species, all four variables are currently unknown. Using Eimeria tenella, a major cause of the enteric disease coccidiosis, which exerts a profound effect on chicken productivity and welfare, we determined population structure, genotype distribution, and likelihood of cross-fertilization during coinfection and also investigated the extent of naturally occurring antigenic diversity for the E. tenella AMA1 homolog. Using genome-wide Sequenom SNP-based haplotyping, targeted sequencing, and single-cell genotyping, we show that in this coccidian the functionality of EtAMA1 appears to outweigh immune evasion. This result is in direct contrast to the situation in Plasmodium and most likely is underpinned by the biology of the direct and acute coccidian life cycle in the definitive host.

  5. Toxoplasma gondii Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinase Subunit 3 Is Involved in the Switch from Tachyzoite to Bradyzoite Development

    PubMed Central

    Sugi, Tatsuki; Ma, Yan Fen; Tomita, Tadakimi; Murakoshi, Fumi; Eaton, Michael S.; Yakubu, Rama; Han, Bing; Tu, Vincent; Kato, Kentaro; Kawazu, Shin-Ichiro; Gupta, Nishith; Suvorova, Elena S.; White, Michael W.; Kim, Kami

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular apicomplexan parasite that infects warm-blooded vertebrates, including humans. Asexual reproduction in T. gondii allows it to switch between the rapidly replicating tachyzoite and quiescent bradyzoite life cycle stages. A transient cyclic AMP (cAMP) pulse promotes bradyzoite differentiation, whereas a prolonged elevation of cAMP inhibits this process. We investigated the mechanism(s) by which differential modulation of cAMP exerts a bidirectional effect on parasite differentiation. There are three protein kinase A (PKA) catalytic subunits (TgPKAc1 to -3) expressed in T. gondii. Unlike TgPKAc1 and TgPKAc2, which are conserved in the phylum Apicomplexa, TgPKAc3 appears evolutionarily divergent and specific to coccidian parasites. TgPKAc1 and TgPKAc2 are distributed in the cytomembranes, whereas TgPKAc3 resides in the cytosol. TgPKAc3 was genetically ablated in a type II cyst-forming strain of T. gondii (PruΔku80Δhxgprt) and in a type I strain (RHΔku80Δhxgprt), which typically does not form cysts. The Δpkac3 mutant exhibited slower growth than the parental and complemented strains, which correlated with a higher basal rate of tachyzoite-to-bradyzoite differentiation. 3-Isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) treatment, which elevates cAMP levels, maintained wild-type parasites as tachyzoites under bradyzoite induction culture conditions (pH 8.2/low CO2), whereas the Δpkac3 mutant failed to respond to the treatment. This suggests that TgPKAc3 is the factor responsible for the cAMP-dependent tachyzoite maintenance. In addition, the Δpkac3 mutant had a defect in the production of brain cysts in vivo, suggesting that a substrate of TgPKAc3 is probably involved in the persistence of this parasite in the intermediate host animals. PMID:27247232

  6. Toxoplasma gondii Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinase Subunit 3 Is Involved in the Switch from Tachyzoite to Bradyzoite Development.

    PubMed

    Sugi, Tatsuki; Ma, Yan Fen; Tomita, Tadakimi; Murakoshi, Fumi; Eaton, Michael S; Yakubu, Rama; Han, Bing; Tu, Vincent; Kato, Kentaro; Kawazu, Shin-Ichiro; Gupta, Nishith; Suvorova, Elena S; White, Michael W; Kim, Kami; Weiss, Louis M

    2016-05-31

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular apicomplexan parasite that infects warm-blooded vertebrates, including humans. Asexual reproduction in T. gondii allows it to switch between the rapidly replicating tachyzoite and quiescent bradyzoite life cycle stages. A transient cyclic AMP (cAMP) pulse promotes bradyzoite differentiation, whereas a prolonged elevation of cAMP inhibits this process. We investigated the mechanism(s) by which differential modulation of cAMP exerts a bidirectional effect on parasite differentiation. There are three protein kinase A (PKA) catalytic subunits (TgPKAc1 to -3) expressed in T. gondii Unlike TgPKAc1 and TgPKAc2, which are conserved in the phylum Apicomplexa, TgPKAc3 appears evolutionarily divergent and specific to coccidian parasites. TgPKAc1 and TgPKAc2 are distributed in the cytomembranes, whereas TgPKAc3 resides in the cytosol. TgPKAc3 was genetically ablated in a type II cyst-forming strain of T. gondii (PruΔku80Δhxgprt) and in a type I strain (RHΔku80Δhxgprt), which typically does not form cysts. The Δpkac3 mutant exhibited slower growth than the parental and complemented strains, which correlated with a higher basal rate of tachyzoite-to-bradyzoite differentiation. 3-Isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) treatment, which elevates cAMP levels, maintained wild-type parasites as tachyzoites under bradyzoite induction culture conditions (pH 8.2/low CO2), whereas the Δpkac3 mutant failed to respond to the treatment. This suggests that TgPKAc3 is the factor responsible for the cAMP-dependent tachyzoite maintenance. In addition, the Δpkac3 mutant had a defect in the production of brain cysts in vivo, suggesting that a substrate of TgPKAc3 is probably involved in the persistence of this parasite in the intermediate host animals. Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most prevalent eukaryotic parasites in mammals, including humans. Parasites can switch from rapidly replicating tachyzoites responsible for acute infection to slowly

  7. Hydrodynamic effects in proteins.

    PubMed

    Szymczak, Piotr; Cieplak, Marek

    2011-01-26

    Experimental and numerical results pertaining to flow-induced effects in proteins are reviewed. Special emphasis is placed on shear-induced unfolding and on the role of solvent mediated hydrodynamic interactions in the conformational transitions in proteins.

  8. Learning about Proteins

    MedlinePlus

    ... body, and protecting you from disease. All About Amino Acids When you eat foods that contain protein, the ... called amino (say: uh-MEE-no) acids. The amino acids then can be reused to make the proteins ...

  9. Protein C blood test

    MedlinePlus

    ... a normal substance in the body that prevents blood clotting. A blood test can be done to see ... history of blood clots. Protein C helps control blood clotting. A lack of this protein or problem with ...

  10. Protein S blood test

    MedlinePlus

    ... a normal substance in your body that prevents blood clotting. A blood test can be done to see ... family history of blood clots. Protein S helps control blood clotting. A lack of this protein or problem with ...

  11. Protein and older adults.

    PubMed

    Chernoff, Ronni

    2004-12-01

    Body composition changes as people get older. One of the noteworthy alterations is the reduction in total body protein. A decrease in skeletal muscle is the most noticeable manifestation of this change but there is also a reduction in other physiologic proteins such as organ tissue, blood components, and immune bodies as well as declines in total body potassium and water. This contributes to impaired wound healing, loss of skin elasticity, and an inability to fight infection. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for adults for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Protein tissue accounts for 30% of whole-body protein turnover but that rate declines to 20% or less by age 70. The result of this phenomenon is that older adults require more protein/kilogram body weight than do younger adults. Recently, it has become clear that the requirement for exogenous protein is at least 1.0 gram/kilogram body weight. Adequate dietary intake of protein may be more difficult for older adults to obtain. Dietary animal protein is the primary source of high biological value protein, iron, vitamin B(12), folic acid, biotin and other essential nutrients. In fact, egg protein is the standard against which all other proteins are compared. Compared to other high-quality protein sources like meat, poultry and seafood, eggs are the least expensive. The importance of dietary protein cannot be underestimated in the diets of older adults; inadequate protein intake contributes to a decrease in reserve capacity, increased skin fragility, decreased immune function, poorer healing, and longer recuperation from illness.

  12. Modeling Protein Self Assembly

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, William P.; Jones, Carleton Buck; Hull, Elizabeth

    2004-01-01

    Understanding the structure and function of proteins is an important part of the standards-based science curriculum. Proteins serve vital roles within the cell and malfunctions in protein self assembly are implicated in degenerative diseases. Experience indicates that this topic is a difficult one for many students. We have found that the concept…

  13. Overview of Protein Microarrays

    PubMed Central

    Reymond Sutandy, FX; Qian, Jiang; Chen, Chien-Sheng; Zhu, Heng

    2013-01-01

    Protein microarray is an emerging technology that provides a versatile platform for characterization of hundreds of thousands of proteins in a highly parallel and high-throughput way. Two major classes of protein microarrays are defined to describe their applications: analytical and functional protein microarrays. In addition, tissue or cell lysates can also be fractionated and spotted on a slide to form a reverse-phase protein microarray. While the fabrication technology is maturing, applications of protein microarrays, especially functional protein microarrays, have flourished during the past decade. Here, we will first review recent advances in the protein microarray technologies, and then present a series of examples to illustrate the applications of analytical and functional protein microarrays in both basic and clinical research. The research areas will include detection of various binding properties of proteins, study of protein posttranslational modifications, analysis of host-microbe interactions, profiling antibody specificity, and identification of biomarkers in autoimmune diseases. As a powerful technology platform, it would not be surprising if protein microarrays will become one of the leading technologies in proteomic and diagnostic fields in the next decade. PMID:23546620

  14. CSF total protein

    MedlinePlus

    CSF total protein is a test to determine the amount of protein in your spinal fluid, also called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). ... The normal protein range varies from lab to lab, but is typically about 15 to 60 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) ...

  15. Modeling Protein Domain Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, William P.; Jones, Carleton "Buck"; Hull, Elizabeth

    2007-01-01

    This simple but effective laboratory exercise helps students understand the concept of protein domain function. They use foam beads, Styrofoam craft balls, and pipe cleaners to explore how domains within protein active sites interact to form a functional protein. The activity allows students to gain content mastery and an understanding of the…

  16. Destabilized bioluminescent proteins

    DOEpatents

    Allen, Michael S.; Rakesh, Gupta; Gary, Sayler S.

    2007-07-31

    Purified nucleic acids, vectors and cells containing a gene cassette encoding at least one modified bioluminescent protein, wherein the modification includes the addition of a peptide sequence. The duration of bioluminescence emitted by the modified bioluminescent protein is shorter than the duration of bioluminescence emitted by an unmodified form of the bioluminescent protein.

  17. Texturized dairy proteins

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Dairy proteins are amenable to structural modifications induced by high temperature, shear and moisture; in particular, whey proteins can change conformation to new unfolded states. The change in protein state is a basis for creating new foods. The dairy products, nonfat dried milk (NDM), whey prote...

  18. Modeling Protein Domain Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, William P.; Jones, Carleton "Buck"; Hull, Elizabeth

    2007-01-01

    This simple but effective laboratory exercise helps students understand the concept of protein domain function. They use foam beads, Styrofoam craft balls, and pipe cleaners to explore how domains within protein active sites interact to form a functional protein. The activity allows students to gain content mastery and an understanding of the…

  19. SAMPyling Proteins in Archaea

    PubMed Central

    Darwin, K. Heran; Hofmann, Kay

    2010-01-01

    For some time post-translational small protein modifications were found only in eukaryotes; much later, such modifications were identified in some species of bacteria. The recent discovery of ubiquitin-like proteins that form polymeric chains and covalently modify proteins in archaea finally closes the evolutionary gap among the domains of life. PMID:20547064

  20. The E5 Proteins

    PubMed Central

    DiMaio, Daniel; Petti, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    The E5 proteins are short transmembrane proteins encoded by many animal and human papillomaviruses. These proteins display transforming activity in cultured cells and animals, and they presumably also play a role in the productive virus life cycle. The E5 proteins are thought to act by modulating the activity of cellular proteins. Here, we describe the biological activities of the best-studied E5 proteins and discuss the evidence implicating specific protein targets and pathways in mediating these activities. The primary target of the 44-amino acid BPV1 E5 is the PDGF β receptor, whereas the EGF receptor appears to be an important target of the 83-amino acid HPV16 E5 protein. Both E5 proteins also bind to the vacuolar ATPase and affect MHC class I expression and cell-cell communication. Continued studies of the E5 proteins will elucidate important aspects of transmembrane protein-protein interactions, cellular signal transduction, cell biology, virus replication, and tumorigenesis. PMID:23731971

  1. Protein-protein interactions in multienzyme megasynthetases.

    PubMed

    Weissman, Kira J; Müller, Rolf

    2008-04-14

    The multienzyme polyketide synthases (PKSs), nonribosomal polypeptide synthetases (NRPSs), and their hybrids are responsible for the construction in bacteria of numerous natural products of clinical value. These systems generate high structural complexity by using a simple biosynthetic logic--that of the assembly line. Each of the individual steps in building the metabolites is designated to an independently folded domain within gigantic polypeptides. The domains are clustered into functional modules, and the modules are strung out along the proteins in the order in which they act. Every metabolite results, therefore, from the successive action of up to 100 individual catalysts. Despite the conceptual simplicity of this division-of-labor organization, we are only beginning to decipher the molecular details of the numerous protein-protein interactions that support assembly-line biosynthesis, and which are critical to attempts to re-engineer these systems as a tool in drug discovery. This review aims to summarize the state of knowledge about several aspects of protein-protein interactions, including current architectural models for PKS and NRPS systems, the central role of carrier proteins, and the structural basis for intersubunit recognition.

  2. Protopia: a protein-protein interaction tool

    PubMed Central

    Real-Chicharro, Alejandro; Ruiz-Mostazo, Iván; Navas-Delgado, Ismael; Kerzazi, Amine; Chniber, Othmane; Sánchez-Jiménez, Francisca; Medina, Miguel Ángel; Aldana-Montes, José F

    2009-01-01

    Background Protein-protein interactions can be considered the basic skeleton for living organism self-organization and homeostasis. Impressive quantities of experimental data are being obtained and computational tools are essential to integrate and to organize this information. This paper presents Protopia, a biological tool that offers a way of searching for proteins and their interactions in different Protein Interaction Web Databases, as a part of a multidisciplinary initiative of our institution for the integration of biological data . Results The tool accesses the different Databases (at present, the free version of Transfac, DIP, Hprd, Int-Act and iHop), and results are expressed with biological protein names or databases codes and can be depicted as a vector or a matrix. They can be represented and handled interactively as an organic graph. Comparison among databases is carried out using the Uniprot codes annotated for each protein. Conclusion The tool locates and integrates the current information stored in the aforementioned databases, and redundancies among them are detected. Results are compatible with the most important network analysers, so that they can be compared and analysed by other world-wide known tools and platforms. The visualization possibilities help to attain this goal and they are especially interesting for handling multiple-step or complex networks. PMID:19828077

  3. Protein crystallization with paper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuoka, Miki; Kakinouchi, Keisuke; Adachi, Hiroaki; Maruyama, Mihoko; Sugiyama, Shigeru; Sano, Satoshi; Yoshikawa, Hiroshi Y.; Takahashi, Yoshinori; Yoshimura, Masashi; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Murakami, Satoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Takano, Kazufumi

    2016-05-01

    We developed a new protein crystallization method that incorporates paper. A small piece of paper, such as facial tissue or KimWipes, was added to a drop of protein solution in the traditional sitting drop vapor diffusion technique, and protein crystals grew by incorporating paper. By this method, we achieved the growth of protein crystals with reducing osmotic shock. Because the technique is very simple and the materials are easy to obtain, this method will come into wide use for protein crystallization. In the future, it could be applied to nanoliter-scale crystallization screening on a paper sheet such as in inkjet printing.

  4. Highly thermostable fluorescent proteins

    DOEpatents

    Bradbury, Andrew M [Santa Fe, NM; Waldo, Geoffrey S [Santa Fe, NM; Kiss, Csaba [Los Alamos, NM

    2012-05-01

    Thermostable fluorescent proteins (TSFPs), methods for generating these and other stability-enhanced proteins, polynucleotides encoding such proteins, and assays and method for using the TSFPs and TSFP-encoding nucleic acid molecules are provided. The TSFPs of the invention show extremely enhanced levels of stability and thermotolerance. In one case, for example, a TSFP of the invention is so stable it can be heated to 99.degree. C. for short periods of time without denaturing, and retains 85% of its fluorescence when heated to 80.degree. C. for several minutes. The invention also provides a method for generating stability-enhanced variants of a protein, including but not limited to fluorescent proteins.

  5. Highly thermostable fluorescent proteins

    DOEpatents

    Bradbury, Andrew M.; Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Kiss, Csaba

    2011-03-22

    Thermostable fluorescent proteins (TSFPs), methods for generating these and other stability-enhanced proteins, polynucleotides encoding such proteins, and assays and method for using the TSFPs and TSFP-encoding nucleic acid molecules are provided. The TSFPs of the invention show extremely enhanced levels of stability and thermotolerance. In one case, for example, a TSFP of the invention is so stable it can be heated to 99.degree. C. for short periods of time without denaturing, and retains 85% of its fluorescence when heated to 80.degree. C. for several minutes. The invention also provides a method for generating stability-enhanced variants of a protein, including but not limited to fluorescent proteins.

  6. Highly thermostable fluorescent proteins

    DOEpatents

    Bradbury, Andrew M [Santa Fe, NM; Waldo, Geoffrey S [Santa Fe, NM; Kiss, Csaba [Los Alamos, NM

    2011-11-29

    Thermostable fluorescent proteins (TSFPs), methods for generating these and other stability-enhanced proteins, polynucleotides encoding such proteins, and assays and method for using the TSFPs and TSFP-encoding nucleic acid molecules are provided. The TSFPs of the invention show extremely enhanced levels of stability and thermotolerance. In one case, for example, a TSFP of the invention is so stable it can be heated to 99.degree. C. for short periods of time without denaturing, and retains 85% of its fluorescence when heated to 80.degree. C. for several minutes. The invention also provides a method for generating stability-enhanced variants of a protein, including but not limited to fluorescent proteins.

  7. Forces Stabilizing Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Pace, C. Nick; Scholtz, J. Martin; Grimsley, Gerald R.

    2014-01-01

    The goal of this article is to summarize what has been learned about the major forces stabilizing proteins since the late 1980s when site-directed mutagenesis became possible. The following conclusions are derived from experimental studies of hydrophobic and hydrogen bonding variants. 1. Based on studies of 138 hydrophobic interaction variants in 11 proteins, burying a –CH2– group on folding contributes 1.1 ± 0.5 kcal/mol to protein stability. 2. The burial of nonpolar side chains contributes to protein stability in two ways: first, a term that depends on the removal of the side chains from water and, more importantly, the enhanced London dispersion forces that result from the tight packing in the protein interior. 3. Based on studies of 151 hydrogen bonding variants in 15 proteins, forming a hydrogen bond on folding contributes 1.1 ± 0.8 kcal/mol to protein stability. 4. The contribution of hydrogen bonds to protein stability is strongly context dependent. 5. Hydrogen bonds by side chains and peptide groups make similar contributions to protein stability. 6. Polar group burial can make a favorable contribution to protein stability even if the polar group is not hydrogen bonded. 7. Hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonds both make large contributions to protein stability. PMID:24846139

  8. Protein Complexes in Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Caufield, J. Harry; Abreu, Marco; Wimble, Christopher; Uetz, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale analyses of protein complexes have recently become available for Escherichia coli and Mycoplasma pneumoniae, yielding 443 and 116 heteromultimeric soluble protein complexes, respectively. We have coupled the results of these mass spectrometry-characterized protein complexes with the 285 “gold standard” protein complexes identified by EcoCyc. A comparison with databases of gene orthology, conservation, and essentiality identified proteins conserved or lost in complexes of other species. For instance, of 285 “gold standard” protein complexes in E. coli, less than 10% are fully conserved among a set of 7 distantly-related bacterial “model” species. Complex conservation follows one of three models: well-conserved complexes, complexes with a conserved core, and complexes with partial conservation but no conserved core. Expanding the comparison to 894 distinct bacterial genomes illustrates fractional conservation and the limits of co-conservation among components of protein complexes: just 14 out of 285 model protein complexes are perfectly conserved across 95% of the genomes used, yet we predict more than 180 may be partially conserved across at least half of the genomes. No clear relationship between gene essentiality and protein complex conservation is observed, as even poorly conserved complexes contain a significant number of essential proteins. Finally, we identify 183 complexes containing well-conserved components and uncharacterized proteins which will be interesting targets for future experimental studies. PMID:25723151

  9. Protein and vegetarian diets.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Kate A; Munn, Elizabeth A; Baines, Surinder K

    2013-08-19

    A vegetarian diet can easily meet human dietary protein requirements as long as energy needs are met and a variety of foods are eaten. Vegetarians should obtain protein from a variety of plant sources, including legumes, soy products, grains, nuts and seeds. Eggs and dairy products also provide protein for those following a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet. There is no need to consciously combine different plant proteins at each meal as long as a variety of foods are eaten from day to day, because the human body maintains a pool of amino acids which can be used to complement dietary protein. The consumption of plant proteins rather than animal proteins by vegetarians may contribute to their reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

  10. Pigment-protein complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Siegelman, H W

    1980-01-01

    The photosynthetically-active pigment protein complexes of procaryotes and eucaryotes include chlorophyll proteins, carotenochlorophyll proteins, and biliproteins. They are either integral components or attached to photosynthetic membranes. Detergents are frequently required to solubilize the pigment-protein complexes. The membrane localization and detergent solubilization strongly suggest that the pigment-protein complexes are bound to the membranes by hydrophobic interactions. Hydrophobic interactions of proteins are characterized by an increase in entropy. Their bonding energy is directly related to temperature and ionic strength. Hydrophobic-interaction chromatography, a relatively new separation procedure, can furnish an important method for the purification of pigment-protein complexes. Phycobilisome purification and properties provide an example of the need to maintain hydrophobic interactions to preserve structure and function.

  11. Protein Folding: Detailed Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pande, Vijay

    Proteins play a fundamental role in biology. With their ability to perform numerous biological roles, including acting as catalysts, antibodies, and molecular signals, proteins today realize many of the goals that modern nanotechnology aspires to. However, before proteins can carry out these remarkable molecular functions, they must perform another amazing feat — they must assemble themselves. This process of protein self-assembly into a particular shape, or "fold" is called protein folding. Due to the importance of the folded state in the biological activity of proteins, recent interest from misfolding related diseases [1], as well as a fascination of just how this process occurs [2-4], there has been much work performed in order to unravel the mechanism of protein folding [5].

  12. [Atypical ubiquitination of proteins].

    PubMed

    Buneeva, O A; Medvedev, A E

    2016-07-01

    Ubiquitination is a type of posttranslational modification of intracellular proteins characterized by covalent attachment of one (monoubiquitination) or several (polyubiquitination) of ubiquitin molecules to target proteins. In the case of polyubiquitination, linear or branched polyubiquitin chains are formed. Their formation involves various lysine residues of monomeric ubiquitin. The best studied is Lys48-polyubiquitination, which targets proteins for proteasomal degradation. In this review we have considered examples of so-called atypical polyubiquitination, which mainly involves other lysine residues (Lys6, Lys11, Lys27, Lys29, Lys33, Lys63) and also N-terminal methionine. The considered examples convincingly demonstrate that polyubiquitination of proteins not necessarily targets proteins for their proteolytic degradation in proteasomes. Atypically polyubiquitinated proteins are involved in regulation of various processes and altered polyubiquitination of certain proteins is crucial for development of serious diseases.

  13. The Protein Folding Problem

    PubMed Central

    Dill, Ken A.; Ozkan, S. Banu; Shell, M. Scott; Weikl, Thomas R.

    2008-01-01

    The “protein folding problem” consists of three closely related puzzles: (a) What is the folding code? (b) What is the folding mechanism? (c) Can we predict the native structure of a protein from its amino acid sequence? Once regarded as a grand challenge, protein folding has seen great progress in recent years. Now, foldable proteins and nonbiological polymers are being designed routinely and moving toward successful applications. The structures of small proteins are now often well predicted by computer methods. And, there is now a testable explanation for how a protein can fold so quickly: A protein solves its large global optimization problem as a series of smaller local optimization problems, growing and assembling the native structure from peptide fragments, local structures first. PMID:18573083

  14. Protein solubility modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agena, S. M.; Pusey, M. L.; Bogle, I. D.

    1999-01-01

    A thermodynamic framework (UNIQUAC model with temperature dependent parameters) is applied to model the salt-induced protein crystallization equilibrium, i.e., protein solubility. The framework introduces a term for the solubility product describing protein transfer between the liquid and solid phase and a term for the solution behavior describing deviation from ideal solution. Protein solubility is modeled as a function of salt concentration and temperature for a four-component system consisting of a protein, pseudo solvent (water and buffer), cation, and anion (salt). Two different systems, lysozyme with sodium chloride and concanavalin A with ammonium sulfate, are investigated. Comparison of the modeled and experimental protein solubility data results in an average root mean square deviation of 5.8%, demonstrating that the model closely follows the experimental behavior. Model calculations and model parameters are reviewed to examine the model and protein crystallization process. Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  15. Compositional and expression analyses of the glideosome during the Plasmodium life cycle reveal an additional myosin light chain required for maximum motility.

    PubMed

    Green, Judith L; Wall, Richard J; Vahokoski, Juha; Yusuf, Noor A; Ridzuan, Mohd A Mohd; Stanway, Rebecca R; Stock, Jessica; Knuepfer, Ellen; Brady, Declan; Martin, Stephen R; Howell, Steven A; Pires, Isa P; Moon, Robert W; Molloy, Justin E; Kursula, Inari; Tewari, Rita; Holder, Anthony A

    2017-09-11

    Myosin A (MyoA) is a Class XIV myosin implicated in gliding motility and host cell and tissue invasion by malaria parasites. MyoA is part of a membrane-associated protein complex called the glideosome, which is essential for parasite motility and includes the MyoA light chain MTIP, and several glideosome-associated proteins (GAPs). However, most studies of MyoA have focused on single stages of the parasite life cycle. We examined MyoA expression throughout the Plasmodium berghei life cycle in both mammalian and insect hosts. In extracellular ookinetes, sporozoites and merozoites, MyoA was located at the parasite periphery. In the sexual stages, zygote formation and initial ookinete differentiation precede MyoA synthesis and deposition, which occurred only in the developing protuberance. In developing intracellular asexual blood stages, MyoA was synthesized in mature schizonts and was located at the periphery of segmenting merozoites, where it remained throughout maturation, merozoite egress and host cell invasion. Besides the known GAPs in the malaria parasite, the complex included GAP40, an additional myosin light chain designated essential light chain (ELC) and several other candidate components. This ELC bound the MyoA neck region adjacent to the MTIP binding site, and both myosin light chains co-located to the glideosome. Co-expression of MyoA with its two light chains revealed that the presence of both light chains enhances MyoA-dependent actin motility. In conclusion, we have established a system to study the interplay and function of the three glideosome components, enabling the assessment of inhibitors that target this motor complex to block host cell invasion. Copyright © 2017, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  16. Packing in protein cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaines, J. C.; Clark, A. H.; Regan, L.; O'Hern, C. S.

    2017-07-01

    Proteins are biological polymers that underlie all cellular functions. The first high-resolution protein structures were determined by x-ray crystallography in the 1960s. Since then, there has been continued interest in understanding and predicting protein structure and stability. It is well-established that a large contribution to protein stability originates from the sequestration from solvent of hydrophobic residues in the protein core. How are such hydrophobic residues arranged in the core; how can one best model the packing of these residues, and are residues loosely packed with multiple allowed side chain conformations or densely packed with a single allowed side chain conformation? Here we show that to properly model the packing of residues in protein cores it is essential that amino acids are represented by appropriately calibrated atom sizes, and that hydrogen atoms are explicitly included. We show that protein cores possess a packing fraction of φ ≈ 0.56 , which is significantly less than the typically quoted value of 0.74 obtained using the extended atom representation. We also compare the results for the packing of amino acids in protein cores to results obtained for jammed packings from discrete element simulations of spheres, elongated particles, and composite particles with bumpy surfaces. We show that amino acids in protein cores pack as densely as disordered jammed packings of particles with similar values for the aspect ratio and bumpiness as found for amino acids. Knowing the structural properties of protein cores is of both fundamental and practical importance. Practically, it enables the assessment of changes in the structure and stability of proteins arising from amino acid mutations (such as those identified as a result of the massive human genome sequencing efforts) and the design of new folded, stable proteins and protein-protein interactions with tunable specificity and affinity.

  17. Predictions of Protein-Protein Interfaces within Membrane Protein Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Asadabadi, Ebrahim Barzegari; Abdolmaleki, Parviz

    2013-01-01

    Background Prediction of interaction sites within the membrane protein complexes using the sequence data is of a great importance, because it would find applications in modification of molecules transport through membrane, signaling pathways and drug targets of many diseases. Nevertheless, it has gained little attention from the protein structural bioinformatics community. Methods In this study, a wide variety of prediction and classification tools were applied to distinguish the residues at the interfaces of membrane proteins from those not in the interfaces. Results The tuned SVM model achieved the high accuracy of 86.95% and the AUC of 0.812 which outperforms the results of the only previous similar study. Nevertheless, prediction performances obtained using most employed models cannot be used in applied fields and needs more effort to improve. Conclusion Considering the variety of the applied tools in this study, the present investigation could be a good starting point to develop more efficient tools to predict the membrane protein interaction site residues. PMID:23919118

  18. Toxic proteins in plants.

    PubMed

    Dang, Liuyi; Van Damme, Els J M

    2015-09-01

    Plants have evolved to synthesize a variety of noxious compounds to cope with unfavorable circumstances, among which a large group of toxic proteins that play a critical role in plant defense against predators and microbes. Up to now, a wide range of harmful proteins have been discovered in different plants, including lectins, ribosome-inactivating proteins, protease inhibitors, ureases, arcelins, antimicrobial peptides and pore-forming toxins. To fulfill their role in plant defense, these proteins exhibit various degrees of toxicity towards animals, insects, bacteria or fungi. Numerous studies have been carried out to investigate the toxic effects and mode of action of these plant proteins in order to explore their possible applications. Indeed, because of their biological activities, toxic plant proteins are also considered as potentially useful tools in crop protection and in biomedical applications, such as cancer treatment. Genes encoding toxic plant proteins have been introduced into crop genomes using genetic engineering technology in order to increase the plant's resistance against pathogens and diseases. Despite the availability of ample information on toxic plant proteins, very few publications have attempted to summarize the research progress made during the last decades. This review focuses on the diversity of toxic plant proteins in view of their toxicity as well as their mode of action. Furthermore, an outlook towards the biological role(s) of these proteins and their potential applications is discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Reverse Phase Protein Microarrays.

    PubMed

    Baldelli, Elisa; Calvert, Valerie; Hodge, Alex; VanMeter, Amy; Petricoin, Emanuel F; Pierobon, Mariaelena

    2017-01-01

    While genes and RNA encode information about cellular status, proteins are considered the engine of the cellular machine, as they are the effective elements that drive all cellular functions including proliferation, migration, differentiation, and apoptosis. Consequently, investigations of the cellular protein network are considered a fundamental tool for understanding cellular functions.Alteration of the cellular homeostasis driven by elaborate intra- and extracellular interactions has become one of the most studied fields in the era of personalized medicine and targeted therapy. Increasing interest has been focused on developing and improving proteomic technologies that are suitable for analysis of clinical samples. In this context, reverse-phase protein microarrays (RPPA) is a sensitive, quantitative, high-throughput immunoassay for protein analyses of tissue samples, cells, and body fluids.RPPA is well suited for broad proteomic profiling and is capable of capturing protein activation as well as biochemical reactions such as phosphorylation, glycosylation, ubiquitination, protein cleavage, and conformational alterations across hundreds of samples using a limited amount of biological material. For these reasons, RPPA represents a valid tool for protein analyses and generates data that help elucidate the functional signaling architecture through protein-protein interaction and protein activation mapping for the identification of critical nodes for individualized or combinatorial targeted therapy.

  20. Modeling Protein Expression and Protein Signaling Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Telesca, Donatello; Müller, Peter; Kornblau, Steven M.; Suchard, Marc A.; Ji, Yuan

    2015-01-01

    High-throughput functional proteomic technologies provide a way to quantify the expression of proteins of interest. Statistical inference centers on identifying the activation state of proteins and their patterns of molecular interaction formalized as dependence structure. Inference on dependence structure is particularly important when proteins are selected because they are part of a common molecular pathway. In that case, inference on dependence structure reveals properties of the underlying pathway. We propose a probability model that represents molecular interactions at the level of hidden binary latent variables that can be interpreted as indicators for active versus inactive states of the proteins. The proposed approach exploits available expert knowledge about the target pathway to define an informative prior on the hidden conditional dependence structure. An important feature of this prior is that it provides an instrument to explicitly anchor the model space to a set of interactions of interest, favoring a local search approach to model determination. We apply our model to reverse-phase protein array data from a study on acute myeloid leukemia. Our inference identifies relevant subpathways in relation to the unfolding of the biological process under study. PMID:26246646

  1. Protein kinesis: The dynamics of protein trafficking and stability

    SciTech Connect

    1995-12-31

    The purpose of this conference is to provide a multidisciplinary forum for exchange of state-of-the-art information on protein kinesis. This volume contains abstracts of papers in the following areas: protein folding and modification in the endoplasmic reticulum; protein trafficking; protein translocation and folding; protein degradation; polarity; nuclear trafficking; membrane dynamics; and protein import into organelles.

  2. A modified Lowry protein test for dilute protein solutions

    Treesearch

    Garold F. Gregory; Keith F. Jensen

    1971-01-01

    A modified Lowry protein test for dilute protein solutions modified Lowry protein test was compared with the standard Lowry protein test. The modified test was found to give estimates of protein concentration that were as good as the standard test and has the advange that proteins can be measured in very dilute solutions.

  3. Protein flexibility as a biosignal.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Qinyi

    2010-01-01

    Dynamic properties of a protein are crucial for all protein functions, and those of signaling proteins are closely related to the biological function of living beings. The protein flexibility signal concept can be used to analyze this relationship. Protein flexibility controls the rate of protein conformational change and influences protein function. The modification of protein flexibility results in a change of protein activity. The logical nature of protein flexibility cannot be explained by applying the principles of protein three-dimensional structure theory or conformation concept. Signaling proteins show high protein flexibility. Many properties of signaling can be traced back to the dynamic natures of signaling protein. The action mechanism of volatile anesthetics and universal cellular reactions are related to flexibility in the change of signaling proteins. We conclude that protein dynamics is an enzyme-enhanced process, called dynamicase.

  4. Antimicrobial proteins: From old proteins, new tricks.

    PubMed

    Smith, Valerie J; Dyrynda, Elisabeth A

    2015-12-01

    This review describes the main types of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) synthesised by crustaceans, primarily those identified in shrimp, crayfish, crab and lobster. It includes an overview of their range of microbicidal activities and the current landscape of our understanding of their gene expression patterns in different body tissues. It further summarises how their expression might change following various types of immune challenges. The review further considers proteins or protein fragments from crustaceans that have antimicrobial properties but are more usually associated with other biological functions, or are derived from such proteins. It discusses how these unconventional AMPs might be generated at, or delivered to, sites of infection and how they might contribute to crustacean host defence in vivo. It also highlights recent work that is starting to reveal the extent of multi-functionality displayed by some decapod AMPs, particularly their participation in other aspects of host protection. Examples of such activities include proteinase inhibition, phagocytosis, antiviral activity and haematopoiesis.

  5. Protein-protein Interactions using Radiolytic Footprinting

    SciTech Connect

    Takamoto,K.; Chance, M.

    2006-01-01

    Structural proteomics approaches using mass spectrometry are increasingly used in biology to examine the composition and structure of macromolecules. Hydroxyl radical-mediated protein footprinting using mass spectrometry has recently been developed to define structure, assembly, and conformational changes of macromolecules in solution based on measurements of reactivity of amino acid side chain groups with covalent modification reagents. Accurate measurements of side chain reactivity are achieved using quantitative liquid-chromatography-coupled mass spectrometry, whereas the side chain modification sites are identified using tandem mass spectrometry. In addition, the use of footprinting data in conjunction with computational modeling approaches is a powerful new method for testing and refining structural models of macromolecules and their complexes. In this review, we discuss the basic chemistry of hydroxyl radical reactions with peptides and proteins, highlight various approaches to map protein structure using radical oxidation methods, and describe state-of-the-art approaches to combine computational and footprinting data.

  6. Why Do Proteins Look Like Protein?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hao

    1998-03-01

    Protein structures in nature exhibit remarkable regularities (common structural motifs, tertiary symmetries etc.) which are absent from random compact conformations. Comparison of known protein structures in the structure databank reveals that certain popular folds are frequently found in protein families unrelated by sequence homology or biological function. Are protein structures selected merely by historical accident or is there some more fundamental reasons behind their selection? Our studies based on a simple model of protein folding suggest that a designability principle plays an important role in the selection of structures(H Li, R. Helling, C. Tang, N. S. Wingreen,Science) 273, 666 (1996). The designability of a structure is measured by the number of sequences which uniquely design the structure. In an exhaustive study of all possible sequences and structures for chains with different length, we find highly designable structures with number of associated sequences much larger than the average. These highly designable structures possess ``protein like'' structural motifs, and have higher mutational and thermodynamic stability. Thus they are more likely to be selected by nature and survive in the course of evolution. I will discuss how to formulate designability in terms of distribution of structures in a structure space. I will give an example where only hydrophobic interaction is considered. In this case designability of a structure can be obtained by a simple geometric construction, which naturally explains the origin of highly designable structure and the correlation between designability and thermodynamic stability. I will show that highly designable structures need to have an atypical pattern of residue solvent exposure along the backbone, which leads to structural regularity.

  7. Mechanisms Regulating Protein Localization.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Nicholas C; Doetsch, Paul W; Corbett, Anita H

    2015-10-01

    Cellular functions are dictated by protein content and activity. There are numerous strategies to regulate proteins varying from modulating gene expression to post-translational modifications. One commonly used mode of regulation in eukaryotes is targeted localization. By specifically redirecting the localization of a pool of existing protein, cells can achieve rapid changes in local protein function. Eukaryotic cells have evolved elegant targeting pathways to direct proteins to the appropriate cellular location or locations. Here, we provide a general overview of these localization pathways, with a focus on nuclear and mitochondrial transport, and present a survey of the evolutionarily conserved regulatory strategies identified thus far. We end with a description of several specific examples of proteins that exploit localization as an important mode of regulation.

  8. Supramolecular Chemistry Targeting Proteins.

    PubMed

    van Dun, Sam; Ottmann, Christian; Milroy, Lech-Gustav; Brunsveld, Luc

    2017-09-28

    The specific recognition of protein surface elements is a fundamental challenge in the life sciences. New developments in this field will form the basis of advanced therapeutic approaches and lead to applications such as sensors, affinity tags, immobilization techniques, and protein-based materials. Synthetic supramolecular molecules and materials are creating new opportunities for protein recognition that are orthogonal to classical small molecule and protein-based approaches. As outlined here, their unique molecular features enable the recognition of amino acids, peptides, and even whole protein surfaces, which can be applied to the modulation and assembly of proteins. We believe that structural insights into these processes are of great value for the further development of this field and have therefore focused this Perspective on contributions that provide such structural data.

  9. Protein Misfolding Diseases.

    PubMed

    Hartl, F Ulrich

    2017-06-20

    The majority of protein molecules must fold into defined three-dimensional structures to acquire functional activity. However, protein chains can adopt a multitude of conformational states, and their biologically active conformation is often only marginally stable. Metastable proteins tend to populate misfolded species that are prone to forming toxic aggregates, including soluble oligomers and fibrillar amyloid deposits, which are linked with neurodegeneration in Alzheimer and Parkinson disease, and many other pathologies. To prevent or regulate protein aggregation, all cells contain an extensive protein homeostasis (or proteostasis) network comprising molecular chaperones and other factors. These defense systems tend to decline during aging, facilitating the manifestation of aggregate deposition diseases. This volume of the Annual Review of Biochemistry contains a set of three articles addressing our current understanding of the structures of pathological protein aggregates and their associated disease mechanisms. These articles also discuss recent insights into the strategies cells have evolved to neutralize toxic aggregates by sequestering them in specific cellular locations.

  10. TRIM proteins and diseases.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Masashi; Hatakeyama, Shigetsugu

    2017-01-07

    Ubiquitination is one of the posttranslational modifications that regulates a number of intracellular events including signal transduction, protein quality control, transcription, cell cycle, apoptosis and development. The ubiquitin system functions as a garbage machine to degrade target proteins and as a regulator for several signalling pathways. Biochemical reaction of ubiquitination requires several enzymes including E1, E2 and E3, and E3 ubiquitin ligases play roles as receptors for recognizing target proteins. Most of the tripartite motif (TRIM) proteins are E3 ubiquitin ligases. Recent studies have shown that some TRIM proteins function as important regulators for a variety of diseases including cancer, inflammatory diseases, infectious diseases, neuropsychiatric disorders, chromosomal abnormalities and developmental diseases. In this review, we summarize the involvement of TRIM proteins in the aetiology of various diseases.

  11. Mayaro virus proteins.

    PubMed

    Mezencio, J M; Rebello, M A

    1993-01-01

    Mayaro virus was grown in BHK-21 cells and purified by centrifugation in a potassium-tartrate gradient (5-50%). The electron microscopy analyses of the purified virus showed an homogeneous population of enveloped particles with 69 +/- 2.3 nm in diameter. Three structural virus proteins were identified and designated p1, p2 and p3. Their average molecular weight were p1, 54 KDa; p2, 50 KDa and p3, 34 KDa. In Mayaro virus infected Aedes albopictus cells and in BHK-21 infected cells we detected six viral proteins, in which three of them are the structural virus proteins and the other three were products from processing of precursors of viral proteins, whose molecular weights are 62 KDa, 64 KDa and 110 KDa. The 34 KDa protein was the first viral protein synthesized at 5 hours post-infection in both cell lines studied.

  12. Protein-protein interactions as drug targets.

    PubMed

    Skwarczynska, Malgorzata; Ottmann, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Modulation of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) is becoming increasingly important in drug discovery and chemical biology. While a few years ago this 'target class' was deemed to be largely undruggable an impressing number of publications and success stories now show that targeting PPIs with small, drug-like molecules indeed is a feasible approach. Here, we summarize the current state of small-molecule inhibition and stabilization of PPIs and review the active molecules from a structural and medicinal chemistry angle, especially focusing on the key examples of iNOS, LFA-1 and 14-3-3.

  13. Protein Crystal Quality Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Eddie Snell, Post-Doctoral Fellow the National Research Council (NRC) uses a reciprocal space mapping diffractometer for macromolecular crystal quality studies. The diffractometer is used in mapping the structure of macromolecules such as proteins to determine their structure and thus understand how they function with other proteins in the body. This is one of several analytical tools used on proteins crystallized on Earth and in space experiments. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

  14. Computer Models of Proteins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Dr. Marc Pusey (seated) and Dr. Craig Kundrot use computers to analyze x-ray maps and generate three-dimensional models of protein structures. With this information, scientists at Marshall Space Flight Center can learn how proteins are made and how they work. The computer screen depicts a proten structure as a ball-and-stick model. Other models depict the actual volume occupied by the atoms, or the ribbon-like structures that are crucial to a protein's function.

  15. Protein Crystal Quality Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Eddie Snell, Post-Doctoral Fellow the National Research Council (NRC) uses a reciprocal space mapping diffractometer for macromolecular crystal quality studies. The diffractometer is used in mapping the structure of macromolecules such as proteins to determine their structure and thus understand how they function with other proteins in the body. This is one of several analytical tools used on proteins crystallized on Earth and in space experiments. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

  16. Protein oxidation and peroxidation

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Proteins are major targets for radicals and two-electron oxidants in biological systems due to their abundance and high rate constants for reaction. With highly reactive radicals damage occurs at multiple side-chain and backbone sites. Less reactive species show greater selectivity with regard to the residues targeted and their spatial location. Modification can result in increased side-chain hydrophilicity, side-chain and backbone fragmentation, aggregation via covalent cross-linking or hydrophobic interactions, protein unfolding and altered conformation, altered interactions with biological partners and modified turnover. In the presence of O2, high yields of peroxyl radicals and peroxides (protein peroxidation) are formed; the latter account for up to 70% of the initial oxidant flux. Protein peroxides can oxidize both proteins and other targets. One-electron reduction results in additional radicals and chain reactions with alcohols and carbonyls as major products; the latter are commonly used markers of protein damage. Direct oxidation of cysteine (and less commonly) methionine residues is a major reaction; this is typically faster than with H2O2, and results in altered protein activity and function. Unlike H2O2, which is rapidly removed by protective enzymes, protein peroxides are only slowly removed, and catabolism is a major fate. Although turnover of modified proteins by proteasomal and lysosomal enzymes, and other proteases (e.g. mitochondrial Lon), can be efficient, protein hydroperoxides inhibit these pathways and this may contribute to the accumulation of modified proteins in cells. Available evidence supports an association between protein oxidation and multiple human pathologies, but whether this link is causal remains to be established. PMID:27026395

  17. Pressure cryocooling protein crystals

    DOEpatents

    Kim, Chae Un [Ithaca, NY; Gruner, Sol M [Ithaca, NY

    2011-10-04

    Preparation of cryocooled protein crystal is provided by use of helium pressurizing and cryocooling to obtain cryocooled protein crystal allowing collection of high resolution data and by heavier noble gas (krypton or xenon) binding followed by helium pressurizing and cryocooling to obtain cryocooled protein crystal for collection of high resolution data and SAD phasing simultaneously. The helium pressurizing is carried out on crystal coated to prevent dehydration or on crystal grown in aqueous solution in a capillary.

  18. Protein trafficking through the endosomal system prepares intracellular parasites for a home invasion.

    PubMed

    Tomavo, Stanislas; Slomianny, Christian; Meissner, Markus; Carruthers, Vern B

    2013-10-01

    Toxoplasma (toxoplasmosis) and Plasmodium (malaria) use unique secretory organelles for migration, cell invasion, manipulation of host cell functions, and cell egress. In particular, the apical secretory micronemes and rhoptries of apicomplexan parasites are essential for successful host infection. New findings reveal that the contents of these organelles, which are transported through the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi, also require the parasite endosome-like system to access their respective organelles. In this review, we discuss recent findings that demonstrate that these parasites reduced their endosomal system and modified classical regulators of this pathway for the biogenesis of apical organelles.

  19. Acanthamoeba castellanii STAT Protein

    PubMed Central

    Kicinska, Anna; Leluk, Jacek; Jarmuszkiewicz, Wieslawa

    2014-01-01

    STAT (signal transducers and activators of transcription) proteins are one of the important mediators of phosphotyrosine-regulated signaling in metazoan cells. We described the presence of STAT protein in a unicellular, free-living amoebae with a simple life cycle, Acanthamoeba castellanii. A. castellanii is the only, studied to date, Amoebozoan that does not belong to Mycetozoa but possesses STATs. A sequence of the A. castellanii STAT protein includes domains similar to those of the Dictyostelium STAT proteins: a coiled coil (characteristic for Dictyostelium STAT coiled coil), a STAT DNA-binding domain and a Src-homology domain. The search for protein sequences homologous to A. castellanii STAT revealed 17 additional sequences from lower eukaryotes. Interestingly, all of these sequences come from Amoebozoa organisms that belong to either Mycetozoa (slime molds) or Centramoebida. We showed that there are four separated clades within the slime mold STAT proteins. The A. castellanii STAT protein branches next to a group of STATc proteins from Mycetozoa. We also demonstrate that Amoebozoa form a distinct monophyletic lineage within the STAT protein world that is well separated from the other groups. PMID:25338074

  20. Protein intakes in India.

    PubMed

    Swaminathan, Sumathi; Vaz, Mario; Kurpad, Anura V

    2012-08-01

    Indian diets derive almost 60 % of their protein from cereals with relatively low digestibility and quality. There have been several surveys of diets and protein intakes in India by the National Nutrition Monitoring Board (NNMB) over the last 25 years, in urban and rural, as well as in slum dwellers and tribal populations. Data of disadvantaged populations from slums, tribals and sedentary rural Indian populations show that the protein intake (mainly from cereals) is about 1 gm/kg/day. However, the protein intake looks less promising in terms of the protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS), using lysine as the first limiting amino acid, where all populations, particularly rural and tribal, appear to have an inadequate quality to their protein intake. The protein: energy (PE) ratio is a measure of dietary quality, and has been used in the 2007 WHO/FAO/UNU report to define reference requirement values with which the adequacy of diets can be evaluated in terms of a protein quality corrected PE ratio. It is likely that about one third of this sedentary rural population is at risk of not meeting their requirements. These levels of risk of deficiency are in a population with relatively low BMI populations, whose diets are also inadequate in fruits and vegetables. Therefore, while the burden of enhancing the quality of protein intake in rural India exists, the quality of the diet, in general, represents a challenge that must be met.

  1. Self assembling proteins

    DOEpatents

    Yeates, Todd O.; Padilla, Jennifer; Colovos, Chris

    2004-06-29

    Novel fusion proteins capable of self-assembling into regular structures, as well as nucleic acids encoding the same, are provided. The subject fusion proteins comprise at least two oligomerization domains rigidly linked together, e.g. through an alpha helical linking group. Also provided are regular structures comprising a plurality of self-assembled fusion proteins of the subject invention, and methods for producing the same. The subject fusion proteins find use in the preparation of a variety of nanostructures, where such structures include: cages, shells, double-layer rings, two-dimensional layers, three-dimensional crystals, filaments, and tubes.

  2. Consensus protein design

    PubMed Central

    Porebski, Benjamin T.; Buckle, Ashley M.

    2016-01-01

    A popular and successful strategy in semi-rational design of protein stability is the use of evolutionary information encapsulated in homologous protein sequences. Consensus design is based on the hypothesis that at a given position, the respective consensus amino acid contributes more than average to the stability of the protein than non-conserved amino acids. Here, we review the consensus design approach, its theoretical underpinnings, successes, limitations and challenges, as well as providing a detailed guide to its application in protein engineering. PMID:27274091

  3. Engineering therapeutic protein disaggregases

    PubMed Central

    Shorter, James

    2016-01-01

    Therapeutic agents are urgently required to cure several common and fatal neurodegenerative disorders caused by protein misfolding and aggregation, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Protein disaggregases that reverse protein misfolding and restore proteins to native structure, function, and localization could mitigate neurodegeneration by simultaneously reversing 1) any toxic gain of function of the misfolded form and 2) any loss of function due to misfolding. Potentiated variants of Hsp104, a hexameric AAA+ ATPase and protein disaggregase from yeast, have been engineered to robustly disaggregate misfolded proteins connected with ALS (e.g., TDP-43 and FUS) and PD (e.g., α-synuclein). However, Hsp104 has no metazoan homologue. Metazoa possess protein disaggregase systems distinct from Hsp104, including Hsp110, Hsp70, and Hsp40, as well as HtrA1, which might be harnessed to reverse deleterious protein misfolding. Nevertheless, vicissitudes of aging, environment, or genetics conspire to negate these disaggregase systems in neurodegenerative disease. Thus, engineering potentiated human protein disaggregases or isolating small-molecule enhancers of their activity could yield transformative therapeutics for ALS, PD, and AD. PMID:27255695

  4. PIC: Protein Interactions Calculator

    PubMed Central

    Tina, K. G.; Bhadra, R.; Srinivasan, N.

    2007-01-01

    Interactions within a protein structure and interactions between proteins in an assembly are essential considerations in understanding molecular basis of stability and functions of proteins and their complexes. There are several weak and strong interactions that render stability to a protein structure or an assembly. Protein Interactions Calculator (PIC) is a server which, given the coordinate set of 3D structure of a protein or an assembly, computes various interactions such as disulphide bonds, interactions between hydrophobic residues, ionic interactions, hydrogen bonds, aromatic–aromatic interactions, aromatic–sulphur interactions and cation–π interactions within a protein or between proteins in a complex. Interactions are calculated on the basis of standard, published criteria. The identified interactions between residues can be visualized using a RasMol and Jmol interface. The advantage with PIC server is the easy availability of inter-residue interaction calculations in a single site. It also determines the accessible surface area and residue-depth, which is the distance of a residue from the surface of the protein. User can also recognize specific kind of interactions, such as apolar–apolar residue interactions or ionic interactions, that are formed between buried or exposed residues or near the surface or deep inside. PMID:17584791

  5. PIC: Protein Interactions Calculator.

    PubMed

    Tina, K G; Bhadra, R; Srinivasan, N

    2007-07-01

    Interactions within a protein structure and interactions between proteins in an assembly are essential considerations in understanding molecular basis of stability and functions of proteins and their complexes. There are several weak and strong interactions that render stability to a protein structure or an assembly. Protein Interactions Calculator (PIC) is a server which, given the coordinate set of 3D structure of a protein or an assembly, computes various interactions such as disulphide bonds, interactions between hydrophobic residues, ionic interactions, hydrogen bonds, aromatic-aromatic interactions, aromatic-sulphur interactions and cation-pi interactions within a protein or between proteins in a complex. Interactions are calculated on the basis of standard, published criteria. The identified interactions between residues can be visualized using a RasMol and Jmol interface. The advantage with PIC server is the easy availability of inter-residue interaction calculations in a single site. It also determines the accessible surface area and residue-depth, which is the distance of a residue from the surface of the protein. User can also recognize specific kind of interactions, such as apolar-apolar residue interactions or ionic interactions, that are formed between buried or exposed residues or near the surface or deep inside.

  6. Chemical Synthesis of Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Nilsson, Bradley L.; Soellner, Matthew B.; Raines, Ronald T.

    2010-01-01

    Proteins have become accessible targets for chemical synthesis. The basic strategy is to use native chemical ligation, Staudinger ligation, or other orthogonal chemical reactions to couple synthetic peptides. The ligation reactions are compatible with a variety of solvents and proceed in solution or on a solid support. Chemical synthesis enables a level of control on protein composition that greatly exceeds that attainable with ribosome-mediated biosynthesis. Accordingly, the chemical synthesis of proteins is providing previously unattainable insight into the structure and function of proteins. PMID:15869385

  7. TRIM proteins in development.

    PubMed

    Petrera, Francesca; Meroni, Germana

    2012-01-01

    TRIM proteins play important roles in several patho-physiological processes. Their common activity within the ubiquitylation pathway makes them amenable to a number of diverse biological roles. Many of the TRIM genes are highly and sometimes specifically expressed during embryogenesis, it is therefore not surprising that several of them might be involved in developmental processes. Here, we primarily discuss the developmental implications of two subgroups of TRIM proteins that conserved domain composition and functions from their invertebrate ancestors. The two groups are: the TRIM-NHL proteins implicated in miRNA processing regulation and the TRIM-FN3 proteins involved in ventral midline development.

  8. Human Mitochondrial Protein Database

    National Institute of Standards and Technology Data Gateway

    SRD 131 Human Mitochondrial Protein Database (Web, free access)   The Human Mitochondrial Protein Database (HMPDb) provides comprehensive data on mitochondrial and human nuclear encoded proteins involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and function. This database consolidates information from SwissProt, LocusLink, Protein Data Bank (PDB), GenBank, Genome Database (GDB), Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM), Human Mitochondrial Genome Database (mtDB), MITOMAP, Neuromuscular Disease Center and Human 2-D PAGE Databases. This database is intended as a tool not only to aid in studying the mitochondrion but in studying the associated diseases.

  9. Staining Proteins in Gels

    PubMed Central

    Gallagher, Sean; Chakavarti, Deb

    2008-01-01

    Following separation by electrophoretic methods, proteins in a gel can be detected by several staining methods. This unit describes protocols for detecting proteins by four popular methods. Coomassie blue staining is an easy and rapid method. Silver staining, while more time consuming, is considerably more sensitive and can thus be used to detect smaller amounts of protein. Fluorescent staining is a popular alternative to traditional staining procedures, mainly because it is more sensitive than Coomassie staining, and is often as sensitive as silver staining. Staining of proteins with SYPRO Orange and SYPRO Ruby are also demonstrated here. PMID:19066521

  10. Staining proteins in gels.

    PubMed

    Gallagher, Sean; Chakavarti, Deb

    2008-07-08

    Following separation by electrophoretic methods, proteins in a gel can be detected by several staining methods. This unit describes protocols for detecting proteins by four popular methods. Coomassie blue staining is an easy and rapid method. Silver staining, while more time consuming, is considerably more sensitive and can thus be used to detect smaller amounts of protein. Fluorescent staining is a popular alternative to traditional staining procedures, mainly because it is more sensitive than Coomassie staining, and is often as sensitive as silver staining. Staining of proteins with SYPRO Orange and SYPRO Ruby are also demonstrated here.

  11. Protein unfolding through nanopores.

    PubMed

    Oukhaled, Abdelghani; Pastoriza-Gallego, Manuela; Bacri, Laurent; Mathé, Jérôme; Auvray, Loïc; Pelta, Juan

    2014-03-01

    In this mini-review we introduce and discuss a new method, at single molecule level, to study the protein folding and protein stability, with a nanopore coupled to an electric detection. Proteins unfolded or partially folded passing through one channel submitted to an electric field, in the presence of salt solution, induce different detectable blockades of ionic current. Their duration depends on protein conformation. For different studies proteins through nanopores, completely unfolded proteins induce only short current blockades. Their frequency increases as the concentration of denaturing agent or temperature increases, following a sigmoidal denaturation curve. The geometry or the net charge of the nanopores does not alter the unfolding transition, sigmoidal unfolding curve and half denaturing concentration or half temperature denaturation. A destabilized protein induces a shift of the unfolding curve towards the lower values of the denaturant agent compared to the wild type protein.Partially folded proteins exhibit very long blockades in nanopores. The blockade duration decreases when the concentration of denaturing agent increases. The variation of these blockades could be associated to a possible glassy behaviour.

  12. Dietary proteins and angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Medina, Miguel Ángel; Quesada, Ana R

    2014-01-17

    Both defective and persistent angiogenesis are linked to pathological situations in the adult. Compounds able to modulate angiogenesis have a potential value for the treatment of such pathologies. Several small molecules present in the diet have been shown to have modulatory effects on angiogenesis. This review presents the current state of knowledge on the potential modulatory roles of dietary proteins on angiogenesis. There is currently limited available information on the topic. Milk contains at least three proteins for which modulatory effects on angiogenesis have been previously demonstrated. On the other hand, there is some scarce information on the potential of dietary lectins, edible plant proteins and high protein diets to modulate angiogenesis.

  13. Ultrafiltration of pegylated proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molek, Jessica R.

    There is considerable clinical interest in the use of "second-generation" therapeutics produced by conjugation of a native protein with various polymers including polyethylene glycol (PEG). PEG--protein conjugates, so-called PEGylated proteins, can exhibit enhanced stability, half-life, and bioavailability. One of the challenges in the commercial production of PEGylated proteins is the purification required to remove unreacted polymer, native protein, and in many cases PEGylated proteins with nonoptimal degrees of conjugation. The overall objective of this thesis was to examine the use of ultrafiltration for the purification of PEGylated proteins. This included: (1) analysis of size-based separation of PEGylated proteins using conventional ultrafiltration membranes, (2) use of electrically-charged membranes to exploit differences in electrostatic interactions, and (3) examination of the effects of PEGylation on protein fouling. The experimental results were analyzed using appropriate theoretical models, with the underlying physical properties of the PEGylated proteins evaluated using size exclusion chromatography, capillary electrophoresis, dynamic light scattering, and reverse phase chromatography. PEGylated proteins were produced by covalent attachment of activated PEG to a protein via primary amines on the lysine residues. A simple model was developed for the reaction kinetics, which was used to explore the effect of reaction conditions and mode of operation on the distribution of PEGylated products. The effective size of the PEGylated proteins was evaluated using size exclusion chromatography, with appropriate correlations developed for the size in terms of the molecular weight of the native protein and attached PEG. The electrophoretic mobility of the PEGylated proteins were evaluated by capillary electrophoresis with the data in good agreement with a simple model accounting for the increase in protein size and the reduction in the number of protonated amine

  14. Hydrophobic folding units at protein-protein interfaces: implications to protein folding and to protein-protein association.

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, C. J.; Nussinov, R.

    1997-01-01

    A hydrophobic folding unit cutting algorithm, originally developed for dissecting single-chain proteins, has been applied to a dataset of dissimilar two-chain protein-protein interfaces. Rather than consider each individual chain separately, the two-chain complex has been treated as a single chain. The two-chain parsing results presented in this work show hydrophobicity to be a critical attribute of two-state versus three-state protein-protein complexes. The hydrophobic folding units at the interfaces of two-state complexes suggest that the cooperative nature of the two-chain protein folding is the outcome of the hydrophobic effect, similar to its being the driving force in a single-chain folding. In analogy to the protein-folding process, the two-chain, two-state model complex may correspond to the formation of compact, hydrophobic nuclei. On the other hand, the three-state model complex involves binding of already folded monomers, similar to the association of the hydrophobic folding units within a single chain. The similarity between folding entities in protein cores and in two-state protein-protein interfaces, despite the absence of some chain connectivities in the latter, indicates that chain linkage does not necessarily affect the native conformation. This further substantiates the notion that tertiary, non-local interactions play a critical role in protein folding. These compact, hydrophobic, two-chain folding units, derived from structurally dissimilar protein-protein interfaces, provide a rich set of data useful in investigations of the role played by chain connectivity and by tertiary interactions in studies of binding and of folding. Since they are composed of non-contiguous pieces of protein backbones, they may also aid in defining folding nuclei. PMID:9232644

  15. Regulation of protein secretion by ... protein secretion?

    PubMed

    Atmakuri, Krishnamohan; Fortune, Sarah M

    2008-09-11

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) requires an alternative protein secretion system, ESX1, for virulence. Recently, Raghavan et al. (2008) reported a new regulatory circuit that may explain how ESX1 activity is controlled during infection. Mtb appears to regulate ESX1 by modulating transcription of associated genes rather than structural components of the secretion system itself.

  16. Human Plasma Protein C

    PubMed Central

    Kisiel, Walter

    1979-01-01

    Protein C is a vitamin K-dependent protein, which exists in bovine plasma as a precursor of a serine protease. In this study, protein C was isolated to homogeneity from human plasma by barium citrate adsorption and elution, ammonium sulfate fractionation, DEAE-Sephadex chromatography, dextran sulfate agarose chromatography, and preparative polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Human protein C (Mr = 62,000) contains 23% carbohydrate and is composed of a light chain (Mr = 21,000) and a heavy chain (Mr = 41,000) held together by a disulfide bond(s). The light chain has an amino-terminal sequence of Ala-Asn-Ser-Phe-Leu- and the heavy chain has an aminoterminal sequence of Asp-Pro-Glu-Asp-Gln. The residues that are identical to bovine protein C are underlined. Incubation of human protein C with human α-thrombin at an enzyme to substrate weight ratio of 1:50 resulted in the formation of activated protein C, an enzyme with serine amidase activity. In the activation reaction, the apparent molecular weight of the heavy chain decreased from 41,000 to 40,000 as determined by gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate. No apparent change in the molecular weight of the light chain was observed in the activation process. The heavy chain of human activated protein C also contains the active-site serine residue as evidenced by its ability to react with radiolabeled diisopropyl fluorophosphate. Human activated protein C markedly prolongs the kaolin-cephalin clotting time of human plasma, but not that of bovine plasma. The amidolytic and anticoagulant activities of human activated protein C were completely obviated by prior incubation of the enzyme with diisopropyl fluorophosphate. These results indicate that human protein C, like its bovine counterpart, exists in plasma as a zymogen and is converted to a serine protease by limited proteolysis with attendant anticoagulant activity. Images PMID:468991

  17. Proteins on the move: insights gained from fluorescent protein technologies.

    PubMed

    Miyawaki, Atsushi

    2011-09-23

    Proteins are always on the move, and this may occur through diffusion or active transport. The realization that the regulation of signal transduction is highly dynamic in space and time has stimulated intense interest in the movement of proteins. Over the past decade, numerous new technologies using fluorescent proteins have been developed, allowing us to observe the spatiotemporal dynamics of proteins in living cells. These technologies have greatly advanced our understanding of protein dynamics, including protein movement and protein interactions.

  18. Multidomain proteins under force.

    PubMed

    Valle-Orero, Jessica; Rivas-Pardo, Jaime Andrés; Popa, Ionel

    2017-04-28

    Advancements in single-molecule force spectroscopy techniques such as atomic force microscopy and magnetic tweezers allow investigation of how domain folding under force can play a physiological role. Combining these techniques with protein engineering and HaloTag covalent attachment, we investigate similarities and differences between four model proteins: I10 and I91-two immunoglobulin-like domains from the muscle protein titin, and two α + β fold proteins-ubiquitin and protein L. These proteins show a different mechanical response and have unique extensions under force. Remarkably, when normalized to their contour length, the size of the unfolding and refolding steps as a function of force reduces to a single master curve. This curve can be described using standard models of polymer elasticity, explaining the entropic nature of the measured steps. We further validate our measurements with a simple energy landscape model, which combines protein folding with polymer physics and accounts for the complex nature of tandem domains under force. This model can become a useful tool to help in deciphering the complexity of multidomain proteins operating under force.

  19. Archaeal chromatin proteins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, ZhenFeng; Guo, Li; Huang, Li

    2012-05-01

    Archaea, along with Bacteria and Eukarya, are the three domains of life. In all living cells, chromatin proteins serve a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the structure and function of the genome. An array of small, abundant and basic DNA-binding proteins, considered candidates for chromatin proteins, has been isolated from the Euryarchaeota and the Crenarchaeota, the two major phyla in Archaea. While most euryarchaea encode proteins resembling eukaryotic histones, crenarchaea appear to synthesize a number of unique DNA-binding proteins likely involved in chromosomal organization. Several of these proteins (e.g., archaeal histones, Sac10b homologs, Sul7d, Cren7, CC1, etc.) have been extensively studied. However, whether they are chromatin proteins and how they function in vivo remain to be fully understood. Future investigation of archaeal chromatin proteins will lead to a better understanding of chromosomal organization and gene expression in Archaea and provide valuable information on the evolution of DNA packaging in cellular life.

  20. Synthesis of Lipidated Proteins.

    PubMed

    Mejuch, Tom; Waldmann, Herbert

    2016-08-17

    Protein lipidation is one of the major post-translational modifications (PTM) of proteins. The attachment of the lipid moiety frequently determines the localization and the function of the lipoproteins. Lipidated proteins participate in many essential biological processes in eukaryotic cells, including vesicular trafficking, signal transduction, and regulation of the immune response. Malfunction of these cellular processes usually leads to various diseases such as cancer. Understanding the mechanism of cellular signaling and identifying the protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions in which the lipoproteins are involved is a crucial task. To achieve these goals, fully functional lipidated proteins are required. However, access to lipoproteins by means of standard expression is often rather limited. Therefore, semisynthetic methods, involving the synthesis of lipidated peptides and their subsequent chemoselective ligation to yield full-length lipoproteins, were developed. In this Review we summarize the commonly used methods for lipoprotein synthesis and the development of the corresponding chemoselective ligation techniques. Several key studies involving full-length semisynthetic lipidated Ras, Rheb, and LC3 proteins are presented.

  1. Protein Kinases and Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Anna M.; Messing, Robert O.

    2011-01-01

    Although drugs of abuse have different chemical structures and interact with different protein targets, all appear to usurp common neuronal systems that regulate reward and motivation. Addiction is a complex disease that is thought to involve drug-induced changes in synaptic plasticity due to alterations in cell signaling, gene transcription, and protein synthesis. Recent evidence suggests that drugs of abuse interact with and change a common network of signaling pathways that include a subset of specific protein kinases. The best studied of these kinases are reviewed here and include extracellular signal-regulated kinase, cAMP-dependent protein kinase, cyclin-dependent protein kinase 5, protein kinase C, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and Fyn tyrosine kinase. These kinases have been implicated in various aspects of drug addiction including acute drug effects, drug self-administration, withdrawal, reinforcement, sensitization, and tolerance. Identifying protein kinase substrates and signaling pathways that contribute to the addicted state may provide novel approaches for new pharma-cotherapies to treat drug addiction. PMID:18991950

  2. Poxviral Ankyrin Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Herbert, Michael H.; Squire, Christopher J.; Mercer, Andrew A

    2015-01-01

    Multiple repeats of the ankyrin motif (ANK) are ubiquitous throughout the kingdoms of life but are absent from most viruses. The main exception to this is the poxvirus family, and specifically the chordopoxviruses, with ANK repeat proteins present in all but three species from separate genera. The poxviral ANK repeat proteins belong to distinct orthologue groups spread over different species, and align well with the phylogeny of their genera. This distribution throughout the chordopoxviruses indicates these proteins were present in an ancestral vertebrate poxvirus, and have since undergone numerous duplication events. Most poxviral ANK repeat proteins contain an unusual topology of multiple ANK motifs starting at the N-terminus with a C-terminal poxviral homologue of the cellular F-box enabling interaction with the cellular SCF ubiquitin ligase complex. The subtle variations between ANK repeat proteins of individual poxviruses suggest an array of different substrates may be bound by these protein-protein interaction domains and, via the F-box, potentially directed to cellular ubiquitination pathways and possible degradation. Known interaction partners of several of these proteins indicate that the NF-κB coordinated anti-viral response is a key target, whilst some poxviral ANK repeat domains also have an F-box independent affect on viral host-range. PMID:25690795

  3. Protein Flexibilty and Folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorpe, Michael

    2003-10-01

    In this talk we apply a novel approach to the exploration of energy landscapes of macromolecules and proteins that uses constraint theory. Constraints fix the bond lengths and bond angles and allow the use of theorems from graph theory to perform a rigid region decomposition of the network of atoms, which identifies the rigid regions, the flexible joints between them and also the stressed regions. We will show movies of the diffusive motion of various proteins. The protein unfolding transition is an example of a rigid to floppy transition and is shown to be more first order than second order because of the self-organized nature of the cross-linked polypeptide chain in the native protein. This approach emphasizes the universality in protein unfolding and allows the folding core and the transition state to be identified. Useful reference are: M.F. Thorpe, Ming Lei, A.J. Rader, Donald J. Jacobs and Leslie A. Kuhn Protein Flexibility Predictions using Graph Theory, Proteins 44, 150 - 165, (2001). A. J. Rader, Brandon M. Hespenheide, Leslie A. Kuhn and M. F. Thorpe Protein Unfolding: Rigidity Lost Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99, 3540-3545 (2002). More details of this work can be found via http://physics.asu.edu/mfthorpe

  4. Proteins and Amino Acids

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Proteins are the most abundant substances in living organisms and cells. All proteins are constructed from the same twenty amino acids that are linked together by covalent bonds. Shorter chains of two or more amino acids can be linked by covalent bonds to form polypeptides. There are twenty amino...

  5. Knotting pathways in proteins.

    PubMed

    Sułkowska, Joanna I; Noel, Jeffrey K; Ramírez-Sarmiento, César A; Rawdon, Eric J; Millett, Kenneth C; Onuchic, José N

    2013-04-01

    Most proteins, in order to perform their biological function, have to fold to a compact native state. The increasing number of knotted and slipknotted proteins identified suggests that proteins are able to manoeuvre around topological barriers during folding. In the present article, we review the current progress in elucidating the knotting process in proteins. Although we concentrate on theoretical approaches, where a knotted topology can be unambiguously detected, comparison with experiments is also reviewed. Numerical simulations suggest that the folding process for small knotted proteins is composed of twisted loop formation and then threading by either slipknot geometries or flipping. As the size of the knotted proteins increases, particularly for more deeply threaded termini, the prevalence of traps in the free energy landscape also increases. Thus, in the case of longer knotted and slipknotted proteins, the folding mechanism is probably supported by chaperones. Overall, results imply that knotted proteins can be folded efficiently and survive evolutionary pressure in order to perform their biological functions.

  6. Protein aggregation and prionopathies.

    PubMed

    Renner, M; Melki, R

    2014-06-01

    Prion protein and prion-like proteins share a number of characteristics. From the molecular point of view, they are constitutive proteins that aggregate following conformational changes into insoluble particles. These particles escape the cellular clearance machinery and amplify by recruiting the soluble for of their constituting proteins. The resulting protein aggregates are responsible for a number of neurodegenerative diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jacob, Alzheimer, Parkinson and Huntington diseases. In addition, there are increasing evidences supporting the inter-cellular trafficking of these aggregates, meaning that they are "transmissible" between cells. There are also evidences that brain homogenates from individuals developing Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases propagate the disease in recipient model animals in a manner similar to brain extracts of patients developing Creutzfeldt-Jacob's disease. Thus, the propagation of protein aggregates from cell to cell may be a generic phenomenon that contributes to the evolution of neurodegenerative diseases, which has important consequences on human health issues. Moreover, although the distribution of protein aggregates is characteristic for each disease, new evidences indicate the possibility of overlaps and crosstalk between the different disorders. Despite the increasing evidences that support prion or prion-like propagation of protein aggregates, there are many unanswered questions regarding the mechanisms of toxicity and this is a field of intensive research nowadays. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  7. Protein Attachment on Nanodiamonds.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chung-Lun; Lin, Cheng-Huang; Chang, Huan-Cheng; Su, Meng-Chih

    2015-07-16

    A recent advance in nanotechnology is the scale-up production of small and nonaggregated diamond nanoparticles suitable for biological applications. Using detonation nanodiamonds (NDs) with an average diameter of ∼4 nm as the adsorbents, we have studied the static attachment of three proteins (myoglobin, bovine serum albumin, and insulin) onto the nanoparticles by optical spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and dynamic light scattering, and electrophoretic zeta potential measurements. Results show that the protein surface coverage is predominantly determined by the competition between protein-protein and protein-ND interactions, giving each protein a unique and characteristic structural configuration in its own complex. Specifically, both myoglobin and bovine serum albumin show a Langmuir-type adsorption behavior, forming 1:1 complexes at saturation, whereas insulin folds into a tightly bound multimer before adsorption. The markedly different adsorption patterns appear to be independent of the protein concentration and are closely related to the affinity of the individual proteins for the NDs. The present study provides a fundamental understanding for the use of NDs as a platform for nanomedical drug delivery.

  8. Intracellular protein topogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Blobel, Günter

    1980-01-01

    Concurrently with or shortly after their synthesis on ribosomes, numerous specific proteins are unidirectionally translocated across or asymmetrically integrated into distinct cellular membranes. Thereafter, subpopulations of these proteins need to be sorted from each other and routed for export or targeted to other intracellular membranes or compartments. It is hypothesized here that the information for these processes, termed “protein topogenesis,” is encoded in discrete “topogenic” sequences that constitute a permanent or transient part of the polypeptide chain. The repertoire of distinct topogenic sequences is predicted to be relatively small because many different proteins would be topologically equivalent—i.e., targeted to the same intracellular address. The information content of topogenic sequences would be decoded and processed by distinct effectors. Four types of topogenic sequences could be distinguished: signal sequences, stop-transfer sequences, sorting sequences, and insertion sequences. Signal sequences initiate translocation of proteins across specific membranes. They would be decoded and processed by protein translocators that, by virtue of their signal sequence-specific domain and their unique location in distinct cellular membranes, effect unidirectional translocation of proteins across specific cellular membranes. Stop-transfer sequences interrupt the translocation process that was previously initiated by a signal sequence and, by excluding a distinct segment of the polypeptide chain from translocation, yield asymmetric integration of proteins into translocation-competent membranes. Sorting sequences would act as determinants for posttranslocational traffic of subpopulations of proteins, originating in translocation-competent donor membranes (and compartments) and going to translocation-incompetent receiver membranes (and compartments). Finally, insertion sequences initiate unilateral integration of proteins into the lipid bilayer

  9. Structures of membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Vinothkumar, Kutti R.; Henderson, Richard

    2010-01-01

    In reviewing the structures of membrane proteins determined up to the end of 2009, we present in words and pictures the most informative examples from each family. We group the structures together according to their function and architecture to provide an overview of the major principles and variations on the most common themes. The first structures, determined 20 years ago, were those of naturally abundant proteins with limited conformational variability, and each membrane protein structure determined was a major landmark. With the advent of complete genome sequences and efficient expression systems, there has been an explosion in the rate of membrane protein structure determination, with many classes represented. New structures are published every month and more than 150 unique membrane protein structures have been determined. This review analyses the reasons for this success, discusses the challenges that still lie ahead, and presents a concise summary of the key achievements with illustrated examples selected from each class. PMID:20667175

  10. Protein disulfide engineering.

    PubMed

    Dombkowski, Alan A; Sultana, Kazi Zakia; Craig, Douglas B

    2014-01-21

    Improving the stability of proteins is an important goal in many biomedical and industrial applications. A logical approach is to emulate stabilizing molecular interactions found in nature. Disulfide bonds are covalent interactions that provide substantial stability to many proteins and conform to well-defined geometric conformations, thus making them appealing candidates in protein engineering efforts. Disulfide engineering is the directed design of novel disulfide bonds into target proteins. This important biotechnological tool has achieved considerable success in a wide range of applications, yet the rules that govern the stabilizing effects of disulfide bonds are not fully characterized. Contrary to expectations, many designed disulfide bonds have resulted in decreased stability of the modified protein. We review progress in disulfide engineering, with an emphasis on the issue of stability and computational methods that facilitate engineering efforts. Copyright © 2013 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Artificially Engineered Protein Polymers.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yun Jung; Holmberg, Angela L; Olsen, Bradley D

    2017-06-07

    Modern polymer science increasingly requires precise control over macromolecular structure and properties for engineering advanced materials and biomedical systems. The application of biological processes to design and synthesize artificial protein polymers offers a means for furthering macromolecular tunability, enabling polymers with dispersities of ∼1.0 and monomer-level sequence control. Taking inspiration from materials evolved in nature, scientists have created modular building blocks with simplified monomer sequences that replicate the function of natural systems. The corresponding protein engineering toolbox has enabled the systematic development of complex functional polymeric materials across areas as diverse as adhesives, responsive polymers, and medical materials. This review discusses the natural proteins that have inspired the development of key building blocks for protein polymer engineering and the function of these elements in material design. The prospects and progress for scalable commercialization of protein polymers are reviewed, discussing both technology needs and opportunities.

  12. Protein expression-yeast.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Klaus H

    2014-01-01

    Yeast is an excellent system for the expression of recombinant eukaryotic proteins. Both endogenous and heterologous proteins can be overexpressed in yeast (Phan et al., 2001; Ton and Rao, 2004). Because yeast is easy to manipulate genetically, a strain can be optimized for the expression of a specific protein. Many eukaryotic proteins contain posttranslational modifications that can be performed in yeast but not in bacterial expression systems. In comparison with mammalian cell culture expression systems, growing yeast is both faster and less expensive, and large-scale cultures can be performed using fermentation. While several different yeast expression systems exist, this chapter focuses on the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and will briefly describe some options to consider when selecting vectors and tags to be used for protein expression. Throughout this chapter, the expression and purification of yeast eIF3 is shown as an example alongside a general scheme outline.

  13. Protein crystallization in microgravity.

    PubMed

    Aibara, S; Shibata, K; Morita, Y

    1997-12-01

    A space experiment involving protein crystallization was conducted in a microgravity environment using the space shuttle "Endeavour" of STS-47, on a 9-day mission from September 12th to 20th in 1992. The crystallization was carried out according to a batch method, and 5 proteins were selected as flight samples for crystallization. Two of these proteins: hen egg-white lysozyme and co-amino acid: pyruvate aminotransferase from Pseudomonas sp. F-126, were obtained as single crystals of good diffraction quality. Since 1992 we have carried out several space experiments for protein crystallization aboard space shuttles and the space station MIR. Our experimental results obtained mainly from hen egg-white lysozyme are described below, focusing on the effects of microgravity on protein crystal growth.

  14. Protein Unfolding and Alzheimer's

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Kelvin

    2012-10-01

    Early interaction events of beta-amyloid (Aβ) proteins with neurons have been associated with the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Knowledge pertaining to the role of lipid molecules, particularly cholesterol, in modulating the single Aβ interactions with neurons at the atomic length and picosecond time resolutions, remains unclear. In our research, we have used atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to explore early molecular events including protein insertion kinetics, protein unfolding, and protein-induced membrane disruption of Aβ in lipid domains that mimic the nanoscopic raft and non-raft regions of the neural membrane. In this talk, I will summarize our current work on investigating the role of cholesterol in regulating the Aβ interaction events with membranes at the molecular level. I will also explain how our results will provide new insights into understanding the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease associated with the Aβ proteins.

  15. Junin virus structural proteins.

    PubMed Central

    De Martínez Segovia, Z M; De Mitri, M I

    1977-01-01

    Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of purified Junin virus revealed six distinct structural polypeptides, two major and four minor ones. Four of these polypeptides appeared to be covalently linked with carbohydrate. The molecular weights of the six proteins, estimated by coelectrophoresis with marker proteins, ranged from 25,000 to 91,000. One of the two major components (number 3) was identified as a nucleoprotein and had a molecular weight of 64,000. It was the most prominent protein and was nonglycosylated. The other major protein (number 5), with a molecular weight of 38,000, was a glucoprotein and a component of the viral envelope. The location on the virion of three additional glycopeptides with molecular weights of 91,000, 72,000, and 52,000, together with a protein with a molecular weight of 25,000, was not well defined. PMID:189088

  16. Sac phosphatase domain proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, W E; Cooke, F T; Parker, P J

    2000-01-01

    Advances in our understanding of the roles of phosphatidylinositol phosphates in controlling cellular functions such as endocytosis, exocytosis and the actin cytoskeleton have included new insights into the phosphatases that are responsible for the interconversion of these lipids. One of these is an entirely novel class of phosphatase domain found in a number of well characterized proteins. Proteins containing this Sac phosphatase domain include the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae proteins Sac1p and Fig4p. The Sac phosphatase domain is also found within the mammalian phosphoinositide 5-phosphatase synaptojanin and the yeast synaptojanin homologues Inp51p, Inp52p and Inp53p. These proteins therefore contain both Sac phosphatase and 5-phosphatase domains. This review describes the Sac phosphatase domain-containing proteins and their actions, with particular reference to the genetic and biochemical insights provided by study of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. PMID:10947947

  17. Transdermal delivery of proteins.

    PubMed

    Kalluri, Haripriya; Banga, Ajay K

    2011-03-01

    Transdermal delivery of peptides and proteins avoids the disadvantages associated with the invasive parenteral route of administration and other alternative routes such as the pulmonary and nasal routes. Since proteins have a large size and are hydrophilic in nature, they cannot permeate passively across the skin due to the stratum corneum which allows the transport of only small lipophilic drug molecules. Enhancement techniques such as chemical enhancers, iontophoresis, microneedles, electroporation, sonophoresis, thermal ablation, laser ablation, radiofrequency ablation and noninvasive jet injectors aid in the delivery of proteins by overcoming the skin barrier in different ways. In this review, these enhancement techniques that can enable the transdermal delivery of proteins are discussed, including a discussion of mechanisms, sterility requirements, and commercial development of products. Combination of enhancement techniques may result in a synergistic effect allowing increased protein delivery and these are also discussed.

  18. Manipulating and Visualizing Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Simon, Horst D.

    2003-12-05

    ProteinShop Gives Researchers a Hands-On Tool for Manipulating, Visualizing Protein Structures. The Human Genome Project and other biological research efforts are creating an avalanche of new data about the chemical makeup and genetic codes of living organisms. But in order to make sense of this raw data, researchers need software tools which let them explore and model data in a more intuitive fashion. With this in mind, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Davis, have developed ProteinShop, a visualization and modeling program which allows researchers to manipulate protein structures with pinpoint control, guided in large part by their own biological and experimental instincts. Biologists have spent the last half century trying to unravel the ''protein folding problem,'' which refers to the way chains of amino acids physically fold themselves into three-dimensional proteins. This final shape, which resembles a crumpled ribbon or piece of origami, is what determines how the protein functions and translates genetic information. Understanding and modeling this geometrically complex formation is no easy matter. ProteinShop takes a given sequence of amino acids and uses visualization guides to help generate predictions about the secondary structures, identifying alpha helices and flat beta strands, and the coil regions that bind them. Once secondary structures are in place, researchers can twist and turn these pre-configurations until they come up with a number of possible tertiary structure conformations. In turn, these are fed into a computationally intensive optimization procedure that tries to find the final, three-dimensional protein structure. Most importantly, ProteinShop allows users to add human knowledge and intuition to the protein structure prediction process, thus bypassing bad configurations that would otherwise be fruitless for optimization. This saves compute cycles and accelerates the entire process, so

  19. Proteins in unexpected locations.

    PubMed Central

    Smalheiser, N R

    1996-01-01

    Members of all classes of proteins--cytoskeletal components, secreted growth factors, glycolytic enzymes, kinases, transcription factors, chaperones, transmembrane proteins, and extracellular matrix proteins--have been identified in cellular compartments other than their conventional sites of action. Some of these proteins are expressed as distinct compartment-specific isoforms, have novel mechanisms for intercompartmental translocation, have distinct endogenous biological actions within each compartment, and are regulated in a compartment-specific manner as a function of physiologic state. The possibility that many, if not most, proteins have distinct roles in more than one cellular compartment has implications for the evolution of cell organization and may be important for understanding pathological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and cancer. PMID:8862516

  20. Drugging Membrane Protein Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Hang; Flynn, Aaron D.

    2016-01-01

    The majority of therapeutics target membrane proteins, accessible on the surface of cells, to alter cellular signaling. Cells use membrane proteins to transduce signals into cells, transport ions and molecules, bind the cell to a surface or substrate, and catalyze reactions. Newly devised technologies allow us to drug conventionally “undruggable” regions of membrane proteins, enabling modulation of protein–protein, protein–lipid, and protein–nucleic acid interactions. In this review, we survey the state of the art in high-throughput screening and rational design in drug discovery, and we evaluate the advances in biological understanding and technological capacity that will drive pharmacotherapy forward against unorthodox membrane protein targets. PMID:26863923

  1. Proteins, fluctuations and complexity

    SciTech Connect

    Frauenfelder, Hans; Chen, Guo; Fenimore, Paul W

    2008-01-01

    Glasses, supercooled liquids, and proteins share common properties, in particular the existence of two different types of fluctuations, {alpha} and {beta}. While the effect of the {alpha} fluctuations on proteins has been known for a few years, the effect of {beta} fluctuations has not been understood. By comparing neutron scattering data on the protein myoglobin with the {beta} fluctuations in the hydration shell measured by dielectric spectroscopy we show that the internal protein motions are slaved to these fluctuations. We also show that there is no 'dynamic transition' in proteins near 200 K. The rapid increase in the mean square displacement with temperature in many neutron scattering experiments is quantitatively predicted by the {beta} fluctuations in the hydration shell.

  2. [Controversies around diet proteins].

    PubMed

    Cichosz, Grazyna; Czeczot, Hanna

    2013-12-01

    Critical theories regarding proteins of anima origin are still and still popularized, though they are ungrounded from scientific point of view. Predominance of soya proteins over the animal ones in relation to their influence on calcium metabolism, bone break risk or risk of osteoporosis morbidity has not been confirmed in any honest, reliable research experiment. Statement, that sulphur amino acids influence disadvantageously on calcium metabolism of human organism and bone status, is completely groundless, the more so as presence of sulphur amino acids in diet (animal proteins are their best source) is the condition of endogenic synthesis of glutathione, the key antioxidant of the organism, and taurine stimulating brain functioning. Deficiency of proteins in the diet produce weakness of intellectual effectiveness and immune response. There is no doubt that limitation of consumption of animal proteins of standard value is not good for health.

  3. Protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, Charles E.

    1993-01-01

    Proteins account for 50% or more of the dry weight of most living systems and play a crucial role in virtually all biological processes. Since the specific functions of essentially all biological molecules are determined by their three-dimensional structures, it is obvious that a detailed understanding of the structural makeup of a protein is essential to any systematic research pertaining to it. At the present time, protein crystallography has no substitute, it is the only technique available for elucidating the atomic arrangements within complicated biological molecules. Most macromolecules are extremely difficult to crystallize, and many otherwise exciting and promising projects have terminated at the crystal growth stage. There is a pressing need to better understand protein crystal growth, and to develop new techniques that can be used to enhance the size and quality of protein crystals. There are several aspects of microgravity that might be exploited to enhance protein crystal growth. The major factor that might be expected to alter crystal growth processes in space is the elimination of density-driven convective flow. Another factor that can be readily controlled in the absence of gravity is the sedimentation of growing crystal in a gravitational field. Another potential advantage of microgravity for protein crystal growth is the option of doing containerless crystal growth. One can readily understand why the microgravity environment established by Earth-orbiting vehicles is perceived to offer unique opportunities for the protein crystallographer. The near term objectives of the Protein Crystal Growth in a Microgravity Environment (PCG/ME) project is to continue to improve the techniques, procedures, and hardware systems used to grow protein crystals in Earth orbit.

  4. Non-equilibrium proteins.

    PubMed

    Klonowski, W

    2001-07-01

    There exist no methodical studies concerning non-equilibrium systems in cellular biology. This paper is an attempt to partially fill this shortcoming. We have undertaken an extensive data-mining operation in the existing scientific literature to find scattered information about non-equilibrium subcellular systems, in particular concerning fast proteins, i.e. those with short turnover half-time. We have advanced the hypothesis that functionality in fast proteins emerges as a consequence of their intrinsic physical instability that arises due to conformational strains resulting from co-translational folding (the interdependence between chain elongation and chain folding during biosynthesis on ribosomes). Such intrinsic physical instability, a kind of conformon (Klonowski-Klonowska conformon, according to Ji, (Molecular Theories of Cell Life and Death, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, 1991)) is probably the most important feature determining functionality and timing in these proteins. If our hypothesis is true, the turnover half-time of fast proteins should be positively correlated with their molecular weight, and some experimental results (Ames et al., J. Neurochem. 35 (1980) 131) indeed demonstrated such a correlation. Once the native structure (and function) of a fast protein macromolecule is lost, it may not be recovered--denaturation of such proteins will always be irreversible; therefore, we searched for information on irreversible denaturation. Only simulation and modeling of protein co-translational folding may answer the questions concerning fast proteins (Ruggiero and Sacile, Med. Biol. Eng. Comp. 37 (Suppl. 1) (1999) 363). Non-equilibrium structures may also be built up of protein subunits, even if each one taken by itself is in thermodynamic equilibrium (oligomeric proteins; sub-cellular sol-gel dissipative network structures).

  5. Purifying protein complexes for mass spectrometry: applications to protein translation.

    PubMed

    Link, Andrew J; Fleischer, Tracey C; Weaver, Connie M; Gerbasi, Vincent R; Jennings, Jennifer L

    2005-03-01

    Proteins control and mediate most of the biological activities in the cell. In most cases, proteins either interact with regulatory proteins or function in large molecular assemblies to carryout biological processes. Understanding the functions of individual proteins requires the identification of these interacting proteins. With its speed and sensitivity, mass spectrometry has become the dominant method for identifying components of protein complexes. This article reviews and discusses various approaches to purify protein complexes and analyze the proteins using mass spectrometry. As examples, methods to isolate and analyze protein complexes responsible for the translation of messenger RNAs into polypeptides are described.

  6. New Compound Classes: Protein-Protein Interactions.

    PubMed

    Ottmann, C

    2016-01-01

    "Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are one of the most promising new targets in drug discovery. With estimates between 300,000 and 650,000 in human physiology, targeted modulation of PPIs would tremendously extend the "druggable" genome. In fact, in every disease a wealth of potentially addressable PPIs can be found making pharmacological intervention based on PPI modulators in principle a generally applicable technology. An impressing number of success stories in small-molecule PPI inhibition and natural-product PPI stabilization increasingly encourage academia and industry to invest in PPI modulation. In this chapter examples of both inhibition as well as stabilization of PPIs are reviewed including some of the technologies which has been used for their identification."

  7. Tear fluid protein biomarkers.

    PubMed

    You, Jingjing; Willcox, Mark D; Madigan, Michele C; Wasinger, Valerie; Schiller, Belinda; Walsh, Bradley J; Graham, Peter H; Kearsley, John H; Li, Yong

    2013-01-01

    The tear film covers and protects the ocular surface. It contains various molecules including a large variety of proteins. The protein composition of the tear fluid can change with respect to various local and systemic diseases. Prior to the advent of the proteomic era, tear protein analysis was limited to a few analytical techniques, the most common of which was immunoelectrophoresis, an approach dependent on antibody availability. Using proteomics, hundreds of tear proteins could potentially be identified and subsequently studied. Although detection of low-abundance proteins in the complex tear proteome remains a challenge, advances in sample fractionation and mass spectrometry have greatly enhanced our ability to detect these proteins. With increasing proteomic applications, tears show great potential as biomarkers in the development of clinical assays for various human diseases. In this chapter, we discuss the structure and functions of the tear film and methods for its collection. We also summarize potential tear protein biomarkers identified using proteomic techniques for both ocular and systemic diseases. Finally, modern proteomic techniques for tear biomarker research and future challenges are explored.

  8. Endometrial proteins: a reappraisal.

    PubMed

    Seppälä, M; Julkunen, M; Riittinen, L; Koistinen, R

    1992-06-01

    Uterine factors influence reproduction at the macro-anatomy level, and the effects of hormonal steroids on endometrial morphology are well recognized in the histopathological diagnosis of dysfunctional bleeding and infertility. During the past decade, attention has been paid to endometrial protein synthesis and secretion with respect to endocrine stimuli and implantation, and to the paracrine/autocrine effects of endometrial peptide growth factors, their binding proteins and other factors. The emphasis of this presentation is on protein secretion of the secretory endometrium, in which progesterone plays a pivotal role. Insulin-like growth factors have receptors on the endometrium, and IGF-binding proteins, stimulated by progesterone, modulate the effects of IGFs locally. Also other protein products of the secretory endometrium have been reviewed in this communication, with special emphasis on studies of a progesterone-associated endometrial protein which has many names in the literature, such as PEP, PP14, alpha 2-PEG and AUP. Extensive studies are ongoing in many laboratories to elucidate the regulation, function, interplay at tissue and cellular levels, and clinical significance of these proteins.

  9. Multidomain proteins under force

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valle-Orero, Jessica; Andrés Rivas-Pardo, Jaime; Popa, Ionel

    2017-04-01

    Advancements in single-molecule force spectroscopy techniques such as atomic force microscopy and magnetic tweezers allow investigation of how domain folding under force can play a physiological role. Combining these techniques with protein engineering and HaloTag covalent attachment, we investigate similarities and differences between four model proteins: I10 and I91—two immunoglobulin-like domains from the muscle protein titin, and two α + β fold proteins—ubiquitin and protein L. These proteins show a different mechanical response and have unique extensions under force. Remarkably, when normalized to their contour length, the size of the unfolding and refolding steps as a function of force reduces to a single master curve. This curve can be described using standard models of polymer elasticity, explaining the entropic nature of the measured steps. We further validate our measurements with a simple energy landscape model, which combines protein folding with polymer physics and accounts for the complex nature of tandem domains under force. This model can become a useful tool to help in deciphering the complexity of multidomain proteins operating under force.

  10. TRIM proteins in cancer.

    PubMed

    Cambiaghi, Valeria; Giuliani, Virginia; Lombardi, Sara; Marinelli, Cristiano; Toffalorio, Francesca; Pelicci, Pier Giuseppe

    2012-01-01

    Some members of the tripartite motif (TRIM/RBCC) protein family are thought to be important regulators of carcinogenesis. This is not surprising as the TRIM proteins are involved in several biological processes, such as cell growth, development and cellular differentiation and alteration of these proteins can affect transcriptional regulation, cell proliferation and apoptosis. In particular, four TRIM family genes are frequently translocated to other genes, generating fusion proteins implicated in cancer initiation and progression. Among these the most famous is the promyelocytic leukaemia gene PML, which encodes the protein TRIM19. PML is involved in the t(15;17) translocation that specifically occurs in Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia (APL), resulting in a PML-retinoic acid receptor-alpha (PML-RARalpha) fusion protein. Other members of the TRIM family are linked to cancer development without being involved in chromosomal re-arrangements, possibly through ubiquitination or loss of tumour suppression functions. This chapter discusses the biological functions of TRIM proteins in cancer.

  11. Direct polymerization of proteins.

    PubMed

    Albayrak, Cem; Swartz, James R

    2014-06-20

    We report the synthesis of active polymers of superfolder green fluorescent protein (sfGFP) in one step using Click chemistry. Up to six copies of the non-natural amino acids (nnAAs) p-azido-l-phenylalanine (pAzF) or p-propargyloxy-l-phenylalanine (pPaF) were site-specifically inserted into sfGFP by cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS). sfGFP containing two or three copies of these nnAAs were coupled by copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition to synthesize linear or branched protein polymers, respectively. The protein polymers retained ≥63% of their specific activity (i.e., fluorescence) after coupling. Polymerization of a concentrated solution of triply substituted sfGFP resulted in fluorescent macromolecular particles. Our method can be generalized to synthesize polymers of a protein or copolymers of any two or more proteins, and the conjugation sites can be determined exactly by standard genetic manipulation. Polymers of proteins and small molecules can also be created with this technology to make a new class of scaffolds or biomaterials.

  12. NMCP/LINC proteins

    PubMed Central

    Ciska, Malgorzata; Moreno Díaz de la Espina, Susana

    2013-01-01

    Lamins are the main components of the metazoan lamina, and while the organization of the nuclear lamina of metazoans and plants is similar, there are apparently no genes encoding lamins or most lamin-binding proteins in plants. Thus, the plant lamina is not lamin-based and the proteins that form this structure are still to be characterized. Members of the plant NMCP/LINC/CRWN protein family share the typical tripartite structure of lamins, although the 2 exhibit no sequence similarity. However, given the many similarities between NMCP/LINC/CRWN proteins and lamins (structural organization, position of conserved regions, sub-nuclear distribution, solubility, and pattern of expression), these proteins are good candidates to carry out the functions of lamins in plants. Moreover, functional analysis of NMCP/LINC mutants has revealed their involvement in maintaining nuclear size and shape, another activity fulfilled by lamins. This review summarizes the current understanding of NMCP/LINC proteins and discusses future studies that will be required to demonstrate definitively that these proteins are plant analogs of lamins. PMID:24128696

  13. Fluctuations in Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frauenfelder, Hans

    2007-03-01

    Proteins are the machines of life. In order to perform their functions, they must move continuously. The motions correspond to equilibrium fluctuations and to non-equilibrium relaxations. At least three different fluctuation processes occur: α- and β-fluctuations and processes that occur even below one Kelvin. The α-fluctuations can be approximated by the Vogel-Tammann-Fulcher relation, while the β-fluctuations appear to follow a conventional Arrhenius law (but may in some cases be better characterized by a Ferry law). Both are usually nonexponential in time. These phenomena are similar in proteins and glasses, but there is a fundamental difference between fluctuations in glasses and proteins: In glasses, they are independent of the environment, in proteins the α-fluctuations are slaved to the α-fluctuations in the solvent surrounding the protein; they follow their rate coefficients but they are entropically slowed. The studies of the protein motions are actually still in their infancy, but we can expect that future work will not only help understanding protein functions, but will also feed back to the physics of glasses.

  14. Prediction of protein-protein interactions: unifying evolution and structure at protein interfaces.

    PubMed

    Tuncbag, Nurcan; Gursoy, Attila; Keskin, Ozlem

    2011-06-01

    The vast majority of the chores in the living cell involve protein-protein interactions. Providing details of protein interactions at the residue level and incorporating them into protein interaction networks are crucial toward the elucidation of a dynamic picture of cells. Despite the rapid increase in the number of structurally known protein complexes, we are still far away from a complete network. Given experimental limitations, computational modeling of protein interactions is a prerequisite to proceed on the way to complete structural networks. In this work, we focus on the question 'how do proteins interact?' rather than 'which proteins interact?' and we review structure-based protein-protein interaction prediction approaches. As a sample approach for modeling protein interactions, PRISM is detailed which combines structural similarity and evolutionary conservation in protein interfaces to infer structures of complexes in the protein interaction network. This will ultimately help us to understand the role of protein interfaces in predicting bound conformations.

  15. Prediction of protein-protein interactions: unifying evolution and structure at protein interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuncbag, Nurcan; Gursoy, Attila; Keskin, Ozlem

    2011-06-01

    The vast majority of the chores in the living cell involve protein-protein interactions. Providing details of protein interactions at the residue level and incorporating them into protein interaction networks are crucial toward the elucidation of a dynamic picture of cells. Despite the rapid increase in the number of structurally known protein complexes, we are still far away from a complete network. Given experimental limitations, computational modeling of protein interactions is a prerequisite to proceed on the way to complete structural networks. In this work, we focus on the question 'how do proteins interact?' rather than 'which proteins interact?' and we review structure-based protein-protein interaction prediction approaches. As a sample approach for modeling protein interactions, PRISM is detailed which combines structural similarity and evolutionary conservation in protein interfaces to infer structures of complexes in the protein interaction network. This will ultimately help us to understand the role of protein interfaces in predicting bound conformations.

  16. Bacterial Ice Crystal Controlling Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Lorv, Janet S. H.; Rose, David R.; Glick, Bernard R.

    2014-01-01

    Across the world, many ice active bacteria utilize ice crystal controlling proteins for aid in freezing tolerance at subzero temperatures. Ice crystal controlling proteins include both antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins. Antifreeze proteins minimize freezing damage by inhibiting growth of large ice crystals, while ice nucleation proteins induce formation of embryonic ice crystals. Although both protein classes have differing functions, these proteins use the same ice binding mechanisms. Rather than direct binding, it is probable that these protein classes create an ice surface prior to ice crystal surface adsorption. Function is differentiated by molecular size of the protein. This paper reviews the similar and different aspects of bacterial antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins, the role of these proteins in freezing tolerance, prevalence of these proteins in psychrophiles, and current mechanisms of protein-ice interactions. PMID:24579057

  17. Bacterial ice crystal controlling proteins.

    PubMed

    Lorv, Janet S H; Rose, David R; Glick, Bernard R

    2014-01-01

    Across the world, many ice active bacteria utilize ice crystal controlling proteins for aid in freezing tolerance at subzero temperatures. Ice crystal controlling proteins include both antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins. Antifreeze proteins minimize freezing damage by inhibiting growth of large ice crystals, while ice nucleation proteins induce formation of embryonic ice crystals. Although both protein classes have differing functions, these proteins use the same ice binding mechanisms. Rather than direct binding, it is probable that these protein classes create an ice surface prior to ice crystal surface adsorption. Function is differentiated by molecular size of the protein. This paper reviews the similar and different aspects of bacterial antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins, the role of these proteins in freezing tolerance, prevalence of these proteins in psychrophiles, and current mechanisms of protein-ice interactions.

  18. Proteins : paradigms of complexity /

    SciTech Connect

    Frauenfelder, Hans,

    2001-01-01

    Proteins are the working machines of living systems. Directed by the DNA, of the order of a few hundred building blocks, selected from twenty different amino acids, are covalently linked into a linear polypeptide chain. In the proper environment, the chain folds into the working protein, often a globule of linear dimensions of a few nanometers. The biologist considers proteins units from which living systems are built. Many physical scientists look at them as systems in which the laws of complexity can be studied better than anywhere else. Some of the results of such studies will be sketched.

  19. Emerging fluorescent protein technologies.

    PubMed

    Enterina, Jhon Ralph; Wu, Lanshi; Campbell, Robert E

    2015-08-01

    Fluorescent proteins (FPs), such as the Aequorea jellyfish green FP (GFP), are firmly established as fundamental tools that enable a wide variety of biological studies. Specifically, FPs can serve as versatile genetically encoded markers for tracking proteins, organelles, or whole cells, and as the basis for construction of biosensors that can be used to visualize a growing array of biochemical events in cells and tissues. In this review we will focus on emerging applications of FPs that represent unprecedented new directions for the field. These emerging applications include new strategies for using FPs in biosensing applications, and innovative ways of using FPs to manipulate protein function or gene expression.

  20. Protein Crystal Quality Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Eddie Snell (standing), Post-Doctoral Fellow the National Research Council (NRC),and Marc Pusey of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) use a reciprocal space mapping diffractometer for marcromolecular crystal quality studies. The diffractometer is used in mapping the structure of marcromolecules such as proteins to determine their structure and thus understand how they function with other proteins in the body. This is one of several analytical tools used on proteins crystalized on Earth and in space experiments. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

  1. Protein Crystal Quality Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Eddie Snell (standing), Post-Doctoral Fellow the National Research Council (NRC),and Marc Pusey of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) use a reciprocal space mapping diffractometer for marcromolecular crystal quality studies. The diffractometer is used in mapping the structure of marcromolecules such as proteins to determine their structure and thus understand how they function with other proteins in the body. This is one of several analytical tools used on proteins crystalized on Earth and in space experiments. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

  2. Piezoelectric allostery of protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohnuki, Jun; Sato, Takato; Takano, Mitsunori

    2016-07-01

    Allostery is indispensable for a protein to work, where a locally applied stimulus is transmitted to a distant part of the molecule. While the allostery due to chemical stimuli such as ligand binding has long been studied, the growing interest in mechanobiology prompts the study of the mechanically stimulated allostery, the physical mechanism of which has not been established. By molecular dynamics simulation of a motor protein myosin, we found that a locally applied mechanical stimulus induces electrostatic potential change at distant regions, just like the piezoelectricity. This novel allosteric mechanism, "piezoelectric allostery", should be of particularly high value for mechanosensor/transducer proteins.

  3. Protein Crystal Malic Enzyme

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    Malic Enzyme is a target protein for drug design because it is a key protein in the life cycle of intestinal parasites. After 2 years of effort on Earth, investigators were unable to produce any crystals that were of high enough quality and for this reason the structure of this important protein could not be determined. Crystals obtained from one STS-50 were of superior quality allowing the structure to be determined. This is just one example why access to space is so vital for these studies. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  4. Protein Crystal Malic Enzyme

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    Malic Enzyme is a target protein for drug design because it is a key protein in the life cycle of intestinal parasites. After 2 years of effort on Earth, investigators were unable to produce any crystals that were of high enough quality and for this reason the structure of this important protein could not be determined. Crystals obtained from one STS-50 were of superior quality allowing the structure to be determined. This is just one example why access to space is so vital for these studies. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  5. Protein folding and misfolding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobson, Christopher M.

    2003-12-01

    The manner in which a newly synthesized chain of amino acids transforms itself into a perfectly folded protein depends both on the intrinsic properties of the amino-acid sequence and on multiple contributing influences from the crowded cellular milieu. Folding and unfolding are crucial ways of regulating biological activity and targeting proteins to different cellular locations. Aggregation of misfolded proteins that escape the cellular quality-control mechanisms is a common feature of a wide range of highly debilitating and increasingly prevalent diseases.

  6. Protein based Block Copolymers

    PubMed Central

    Rabotyagova, Olena S.; Cebe, Peggy; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    Advances in genetic engineering have led to the synthesis of protein-based block copolymers with control of chemistry and molecular weight, resulting in unique physical and biological properties. The benefits from incorporating peptide blocks into copolymer designs arise from the fundamental properties of proteins to adopt ordered conformations and to undergo self-assembly, providing control over structure formation at various length scales when compared to conventional block copolymers. This review covers the synthesis, structure, assembly, properties, and applications of protein-based block copolymers. PMID:21235251

  7. [Phosphorylation of tau protein].

    PubMed

    Uchida, T; Ishiguro, K

    1990-05-01

    In aged human brain and particularly in Alzheimer's disease brain, paired helical filaments (PHFs) accumulate in the neuronal cell. Recently, it has been found that the highly phosphorylated tau protein, one of the microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs), is a component of PHF. The authors attempted to clarify the mechanism underlying the accumulation of PHF from the following two aspects; 1) What is the mechanism of phosphorylation of tau protein? 2) Is the highly phosphorylated tau protein capable of forming PHFs? From rat or bovine microtubule proteins we partially purified and characterized a novel protein kinase that specifically phosphorylated tau and MAP2 among many proteins in the brain extract, and which formed a PHF epitope on the phosphorylated human tau. This enzyme was one of the protein serine/threonine kinases and was independent of known second messengers. The phosphorylation of tau by this enzyme was stimulated by tubulin under the condition of microtubule formation, suggesting that the phosphorylation of tau could occur concomitantly with microtubule formation in the brain. Since this kinase was usually bound to tau but not directly to tubulin, the enzyme was associated with microtubules through tau. From these properties related to tau, this kinase is designated as tau protein kinase. The tau that been phosphorylated with this kinase using [gamma-32P]ATP as a phosphate donor, was digested by endoprotinase Lys-C to produce three labeled fragments, K1, K2 and K3. These three fragments were sequenced and the phosphorylation sites on tau by this kinase were identified. The K2 fragment overlapped with the tau-1 site known to be one of the phosphorylation site in PHF. This result strengthens the possibility that tau protein phosphorylated by tau protein kinase is incorporated into PHF. Tubulin binding sites on tau were located between K1 and K3 fragments, while K2 fragment was located in the neighboring to N-terminus of K1. No phosphorylated sites were

  8. Teaching resources. Protein phosphatases.

    PubMed

    Salton, Stephen R

    2005-03-01

    This Teaching Resource provides lecture notes and slides for a class covering the structure and function of protein phosphatases and is part of the course "Cell Signaling Systems: A Course for Graduate Students." The lecture begins with a discussion of the importance of phosphatases in physiology, recognized by the award of a Nobel Prize in 1992, and then proceeds to describe the two types of protein phosphatases: serine/threonine and tyrosine phosphatases. The information covered includes the structure, regulation, and substrate specificity of protein phosphatases, with an emphasis on their importance in disease and clinical settings.

  9. Evolution of proteins.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dayhoff, M. O.

    1971-01-01

    The amino acid sequences of proteins from living organisms are dealt with. The structure of proteins is first discussed; the variation in this structure from one biological group to another is illustrated by the first halves of the sequences of cytochrome c, and a phylogenetic tree is derived from the cytochrome c data. The relative geological times associated with the events of this tree are discussed. Errors which occur in the duplication of cells during the evolutionary process are examined. Particular attention is given to evolution of mutant proteins, globins, ferredoxin, and transfer ribonucleic acids (tRNA's). Finally, a general outline of biological evolution is presented.

  10. Protein crystallography prescreen kit

    DOEpatents

    Segelke, Brent W.; Krupka, Heike I.; Rupp, Bernhard

    2007-10-02

    A kit for prescreening protein concentration for crystallization includes a multiplicity of vials, a multiplicity of pre-selected reagents, and a multiplicity of sample plates. The reagents and a corresponding multiplicity of samples of the protein in solutions of varying concentrations are placed on sample plates. The sample plates containing the reagents and samples are incubated. After incubation the sample plates are examined to determine which of the sample concentrations are too low and which the sample concentrations are too high. The sample concentrations that are optimal for protein crystallization are selected and used.

  11. Protein crystallography prescreen kit

    DOEpatents

    Segelke, Brent W.; Krupka, Heike I.; Rupp, Bernhard

    2005-07-12

    A kit for prescreening protein concentration for crystallization includes a multiplicity of vials, a multiplicity of pre-selected reagents, and a multiplicity of sample plates. The reagents and a corresponding multiplicity of samples of the protein in solutions of varying concentrations are placed on sample plates. The sample plates containing the reagents and samples are incubated. After incubation the sample plates are examined to determine which of the sample concentrations are too low and which the sample concentrations are too high. The sample concentrations that are optimal for protein crystallization are selected and used.

  12. Electrochromatographic separation of proteins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Basak, S. K.; Velayudhan, A.; Kohlmann, K.; Ladisch, M. R.; Mitchell, C. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    We have developed a modified electrochromatography system which minimizes Joule heating at electric field strengths up to 125 V/cm. A non-linear equilibrium model is described which incorporates electrophoretic mobility, hydrodynamic flow velocity, and an electrically induced concentration polarization at the surface of the stationary phase. This model is able to provide useful estimates of protein retention time and velocity in a column packed with Sephadex gel and subjected to an electric field. A correlation of electrophoretic mobility of peptide and proteins with respect to their charge, molecular mass, and asymmetry enables the selection of solute target molecules for electrochromatographic separations. Good separation of protein mixtures have been obtained.

  13. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Canavalin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Canavalin. The major storage protein of leguminous plants and a major source of dietary protein for humans and domestic animals. It is studied in efforts to enhance nutritional value of proteins through protein engineerings. It is isolated from Jack Bean because of it's potential as a nutritional substance. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Alex McPherson.

  14. Protein in diet

    MedlinePlus

    ... MyPlate , can help you make healthy eating choices. Alternative Names ... of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and ...

  15. Protein Colloidal Aggregation Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oliva-Buisson, Yvette J. (Compiler)

    2014-01-01

    To investigate the pathways and kinetics of protein aggregation to allow accurate predictive modeling of the process and evaluation of potential inhibitors to prevalent diseases including cataract formation, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease and others.

  16. Protein dimerization. Inside job.

    PubMed

    Metzger, H

    1994-04-01

    In a sophisticated combination of genetic engineering and organic synthesis, a general method for dimerizing recombinant intracellular proteins has been devised; the usefulness of the method should now be testable.

  17. Interactive protein manipulation

    SciTech Connect

    SNCrivelli@lbl.gov

    2003-07-01

    We describe an interactive visualization and modeling program for the creation of protein structures ''from scratch''. The input to our program is an amino acid sequence -decoded from a gene- and a sequence of predicted secondary structure types for each amino acid-provided by external structure prediction programs. Our program can be used in the set-up phase of a protein structure prediction process; the structures created with it serve as input for a subsequent global internal energy minimization, or another method of protein structure prediction. Our program supports basic visualization methods for protein structures, interactive manipulation based on inverse kinematics, and visualization guides to aid a user in creating ''good'' initial structures.

  18. Protein Model Database

    SciTech Connect

    Fidelis, K; Adzhubej, A; Kryshtafovych, A; Daniluk, P

    2005-02-23

    The phenomenal success of the genome sequencing projects reveals the power of completeness in revolutionizing biological science. Currently it is possible to sequence entire organisms at a time, allowing for a systemic rather than fractional view of their organization and the various genome-encoded functions. There is an international plan to move towards a similar goal in the area of protein structure. This will not be achieved by experiment alone, but rather by a combination of efforts in crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, and computational modeling. Only a small fraction of structures are expected to be identified experimentally, the remainder to be modeled. Presently there is no organized infrastructure to critically evaluate and present these data to the biological community. The goal of the Protein Model Database project is to create such infrastructure, including (1) public database of theoretically derived protein structures; (2) reliable annotation of protein model quality, (3) novel structure analysis tools, and (4) access to the highest quality modeling techniques available.

  19. Constructing arrays of proteins.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, John C

    2013-12-01

    The construction of crystalline arrays allows proteins to be presented in a dense, oriented and functional way that also facilitates determination of their structure. Rational design of these supramolecular structures is becoming increasingly tractable with recent successes exploiting both innate protein symmetry and advances in protein–protein interface design. Pre-existing symmetry minimizes the number of non-native interfaces that must be produced, and the use of symmetric interfaces facilitates protein alignment. Arrays in which metal coordination or peptide binding are responsible for the inter-particle associations show particular promise due to the malleable and reversible nature of these interactions. Cross-pollination of the principles that underlie successful strategies is likely to produce rapid advances in this field and consequent benefits to both nanotechnology and structural biology.

  20. Protein fabrication automation

    PubMed Central

    Cox, J. Colin; Lape, Janel; Sayed, Mahmood A.; Hellinga, Homme W.

    2007-01-01

    Facile “writing” of DNA fragments that encode entire gene sequences potentially has widespread applications in biological analysis and engineering. Rapid writing of open reading frames (ORFs) for expressed proteins could transform protein engineering and production for protein design, synthetic biology, and structural analysis. Here we present a process, protein fabrication automation (PFA), which facilitates the rapid de novo construction of any desired ORF from oligonucleotides with low effort, high speed, and little human interaction. PFA comprises software for sequence design, data management, and the generation of instruction sets for liquid-handling robotics, a liquid-handling robot, a robust PCR scheme for gene assembly from synthetic oligonucleotides, and a genetic selection system to enrich correctly assembled full-length synthetic ORFs. The process is robust and scalable. PMID:17242375

  1. Fully automated protein purification

    PubMed Central

    Camper, DeMarco V.; Viola, Ronald E.

    2009-01-01

    Obtaining highly purified proteins is essential to begin investigating their functional and structural properties. The steps that are typically involved in purifying proteins can include an initial capture, intermediate purification, and a final polishing step. Completing these steps can take several days and require frequent attention to ensure success. Our goal was to design automated protocols that will allow the purification of proteins with minimal operator intervention. Separate methods have been produced and tested that automate the sample loading, column washing, sample elution and peak collection steps for ion-exchange, metal affinity, hydrophobic interaction and gel filtration chromatography. These individual methods are designed to be coupled and run sequentially in any order to achieve a flexible and fully automated protein purification protocol. PMID:19595984

  2. Microgravity protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    McPherson, Alexander; DeLucas, Lawrence James

    2015-01-01

    Over the past 20 years a variety of technological advances in X-ray crystallography have shortened the time required to determine the structures of large macromolecules (i.e., proteins and nucleic acids) from several years to several weeks or days. However, one of the remaining challenges is the ability to produce diffraction-quality crystals suitable for a detailed structural analysis. Although the development of automated crystallization systems combined with protein engineering (site-directed mutagenesis to enhance protein solubility and crystallization) have improved crystallization success rates, there remain hundreds of proteins that either cannot be crystallized or yield crystals of insufficient quality to support X-ray structure determination. In an attempt to address this bottleneck, an international group of scientists has explored use of a microgravity environment to crystallize macromolecules. This paper summarizes the history of this international initiative along with a description of some of the flight hardware systems and crystallization results. PMID:28725714

  3. Protein Nitrogen Determination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, S. Suzanne

    The protein content of foods can be determined by numerous methods. The Kjeldahl method and the nitrogen combustion (Dumas) method for protein analysis are based on nitrogen determination. Both methods are official for the purposes of nutrition labeling of foods. While the Kjeldahl method has been used widely for over a hundred years, the recent availability of automated instrumentation for the Dumas method in many cases is replacing use of the Kjeldahl method.

  4. Plant protein extraction.

    PubMed

    Conlon, Helen E; Salter, Michael G

    2007-01-01

    A method is presented for the extraction of total protein from Arabidopsis thaliana tissue. The protocol was designed for the solubilization of a range of proteins and their efficient and quantitative recovery. It is especially compatible with the small quantities of available tissue often associated with this species and was originally intended for Western blot preparations. Samples extracted using this method can be quantitated directly using a commercially available kit.

  5. Colorimetric protein assay techniques.

    PubMed

    Sapan, C V; Lundblad, R L; Price, N C

    1999-04-01

    There has been an increase in the number of colorimetric assay techniques for the determination of protein concentration over the past 20 years. This has resulted in a perceived increase in sensitivity and accuracy with the advent of new techniques. The present review considers these advances with emphasis on the potential use of such technologies in the assay of biopharmaceuticals. The techniques reviewed include Coomassie Blue G-250 dye binding (the Bradford assay), the Lowry assay, the bicinchoninic acid assay and the biuret assay. It is shown that each assay has advantages and disadvantages relative to sensitivity, ease of performance, acceptance in the literature, accuracy and reproducibility/coefficient of variation/laboratory-to-laboratory variation. A comparison of the use of several assays with the same sample population is presented. It is suggested that the most critical issue in the use of a chromogenic protein assay for the characterization of a biopharmaceutical is the selection of a standard for the calibration of the assay; it is crucial that the standard be representative of the sample. If it is not possible to match the standard with the sample from the perspective of protein composition, then it is preferable to use an assay that is not sensitive to the composition of the protein such as a micro-Kjeldahl technique, quantitative amino acid analysis or the biuret assay. In a complex mixture it might be inappropriate to focus on a general method of protein determination and much more informative to use specific methods relating to the protein(s) of particular interest, using either specific assays or antibody-based methods. The key point is that whatever method is adopted as the 'gold standard' for a given protein, this method needs to be used routinely for calibration.

  6. Chirality and protein biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Banik, Sindrila Dutta; Nandi, Nilashis

    2013-01-01

    Chirality is present at all levels of structural hierarchy of protein and plays a significant role in protein biosynthesis. The macromolecules involved in protein biosynthesis such as aminoacyl tRNA synthetase and ribosome have chiral subunits. Despite the omnipresence of chirality in the biosynthetic pathway, its origin, role in current pathway, and importance is far from understood. In this review we first present an introduction to biochirality and its relevance to protein biosynthesis. Major propositions about the prebiotic origin of biomolecules are presented with particular reference to proteins and nucleic acids. The problem of the origin of homochirality is unresolved at present. The chiral discrimination by enzymes involved in protein synthesis is essential for keeping the life process going. However, questions remained pertaining to the mechanism of chiral discrimination and concomitant retention of biochirality. We discuss the experimental evidence which shows that it is virtually impossible to incorporate D-amino acids in protein structures in present biosynthetic pathways via any of the two major steps of protein synthesis, namely aminoacylation and peptide bond formation reactions. Molecular level explanations of the stringent chiral specificity in each step are extended based on computational analysis. A detailed account of the current state of understanding of the mechanism of chiral discrimination during aminoacylation in the active site of aminoacyl tRNA synthetase and peptide bond formation in ribosomal peptidyl transferase center is presented. Finally, it is pointed out that the understanding of the mechanism of retention of enantiopurity has implications in developing novel enzyme mimetic systems and biocatalysts and might be useful in chiral drug design.

  7. Protein tyrosine nitration

    PubMed Central

    Chaki, Mounira; Leterrier, Marina; Barroso, Juan B

    2009-01-01

    Nitric oxide metabolism in plant cells has a relative short history. Nitration is a chemical process which consists of introducing a nitro group (-NO2) into a chemical compound. in biological systems, this process has been found in different molecules such as proteins, lipids and nucleic acids that can affect its function. This mini-review offers an overview of this process with special emphasis on protein tyrosine nitration in plants and its involvement in the process of nitrosative stress. PMID:19826215

  8. Recombinant Collagenlike Proteins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fertala, Andzej

    2007-01-01

    A group of collagenlike recombinant proteins containing high densities of biologically active sites has been invented. The method used to express these proteins is similar to a method of expressing recombinant procollagens and collagens described in U. S. Patent 5,593,859, "Synthesis of human procollagens and collagens in recombinant DNA systems." Customized collagenous proteins are needed for biomedical applications. In particular, fibrillar collagens are attractive for production of matrices needed for tissue engineering and drug delivery. Prior to this invention, there was no way of producing customized collagenous proteins for these and other applications. Heretofore, collagenous proteins have been produced by use of such biological systems as yeasts, bacteria, and transgenic animals and plants. These products are normal collagens that can also be extracted from such sources as tendons, bones, and hides. These products cannot be made to consist only of biologically active, specific amino acid sequences that may be needed for specific applications. Prior to this invention, it had been established that fibrillar collagens consist of domains that are responsible for such processes as interaction with cells, binding of growth factors, and interaction with a number of structural proteins present in the extracellular matrix. A normal collagen consists of a sequence of domains that can be represented by a corresponding sequence of labels, e.g., D1D2D3D4. A collagenlike protein of the present invention contains regions of collagen II that contain multiples of a single domain (e.g., D1D1D1D1 or D4D4D4D4) chosen for its specific biological activity. By virtue of the multiplicity of the chosen domain, the density of sites having that specific biological activity is greater than it is in a normal collagen. A collagenlike protein according to this invention can thus be made to have properties that are necessary for tissue engineering.

  9. Protein conducting nanopores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harsman, Anke; Krüger, Vivien; Bartsch, Philipp; Honigmann, Alf; Schmidt, Oliver; Rao, Sanjana; Meisinger, Christof; Wagner, Richard

    2010-11-01

    About 50% of the cellular proteins have to be transported into or across cellular membranes. This transport is an essential step in the protein biosynthesis. In eukaryotic cells secretory proteins are transported into the endoplasmic reticulum before they are transported in vesicles to the plasma membrane. Almost all proteins of the endosymbiotic organelles chloroplasts and mitochondria are synthesized on cytosolic ribosomes and posttranslationally imported. Genetic, biochemical and biophysical approaches led to rather detailed knowledge on the composition of the translocon-complexes which catalyze the membrane transport of the preproteins. Comprehensive concepts on the targeting and membrane transport of polypeptides emerged, however little detail on the molecular nature and mechanisms of the protein translocation channels comprising nanopores has been achieved. In this paper we will highlight recent developments of the diverse protein translocation systems and focus particularly on the common biophysical properties and functions of the protein conducting nanopores. We also provide a first analysis of the interaction between the genuine protein conducting nanopore Tom40SC as well as a mutant Tom40SC (\\mathrm {S}_{54} \\to E ) containing an additional negative charge at the channel vestibule and one of its native substrates, CoxIV, a mitochondrial targeting peptide. The polypeptide induced a voltage-dependent increase in the frequency of channel closure of Tom40SC corresponding to a voltage-dependent association rate, which was even more pronounced for the Tom40SC S54E mutant. The corresponding dwelltime reflecting association/transport of the peptide could be determined with \\bar {t}_{\\mathrm {off}} \\cong 1.1 ms for the wildtype, whereas the mutant Tom40SC S54E displayed a biphasic dwelltime distribution (\\bar {t}_{\\mathrm {off}}^1 \\cong 0.4 ms \\bar {t}_{\\mathrm {off}}^2 \\cong 4.6 ms).

  10. Single-Molecule Study of Protein-Protein and Protein-DNA Interaction Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, H. PETER

    2005-03-01

    Protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions play critical roles in biological functions of living cells, such as cell signaling, receptor-ligand activation, cellular metabolism, DNA damage recognition and repair, gene expression, replication, etc. These protein interactions often involve complex mechanisms and inhomogeneous dynamics with significant conformational changes. Protein-protein, protein-ligand, and protein-DNA interactions are often intrinsically single-molecule processes at an induction stage associated with the initiation of crucial early eents in living cells. For example, cell-signaling processes are often initiated through a few copies of protein-interaction complexes, being amplified along the signaling pathway.

  11. Cotton and Protein Interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Goheen, Steven C.; Edwards, J. V.; Rayburn, Alfred R.; Gaither, Kari A.; Castro, Nathan J.

    2006-06-30

    The adsorbent properties of important wound fluid proteins and cotton cellulose are reviewed. This review focuses on the adsorption of albumin to cotton-based wound dressings and some chemically modified derivatives targeted for chronic wounds. Adsorption of elastase in the presence of albumin was examined as a model to understand the interactive properties of these wound fluid components with cotton fibers. In the chronic non-healing wound, elastase appears to be over-expressed, and it digests tissue and growth factors, interfering with the normal healing process. Albumin is the most prevalent protein in wound fluid, and in highly to moderately exudative wounds, it may bind significantly to the fibers of wound dressings. Thus, the relative binding properties of both elastase and albumin to wound dressing fibers are of interest in the design of more effective wound dressings. The present work examines the binding of albumin to two different derivatives of cotton, and quantifies the elastase binding to the same derivatives following exposure of albumin to the fiber surface. An HPLC adsorption technique was employed coupled with a colorimetric enzyme assay to quantify the relative binding properties of albumin and elastase to cotton. The results of wound protein binding are discussed in relation to the porosity and surface chemistry interactions of cotton and wound proteins. Studies are directed to understanding the implications of protein adsorption phenomena in terms of fiber-protein models that have implications for rationally designing dressings for chronic wounds.

  12. Disease specific protein corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman, M.; Mahmoudi, M.

    2015-03-01

    It is now well accepted that upon their entrance into the biological environments, the surface of nanomaterials would be covered by various biomacromolecules (e.g., proteins and lipids). The absorption of these biomolecules, so called `protein corona', onto the surface of (nano)biomaterials confers them a new `biological identity'. Although the formation of protein coronas on the surface of nanoparticles has been widely investigated, there are few reports on the effect of various diseases on the biological identity of nanoparticles. As the type of diseases may tremendously changes the composition of the protein source (e.g., human plasma/serum), one can expect that amount and composition of associated proteins in the corona composition may be varied, in disease type manner. Here, we show that corona coated silica and polystyrene nanoparticles (after interaction with in the plasma of the healthy individuals) could induce unfolding of fibrinogen, which promotes release of the inflammatory cytokines. However, no considerable releases of inflammatory cytokines were observed for corona coated graphene sheets. In contrast, the obtained corona coated silica and polystyrene nanoparticles from the hypofibrinogenemia patients could not induce inflammatory cytokine release where graphene sheets do. Therefore, one can expect that disease-specific protein coronas can provide a novel approach for applying nanomedicine to personalized medicine, improving diagnosis and treatment of different diseases tailored to the specific conditions and circumstances.

  13. Immunoassays of soy proteins.

    PubMed

    Brandon, David L; Friedman, Mendel

    2002-10-23

    Proteins of soybeans (Glycine max) are widely used in animal and human nutrition. In addition to the bulk of the seed storage proteins, which are classified as albumins and globulins, approximately 6% of soybean proteins are classified as inhibitors of trypsin and chymotrypsin and approximately 0.5% are sugar-binding lectins. The two major classes of inhibitors are the Kunitz trypsin inhibitor, which inhibits trypsin, and the Bowman-Birk inhibitor (BBI), which inhibits both trypsin and chymotrypsin. Unless removed or inactivated, these inhibitors and lectins can impair the nutritional quality and safety of soy-based diets. On the other hand, several studies suggest that BBI can also function as an anticarcinogen, possibly through interaction with a cellular serine protease. Good-quality soybean proteins contribute to the nutritional value of many specialty foods including infant soy formulas and milk replacers for calves, and provide texture to many processed foods. However, they may also induce occasional allergic responses in humans. This paper outlines immunoassays developed to analyze for soy proteins in different soybean lines, in processed foods, and in nonsoy foods fortified with soy proteins. An assessment of the current status of immunoassays, especially of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for soybean inhibitors of digestive enzymes, soy globulins, and soy lectins, demonstrates the usefulness of these methods in plant and food sciences and in medicine.

  14. Protein phosphorylation and photorespiration.

    PubMed

    Hodges, M; Jossier, M; Boex-Fontvieille, E; Tcherkez, G

    2013-07-01

    Photorespiration allows the recycling of carbon atoms of 2-phosphoglycolate produced by ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) oxygenase activity, as well as the removal of potentially toxic metabolites. The photorespiratory pathway takes place in the light, encompasses four cellular compartments and interacts with several other metabolic pathways and functions. Therefore, the regulation of this cycle is probably of paramount importance to plant metabolism, however, our current knowledge is poor. To rapidly respond to changing conditions, proteins undergo a number of different post-translational modifications that include acetylation, methylation and ubiquitylation, but protein phosphorylation is probably the most common. The reversible covalent addition of a phosphate group to a specific amino acid residue allows the modulation of protein function, such as activity, subcellular localisation, capacity to interact with other proteins and stability. Recent data indicate that many photorespiratory enzymes can be phosphorylated, and thus it seems that the photorespiratory cycle is, in part, regulated by protein phosphorylation. In this review, the known phosphorylation sites of each Arabidopsis thaliana photorespiratory enzyme and several photorespiratory-associated proteins are described and discussed. A brief account of phosphoproteomic protocols is also given since the published data compiled in this review are the fruit of this approach.

  15. Recombinant human milk proteins.

    PubMed

    Lönnerdal, Bo

    2006-01-01

    Human milk provides proteins that benefit newborn infants. They not only provide amino acids, but also facilitate the absorption of nutrients, stimulate growth and development of the intestine, modulate immune function, and aid in the digestion of other nutrients. Breastfed infants have a lower prevalence of infections than formula-fed infants. Since many women in industrialized countries choose not to breastfeed, and an increasing proportion of women in developing countries are advised not to breastfeed because of the risk of HIV transmission, incorporation of recombinant human milk proteins into infant foods is likely to be beneficial. We are expressing human milk proteins known to have anti-infective activity in rice. Since rice is a normal constituent of the diet of infants and children, limited purification of the proteins is required. Lactoferrin has antimicrobial and iron-binding activities. Lysozyme is an enzyme that is bactericidal and also acts synergistically with lactoferrin. These recombinant proteins have biological activities identical to their native counterparts. They are equally resistant to heat processing, which is necessary for food applications, and to acid and proteolytic enzymes which are needed to maintain their biological activity in the gastrointestinal tract of infants. These recombinant human milk proteins may be incorporated into infant formulas, baby foods and complementary foods, and used with the goal to reduce infectious diseases.

  16. Motor proteins 1: kinesins.

    PubMed

    Bloom, G S; Endow, S A

    1995-01-01

    Progress regarding the kinesins is now being made at a rapid and accelerating rate. The in vivo-functions, and biophysical and enzymatic properties of kinesin itself are being explored at ever increasing levels of detail. The kinesin-related proteins now number several dozen, and although more is known about primary structure than function for most of the proteins, this trend is already reversing. For example, knowledge about the kinesin-related protein, ncd, is expanding rapidly, and more is already known about its three-dimensional structure than is known for kinesin heavy chain. This volume presents a comprehensive review of the major published works on kinesin and kinesin-related proteins. Hopefully, this manuscript will complement other recent review articles [17, 20, 25, 37, 60-62, 67, 69, 75, 85-88, 231, 233, 238, 244, 269-271, 281, 282, 292] or books [49, 227, 293] that have focused on more selective aspects of the kinesin family, or have been aimed more generally at MT motor proteins. In line with the stated purpose of the Protein Profile series, annual updates of the review on the kinesins are planned for at least the next few years.

  17. Fast protein folding kinetics.

    PubMed

    Gelman, Hannah; Gruebele, Martin

    2014-05-01

    Fast-folding proteins have been a major focus of computational and experimental study because they are accessible to both techniques: they are small and fast enough to be reasonably simulated with current computational power, but have dynamics slow enough to be observed with specially developed experimental techniques. This coupled study of fast-folding proteins has provided insight into the mechanisms, which allow some proteins to find their native conformation well <1 ms and has uncovered examples of theoretically predicted phenomena such as downhill folding. The study of fast folders also informs our understanding of even 'slow' folding processes: fast folders are small; relatively simple protein domains and the principles that govern their folding also govern the folding of more complex systems. This review summarizes the major theoretical and experimental techniques used to study fast-folding proteins and provides an overview of the major findings of fast-folding research. Finally, we examine the themes that have emerged from studying fast folders and briefly summarize their application to protein folding in general, as well as some work that is left to do.

  18. Moonlighting Proteins in Yeasts

    PubMed Central

    Gancedo, Carlos; Flores, Carmen-Lisset

    2008-01-01

    Proteins able to participate in unrelated biological processes have been grouped under the generic name of moonlighting proteins. Work with different yeast species has uncovered a great number of moonlighting proteins and shown their importance for adequate functioning of the yeast cell. Moonlighting activities in yeasts include such diverse functions as control of gene expression, organelle assembly, and modification of the activity of metabolic pathways. In this review, we consider several well-studied moonlighting proteins in different yeast species, paying attention to the experimental approaches used to identify them and the evidence that supports their participation in the unexpected function. Usually, moonlighting activities have been uncovered unexpectedly, and up to now, no satisfactory way to predict moonlighting activities has been found. Among the well-characterized moonlighting proteins in yeasts, enzymes from the glycolytic pathway appear to be prominent. For some cases, it is shown that despite close phylogenetic relationships, moonlighting activities are not necessarily conserved among yeast species. Organisms may utilize moonlighting to add a new layer of regulation to conventional regulatory networks. The existence of this type of proteins in yeasts should be taken into account when designing mutant screens or in attempts to model or modify yeast metabolism. PMID:18322039

  19. Food protein sources.

    PubMed

    Pirie, N W

    1976-07-01

    Work on food, planned by the U.M. (Use and Management) Section of the U.K. committe, was limited to sources of protein because we agreed that more problems calling for research were likely to arise in getting adequate supplies of protein than of other types of food. Deer meat can be produced on land too rough and exposed for sheep; parts of the work on their metabolism and food requirements necessitated building a mobile laboratory. The manner in which the nutritive value of maize is affected by changes in the ratios in which the component proteins are present, stimulated similar studies on barley and groundnut. There is good quality protein in coconuts and leaves but its use in human food is restricted by the presence of fibre. Methods for separating protein from fibre and other deleterious components were improved. In cooperation with scientists in India and Nigeria, the potential yield of protein-deficient foods. e.g. cassava, were 'ennobled' by growing micro-organisms on them with the addition of a cheap source of nitrogen.

  20. Fast protein folding kinetics

    PubMed Central

    Gelman, Hannah; Gruebele, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Fast folding proteins have been a major focus of computational and experimental study because they are accessible to both techniques: they are small and fast enough to be reasonably simulated with current computational power, but have dynamics slow enough to be observed with specially developed experimental techniques. This coupled study of fast folding proteins has provided insight into the mechanisms which allow some proteins to find their native conformation well less than 1 ms and has uncovered examples of theoretically predicted phenomena such as downhill folding. The study of fast folders also informs our understanding of even “slow” folding processes: fast folders are small, relatively simple protein domains and the principles that govern their folding also govern the folding of more complex systems. This review summarizes the major theoretical and experimental techniques used to study fast folding proteins and provides an overview of the major findings of fast folding research. Finally, we examine the themes that have emerged from studying fast folders and briefly summarize their application to protein folding in general as well as some work that is left to do. PMID:24641816

  1. Protein-Protein Interfaces in Viral Capsids Are Structurally Unique.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shanshan; Brooks, Charles L

    2015-11-06

    Viral capsids exhibit elaborate and symmetrical architectures of defined sizes and remarkable mechanical properties not seen with cellular macromolecular complexes. Given the uniqueness of the higher-order organization of viral capsid proteins in the virosphere, we explored the question of whether the patterns of protein-protein interactions within viral capsids are distinct from those in generic protein complexes. Our comparative analysis involving a non-redundant set of 551 inter-subunit interfaces in viral capsids from VIPERdb and 20,014 protein-protein interfaces in non-capsid protein complexes from the Protein Data Bank found 418 generic protein-protein interfaces that share similar physicochemical patterns with some protein-protein interfaces in the capsid set, using the program PCalign we developed for comparing protein-protein interfaces. This overlap in the structural space of protein-protein interfaces is significantly small, with a p-value <0.0001, based on a permutation test on the total set of protein-protein interfaces. Furthermore, the generic protein-protein interfaces that bear similarity in their spatial and chemical arrangement with capsid ones are mostly small in size with fewer than 20 interfacial residues, which results from the relatively limited choices of natural design for small interfaces rather than having significant biological implications in terms of functional relationships. We conclude based on this study that protein-protein interfaces in viral capsids are non-representative of patterns in the smaller, more compact cellular protein complexes. Our finding highlights the design principle of building large biological containers from repeated, self-assembling units and provides insights into specific targets for antiviral drug design for improved efficacy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Protein-Protein Interface and Disease: Perspective from Biomolecular Networks.

    PubMed

    Hu, Guang; Xiao, Fei; Li, Yuqian; Li, Yuan; Vongsangnak, Wanwipa

    Protein-protein interactions are involved in many important biological processes and molecular mechanisms of disease association. Structural studies of interfacial residues in protein complexes provide information on protein-protein interactions. Characterizing protein-protein interfaces, including binding sites and allosteric changes, thus pose an imminent challenge. With special focus on protein complexes, approaches based on network theory are proposed to meet this challenge. In this review we pay attention to protein-protein interfaces from the perspective of biomolecular networks and their roles in disease. We first describe the different roles of protein complexes in disease through several structural aspects of interfaces. We then discuss some recent advances in predicting hot spots and communication pathway analysis in terms of amino acid networks. Finally, we highlight possible future aspects of this area with respect to both methodology development and applications for disease treatment.

  3. Protein crystal growth in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, C. E.; Clifford, D. W.

    1987-01-01

    The advantages of protein crystallization in space, and the applications of protein crystallography to drug design, protein engineering, and the design of synthetic vaccines are examined. The steps involved in using protein crystallography to determine the three-dimensional structure of a protein are discussed. The growth chamber design and the hand-held apparatus developed for protein crystal growth by vapor diffusion techniques (hanging-drop method) are described; the experimental data from the four Shuttle missions are utilized to develop hardware for protein crystal growth in space and to evaluate the effects of gravity on protein crystal growth.

  4. Protein crystal growth in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, C. E.; Clifford, D. W.

    1987-01-01

    The advantages of protein crystallization in space, and the applications of protein crystallography to drug design, protein engineering, and the design of synthetic vaccines are examined. The steps involved in using protein crystallography to determine the three-dimensional structure of a protein are discussed. The growth chamber design and the hand-held apparatus developed for protein crystal growth by vapor diffusion techniques (hanging-drop method) are described; the experimental data from the four Shuttle missions are utilized to develop hardware for protein crystal growth in space and to evaluate the effects of gravity on protein crystal growth.

  5. Parallel Computational Protein Design

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yichao; Donald, Bruce R.; Zeng, Jianyang

    2016-01-01

    Computational structure-based protein design (CSPD) is an important problem in computational biology, which aims to design or improve a prescribed protein function based on a protein structure template. It provides a practical tool for real-world protein engineering applications. A popular CSPD method that guarantees to find the global minimum energy solution (GMEC) is to combine both dead-end elimination (DEE) and A* tree search algorithms. However, in this framework, the A* search algorithm can run in exponential time in the worst case, which may become the computation bottleneck of large-scale computational protein design process. To address this issue, we extend and add a new module to the OSPREY program that was previously developed in the Donald lab [1] to implement a GPU-based massively parallel A* algorithm for improving protein design pipeline. By exploiting the modern GPU computational framework and optimizing the computation of the heuristic function for A* search, our new program, called gOSPREY, can provide up to four orders of magnitude speedups in large protein design cases with a small memory overhead comparing to the traditional A* search algorithm implementation, while still guaranteeing the optimality. In addition, gOSPREY can be configured to run in a bounded-memory mode to tackle the problems in which the conformation space is too large and the global optimal solution cannot be computed previously. Furthermore, the GPU-based A* algorithm implemented in the gOSPREY program can be combined with the state-of-the-art rotamer pruning algorithms such as iMinDEE [2] and DEEPer [3] to also consider continuous backbone and side-chain flexibility. PMID:27914056

  6. Modeling Mercury in Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Jeremy C; Parks, Jerry M

    2016-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a naturally occurring element that is released into the biosphere both by natural processes and anthropogenic activities. Although its reduced, elemental form Hg(0) is relatively non-toxic, other forms such as Hg2+ and, in particular, its methylated form, methylmercury, are toxic, with deleterious effects on both ecosystems and humans. Microorganisms play important roles in the transformation of mercury in the environment. Inorganic Hg2+ can be methylated by certain bacteria and archaea to form methylmercury. Conversely, bacteria also demethylate methylmercury and reduce Hg2+ to relatively inert Hg(0). Transformations and toxicity occur as a result of mercury interacting with various proteins. Clearly, then, understanding the toxic effects of mercury and its cycling in the environment requires characterization of these interactions. Computational approaches are ideally suited to studies of mercury in proteins because they can provide a detailed picture and circumvent issues associated with toxicity. Here we describe computational methods for investigating and characterizing how mercury binds to proteins, how inter- and intra-protein transfer of mercury is orchestrated in biological systems, and how chemical reactions in proteins transform the metal. We describe quantum chemical analyses of aqueous Hg(II), which reveal critical factors that determine ligand binding propensities. We then provide a perspective on how we used chemical reasoning to discover how microorganisms methylate mercury. We also highlight our combined computational and experimental studies of the proteins and enzymes of the mer operon, a suite of genes that confers mercury resistance in many bacteria. Lastly, we place work on mercury in proteins in the context of what is needed for a comprehensive multi-scale model of environmental mercury cycling.

  7. Direct protein-protein conjugation by genetically introducing bioorthogonal functional groups into proteins.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sanggil; Ko, Wooseok; Sung, Bong Hyun; Kim, Sun Chang; Lee, Hyun Soo

    2016-11-15

    Proteins often function as complex structures in conjunction with other proteins. Because these complex structures are essential for sophisticated functions, developing protein-protein conjugates has gained research interest. In this study, site-specific protein-protein conjugation was performed by genetically incorporating an azide-containing amino acid into one protein and a bicyclononyne (BCN)-containing amino acid into the other. Three to four sites in each of the proteins were tested for conjugation efficiency, and three combinations showed excellent conjugation efficiency. The genetic incorporation of unnatural amino acids (UAAs) is technically simple and produces the mutant protein in high yield. In addition, the conjugation reaction can be conducted by simple mixing, and does not require additional reagents or linker molecules. Therefore, this method may prove very useful for generating protein-protein conjugates and protein complexes of biochemical significance. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Benchtop Detection of Proteins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scardelletti, Maximilian C.; Varaljay, Vanessa

    2007-01-01

    A process, and a benchtop-scale apparatus for implementing the process, have been developed to detect proteins associated with specific microbes in water. The process and apparatus may also be useful for detection of proteins in other, more complex liquids. There may be numerous potential applications, including monitoring lakes and streams for contamination, testing of blood and other bodily fluids in medical laboratories, and testing for microbial contamination of liquids in restaurants and industrial food-processing facilities. A sample can be prepared and analyzed by use of this process and apparatus within minutes, whereas an equivalent analysis performed by use of other processes and equipment can often take hours to days. The process begins with the conjugation of near-infrared-fluorescent dyes to antibodies that are specific to a particular protein. Initially, the research has focused on using near-infrared dyes to detect antigens or associated proteins in solution, which has proven successful vs. microbial cells, and streamlining the technique in use for surface protein detection on microbes would theoretically render similar results. However, it is noted that additional work is needed to transition protein-based techniques to microbial cell detection. Consequently, multiple such dye/antibody pairs could be prepared to enable detection of multiple selected microbial species, using a different dye for each species. When excited by near-infrared light of a suitable wavelength, each dye fluoresces at a unique longer wavelength that differs from those of the other dyes, enabling discrimination among the various species. In initial tests, the dye/antibody pairs are mixed into a solution suspected of containing the selected proteins, causing the binding of the dye/antibody pairs to such suspect proteins that may be present. The solution is then run through a microcentrifuge that includes a membrane that acts as a filter in that it retains the dye/antibody/protein

  9. Protein quality control and cancerogenesis.

    PubMed

    Trcka, F; Vojtesek, B; Muller, P

    2012-01-01

    Both nascent and mature proteins are prone to damaging changes induced by either external or internal stimuli. Dysfunctional or misfolded proteins cause direct physiological risk in crowded cellular environment and must be readily and efficiently eliminated. To ensure protein homeostasis, eukaryotic cells have evolved several protein quality control machineries. Protein quality control plays a special role in cancer cells. Genetic instability causing increased production of damaged and/or deregulated proteins is a hallmark of cancer cells. Therefore, intrinsic genetic instability together with hostile tumour microenvironment represents a demanding task for protein quality control machineries in tumours. Regulation of general protein turnover as well as degradation of tumour-promoting/suppressing proteins by protein quality control machineries thus represent an important processes involved in cancer development and progression. The review focuses on the description of three major protein quality control pathways and their roles in cancer.

  10. Nanotechnologies in protein delivery.

    PubMed

    Salmaso, Stefano; Bersani, Sara; Semenzato, Alessandra; Caliceti, Paolo

    2006-01-01

    The growth rate for biotech drugs, namely proteins, peptides, and oligonucleotides, is dictated by the parallel progresses in biotechnology and nanotechnology. Actually, biotechnology techniques have expanded enormously the arsenal of therapeutically useful peptides and proteins making these products of primary interest for future pharmaceutical market. Nevertheless, the exploitation of protein and peptide drugs is strictly related to the development of innovative delivery systems which should provide for controlled, prolonged, or targeted delivery, improved stability during storage and delivery, reduced adverse effects, increased bioavailability, improved patient compliance and allow for administration through the desired route and cope with cost-containment therapeutic protocols. Colloidal formulations ideally possess the physicochemical and biopharmaceutical requisites for protein delivery. Pharmaceutical nanotechnology is a tool of techniques applied to design, develop and produce these systems. It involves the investigation of innovative materials and production procedures for preparation of a variety of nanosized dosage forms, which range from solid nanoparticles to soluble bioconjugates. The research and development of innovative tailor made protein delivery systems, which must be designed according to the drug candidate pharmacological and physicochemical properties, is one of the primary aim of modern pharmaceutical technology. Therefore, as an unmet need exists for technologies that combine innovative drug delivery solutions, a close un-prejudicial interaction between academic and industrial researchers as well as business thought leaders is required.

  11. The ras superfamily proteins.

    PubMed

    Chardin, P

    1988-07-01

    Several recent discoveries indicate that the ras genes, frequently activated to a transforming potential in some human tumours, belong to a large family that can be divided into three main branches: the first branch represented by the ras, ral and rap genes; the second branch, by the rho genes; and the third branch, by the rab genes. The C-terminal end of the encoded proteins always includes a cystein, which may become fatty-acylated, suggesting a sub-membrane localization. The ras superfamily proteins share four regions of high homology corresponding to the GTP binding site; however, even in these regions, significant differences are found, suggesting that the various proteins may possess slightly different biochemical properties. Recent reports show that some of these proteins play an essential role in the control of physical processes such as cell motility, membrane ruffling, endocytosis and exocytosis. Nevertheless, the characterization of the proteins directly interacting with the ras or ras-related gene-products will be required to precisely understand their function.

  12. Nanophotonics of protein amyloids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharya, Mily; Mukhopadhyay, Samrat

    2014-04-01

    Technological breakthroughs in the super-resolution optical imaging techniques have enriched our current understanding of a range of biological systems and biomolecular processes at the nanoscopic spatial resolution. Protein amyloids are an important class of ordered protein assemblies consisting of misfolded proteins that are implicated in a wide range of devastating human diseases. In order to decipher the structural basis of the supramolecular protein assembly in amyloids and their detrimental interactions with the cell membranes, it is important to employ high-resolution optical imaging techniques. Additionally, amyloids could serve as novel biological nanomaterials for a variety of potential applications. In this review, we summarize a few examples of the utility of near-field scanning optical imaging methodologies to obtain a wealth of structural information into the nanoscale amyloid assembly. Although the near-field technologies were developed several decades ago, it is only recently that these methodologies are being applied and adapted for amyloid research to yield novel information pertaining to the exciting nanoscopic world of protein aggregates. We believe that the account on the nanophotonics of amyloids described in this review will be useful for the future studies on the biophysics of amyloids.

  13. A Stevedore's Protein Knot

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, Hsiao-Ping; Mirny, Leonid A.; Kardar, Mehran; Onuchic, José N.; Virnau, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Protein knots, mostly regarded as intriguing oddities, are gradually being recognized as significant structural motifs. Seven distinctly knotted folds have already been identified. It is by and large unclear how these exceptional structures actually fold, and only recently, experiments and simulations have begun to shed some light on this issue. In checking the new protein structures submitted to the Protein Data Bank, we encountered the most complex and the smallest knots to date: A recently uncovered α-haloacid dehalogenase structure contains a knot with six crossings, a so-called Stevedore knot, in a projection onto a plane. The smallest protein knot is present in an as yet unclassified protein fragment that consists of only 92 amino acids. The topological complexity of the Stevedore knot presents a puzzle as to how it could possibly fold. To unravel this enigma, we performed folding simulations with a structure-based coarse-grained model and uncovered a possible mechanism by which the knot forms in a single loop flip. PMID:20369018

  14. Heat Capacity in Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prabhu, Ninad V.; Sharp, Kim A.

    2005-05-01

    Heat capacity (Cp) is one of several major thermodynamic quantities commonly measured in proteins. With more than half a dozen definitions, it is the hardest of these quantities to understand in physical terms, but the richest in insight. There are many ramifications of observed Cp changes: The sign distinguishes apolar from polar solvation. It imparts a temperature (T) dependence to entropy and enthalpy that may change their signs and which of them dominate. Protein unfolding usually has a positive ΔCp, producing a maximum in stability and sometimes cold denaturation. There are two heat capacity contributions, from hydration and protein-protein interactions; which dominates in folding and binding is an open question. Theoretical work to date has dealt mostly with the hydration term and can account, at least semiquantitatively, for the major Cp-related features: the positive and negative Cp of hydration for apolar and polar groups, respectively; the convergence of apolar group hydration entropy at T ≈ 112°C; the decrease in apolar hydration Cp with increasing T; and the T-maximum in protein stability and cold denaturation.

  15. Protein Dynamics in Enzymology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooks, , III

    2001-03-01

    Enzymes carry-out the chemical activity essential for living processes by providing particular structural arrangements of chemically functional moieties through the structure of their constituent proteins. They are suggested to be optimized through evolution to specifically bind the transition state for the chemical processes they participate in, thereby enhancing the rate of these chemical events by 6-12 orders of magnitude. However, proteins are malleable and fluctuating many-body systems and may also utilize coupling between motional processes with catalysis to regulate or promote these processes. Our studies are aimed at exploring the hypothesis that motions of the protein couple distant regions of the molecule to assist catalytic processes. We demonstrate, through the use of molecular simulations, that strongly coupled motions occur in regions of protein molecules distant in sequence and space from each other, and the enzyme’s active site, when the protein is in a reactant state. Further, we find that the presence of this coupling disappears in complexes no longer reactive-competent, i.e., for product configurations and mutant sequences. The implications of these findings and aspects of evolutionary relationships and mutational studies which support the coupling hypothesis will be discussed in the context of our work on dihydrofolate reductase.

  16. Purine inhibitors of protein kinases, G proteins and polymerases

    DOEpatents

    Gray, Nathanael S.; Schultz, Peter; Kim, Sung-Hou; Meijer, Laurent

    2001-07-03

    The present invention relates to purine analogs that inhibit, inter alia, protein kinases, G-proteins and polymerases. In addition, the present invention relates to methods of using such purine analogs to inhibit protein kinases, G-proteins, polymerases and other cellular processes and to treat cellular proliferative diseases.

  17. Folding mechanism of proteins and protein-like polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pande, Vijay

    2000-03-01

    Proteins are amazing biomaterials: they both perform biological activity as well as assemble themselves. In order to understand how proteins fold and to design synthetic polymers with protein-like properties, we need to understand how these molecules assemble themselves. I will discuss results from recent simulations of proteins and protein-like polymers in order to examine which is common and potentially ``universal'' about the folding (self-assembly) mechanism. These results may shed light on protein and protein-like polymer design, experiments on folding, as well as areas in which misfolding may be important such as many neurodegenerative diseases.

  18. Protein folding and de novo protein design for biotechnological applications

    PubMed Central

    Khoury, George A.; Smadbeck, James; Kieslich, Chris A.; Floudas, Christodoulos A.

    2014-01-01

    In the post-genomic era, the medical/biological fields are advancing faster than ever. However, before the power of full-genome sequencing can be fully realized, the connection between amino acid sequence and protein structure, known as the protein folding problem, needs to be elucidated. The protein folding problem remains elusive, with significant difficulties still arising when modeling amino acid sequences lacking an identifiable template. Understanding protein folding will allow for unforeseen advances in protein design, often referred as the inverse protein folding problem. Despite challenges in protein folding, de novo protein design has recently demonstrated significant success via computational techniques. We review advances and challenges in protein structure prediction and de novo protein design, and highlight their interplay in successful biotechnological applications. PMID:24268901

  19. Solid State NMR and Protein-Protein Interactions in Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Miao, Yimin; Cross, Timothy A.

    2013-01-01

    Solid state NMR spectroscopy has evolved rapidly in recent years into an excellent tool for the characterization of membrane proteins and their complexes. In the past few years it has also become clear that the structure of membrane proteins, especially helical membrane proteins is determined, in part, by the membrane environment. Therefore, the modeling of this environment by a liquid crystalline lipid bilayer for solid state NMR has generated a unique tool for the characterization of native conformational states, local and global dynamics, and high resolution structure for these proteins. Protein-protein interactions can also benefit from this solid state NMR capability to characterize membrane proteins in a native-like environment. These complexes take the form of oligomeric structures and hetero-protein interactions both with water soluble proteins and other membrane proteins. PMID:24034903

  20. Protein crystallization studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyne, James Evans

    1996-01-01

    The Structural Biology laboratory at NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center uses x-ray crystallographic techniques to conduct research into the three-dimensional structure of a wide variety of proteins. A major effort in the laboratory involves an ongoing study of human serum albumin (the principal protein in human plasma) and its interaction with various endogenous substances and pharmaceutical agents. Another focus is on antigenic and functional proteins from several pathogenic organisms including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the widespread parasitic genus, Schistosoma. My efforts this summer have been twofold: first, to identify clinically significant drug interactions involving albumin binding displacement and to initiate studies of the three-dimensional structure of albumin complexed with these agents, and secondly, to establish collaborative efforts to extend the lab's work on human pathogens.

  1. Protein Crystal Serum Albumin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    As the most abundant protein in the circulatory system albumin contributes 80% to colloid osmotic blood pressure. Albumin is also chiefly responsible for the maintenance of blood pH. It is located in every tissue and bodily secretion, with extracellular protein comprising 60% of total albumin. Perhaps the most outstanding property of albumin is its ability to bind reversibly to an incredible variety of ligands. It is widely accepted in the pharmaceutical industry that the overall distribution, metabolism, and efficiency of many drugs are rendered ineffective because of their unusually high affinity for this abundant protein. An understanding of the chemistry of the various classes of pharmaceutical interactions with albumin can suggest new approaches to drug therapy and design. Principal Investigator: Dan Carter/New Century Pharmaceuticals

  2. Thermal hysteresis proteins.

    PubMed

    Barrett, J

    2001-02-01

    Extreme environments present a wealth of biochemical adaptations. Thermal hysteresis proteins (THPs) have been found in vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, bacteria and fungi and are able to depress the freezing point of water (in the presence of ice crystals) in a non-colligative manner by binding to the surface of nascent ice crystals. The THPs comprise a disparate group of proteins with a variety of tertiary structures and often no common sequence similarities or structural motifs. Different THPs bind to different faces of the ice crystal, and no single mechanism has been proposed to account for THP ice binding affinity and specificity. Experimentally THPs have been used in the cryopreservation of tissues and cells and to induce cold tolerance in freeze susceptible organisms. THPs represent a remarkable example of parallel and convergent evolution with different proteins being adapted for an anti-freeze role.

  3. Matricellular proteins and biomaterials.

    PubMed

    Morris, Aaron H; Kyriakides, Themis R

    2014-07-01

    Biomaterials are essential to modern medicine as components of reconstructive implants, implantable sensors, and vehicles for localized drug delivery. Advances in biomaterials have led to progression from simply making implants that are nontoxic to making implants that are specifically designed to elicit particular functions within the host. The interaction of implants and the extracellular matrix during the foreign body response is a growing area of concern for the field of biomaterials, because it can lead to implant failure. Expression of matricellular proteins is modulated during the foreign body response and these proteins interact with biomaterials. The design of biomaterials to specifically alter the levels of matricellular proteins surrounding implants provides a new avenue for the design and fabrication of biomimetic biomaterials.

  4. Thermodynamics of Protein Aggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborne, Kenneth L.; Barz, Bogdan; Bachmann, Michael; Strodel, Birgit

    Amyloid protein aggregation characterizes many neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Creutz- feldt-Jakob disease. Evidence suggests that amyloid aggregates may share similar aggregation pathways, implying simulation of full-length amyloid proteins is not necessary for understanding amyloid formation. In this study we simulate GNNQQNY, the N-terminal prion-determining domain of the yeast protein Sup35 to investigate the thermodynamics of structural transitions during aggregation. We use a coarse-grained model with replica-exchange molecular dynamics to investigate the association of 3-, 6-, and 12-chain GNNQQNY systems and we determine the aggregation pathway by studying aggregation states of GN- NQQNY. We find that the aggregation of the hydrophilic GNNQQNY sequence is mainly driven by H-bond formation, leading to the formation of /3-sheets from the very beginning of the assembly process. Condensation (aggregation) and ordering take place simultaneously, which is underpinned by the occurrence of a single heat capacity peak only.

  5. Protein Crystal Serum Albumin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    As the most abundant protein in the circulatory system albumin contributes 80% to colloid osmotic blood pressure. Albumin is also chiefly responsible for the maintenance of blood pH. It is located in every tissue and bodily secretion, with extracellular protein comprising 60% of total albumin. Perhaps the most outstanding property of albumin is its ability to bind reversibly to an incredible variety of ligands. It is widely accepted in the pharmaceutical industry that the overall distribution, metabolism, and efficiency of many drugs are rendered ineffective because of their unusually high affinity for this abundant protein. An understanding of the chemistry of the various classes of pharmaceutical interactions with albumin can suggest new approaches to drug therapy and design. Principal Investigator: Dan Carter/New Century Pharmaceuticals

  6. Polarizable protein packing.

    PubMed

    Ng, Albert H; Snow, Christopher D

    2011-05-01

    To incorporate protein polarization effects within a protein combinatorial optimization framework, we decompose the polarizable force field AMOEBA into low order terms. Including terms up to the third-order provides a fair approximation to the full energy while maintaining tractability. We represent the polarizable packing problem for protein G as a hypergraph and solve for optimal rotamers with the FASTER combinatorial optimization algorithm. These approximate energy models can be improved to high accuracy [root mean square deviation (rmsd) < 1 kJ mol(-1)] via ridge regression. The resulting trained approximations are used to efficiently identify new, low-energy solutions. The approach is general and should allow combinatorial optimization of other many-body problems. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Advanced protein formulations

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wei

    2015-01-01

    It is well recognized that protein product development is far more challenging than that for small-molecule drugs. The major challenges include inherent sensitivity to different types of stresses during the drug product manufacturing process, high rate of physical and chemical degradation during long-term storage, and enhanced aggregation and/or viscosity at high protein concentrations. In the past decade, many novel formulation concepts and technologies have been or are being developed to address these product development challenges for proteins. These concepts and technologies include use of uncommon/combination of formulation stabilizers, conjugation or fusion with potential stabilizers, site-specific mutagenesis, and preparation of nontraditional types of dosage forms—semiaqueous solutions, nonfreeze-dried solid formulations, suspensions, and other emerging concepts. No one technology appears to be mature, ideal, and/or adequate to address all the challenges. These gaps will likely remain in the foreseeable future and need significant efforts for ultimate resolution. PMID:25858529

  8. Tracking protein aggregate interactions

    PubMed Central

    Bartz, Jason C; Nilsson, K Peter R

    2011-01-01

    Amyloid fibrils share a structural motif consisting of highly ordered β-sheets aligned perpendicular to the fibril axis.1, 2 At each fibril end, β-sheets provide a template for recruiting and converting monomers.3 Different amyloid fibrils often co-occur in the same individual, yet whether a protein aggregate aids or inhibits the assembly of a heterologous protein is unclear. In prion disease, diverse prion aggregate structures, known as strains, are thought to be the basis of disparate disease phenotypes in the same species expressing identical prion protein sequences.4–7 Here we explore the interactions reported to occur when two distinct prion strains occur together in the central nervous system. PMID:21597336

  9. Bioinformatics and Moonlighting Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Hernández, Sergio; Franco, Luís; Calvo, Alejandra; Ferragut, Gabriela; Hermoso, Antoni; Amela, Isaac; Gómez, Antonio; Querol, Enrique; Cedano, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Multitasking or moonlighting is the capability of some proteins to execute two or more biochemical functions. Usually, moonlighting proteins are experimentally revealed by serendipity. For this reason, it would be helpful that Bioinformatics could predict this multifunctionality, especially because of the large amounts of sequences from genome projects. In the present work, we analyze and describe several approaches that use sequences, structures, interactomics, and current bioinformatics algorithms and programs to try to overcome this problem. Among these approaches are (a) remote homology searches using Psi-Blast, (b) detection of functional motifs and domains, (c) analysis of data from protein–protein interaction databases (PPIs), (d) match the query protein sequence to 3D databases (i.e., algorithms as PISITE), and (e) mutation correlation analysis between amino acids by algorithms as MISTIC. Programs designed to identify functional motif/domains detect mainly the canonical function but usually fail in the detection of the moonlighting one, Pfam and ProDom being the best methods. Remote homology search by Psi-Blast combined with data from interactomics databases (PPIs) has the best performance. Structural information and mutation correlation analysis can help us to map the functional sites. Mutation correlation analysis can only be used in very specific situations – it requires the existence of multialigned family protein sequences – but can suggest how the evolutionary process of second function acquisition took place. The multitasking protein database MultitaskProtDB (http://wallace.uab.es/multitask/), previously published by our group, has been used as a benchmark for the all of the analyses. PMID:26157797

  10. Antioxidants and protein oxidation.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, H R

    2000-11-01

    Proteins are susceptible to oxidation by reactive oxygen species, where the type of damage induced is characteristic of the denaturing species. The induction of protein carbonyls is a widely applied biomarker, arising from primary oxidative insult. However, when applied to complex biological and pathological conditions it can be subject to interference from lipid, carbohydrate and DNA oxidation products. More recently, interest has focused on the analysis of specific protein bound oxidised amino acids. Of the 22 amino acids, aromatic and sulphydryl containing residues have been regarded as being particularly susceptible to oxidative modification, with L-DOPA from tyrosine, ortho-tyrosine from phenylalanine; sulphoxides and disulphides from methionine and cysteine respectively; and kynurenines from tryptophan. Latterly, the identification of valine and leucine hydroxides, reduced from hydroperoxide intermediates, has been described and applied. In order to examine the nature of oxidative damage and protective efficacy of antioxidants the markers must be thoroughly evaluated for dosimetry in vitro following damage by specific radical species. Antioxidant protection against formation of the biomarker should be demonstrated in vitro. Quantification of biomarkers in proteins from normal subjects should be within the limits of detection of any analytical procedure. Further to this, the techniques for isolation and hydrolysis of specific proteins should demonstrate that in vitro oxidation is minimised. There is a need for the development of standards for quality assurance material to standardise procedures between laboratories. At present, antioxidant effects on protein oxidation in vivo are limited to animal studies, where dietary antioxidants have been reported to reduce dityrosine formation during rat exercise training. Two studies on humans have been reported last year. The further application of these methods to human studies is indicated, where the quality of the

  11. Modeling Mercury in Proteins.

    PubMed

    Parks, J M; Smith, J C

    2016-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a naturally occurring element that is released into the biosphere both by natural processes and anthropogenic activities. Although its reduced, elemental form Hg(0) is relatively nontoxic, other forms such as Hg(2+) and, in particular, its methylated form, methylmercury, are toxic, with deleterious effects on both ecosystems and humans. Microorganisms play important roles in the transformation of mercury in the environment. Inorganic Hg(2+) can be methylated by certain bacteria and archaea to form methylmercury. Conversely, bacteria also demethylate methylmercury and reduce Hg(2+) to relatively inert Hg(0). Transformations and toxicity occur as a result of mercury interacting with various proteins. Clearly, then, understanding the toxic effects of mercury and its cycling in the environment requires characterization of these interactions. Computational approaches are ideally suited to studies of mercury in proteins because they can provide a detailed molecular picture and circumvent issues associated with toxicity. Here, we describe computational methods for investigating and characterizing how mercury binds to proteins, how inter- and intraprotein transfer of mercury is orchestrated in biological systems, and how chemical reactions in proteins transform the metal. We describe quantum chemical analyses of aqueous Hg(II), which reveal critical factors that determine ligand-binding propensities. We then provide a perspective on how we used chemical reasoning to discover how microorganisms methylate mercury. We also highlight our combined computational and experimental studies of the proteins and enzymes of the mer operon, a suite of genes that confer mercury resistance in many bacteria. Lastly, we place work on mercury in proteins in the context of what is needed for a comprehensive multiscale model of environmental mercury cycling. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Amyloidogenesis of Tau protein.

    PubMed

    Nizynski, Bartosz; Dzwolak, Wojciech; Nieznanski, Krzysztof

    2017-08-17

    The role of microtubule-associated protein Tau in neurodegeneration has been extensively investigated since the discovery of Tau amyloid aggregates in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). The process of formation of amyloid fibrils is known as amyloidogenesis and attracts much attention as a potential target in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative conditions linked to protein aggregation. Cerebral deposition of amyloid aggregates of Tau is observed not only in AD but also in numerous other tauopathies and prion diseases. Amyloidogenesis of intrinsically unstructured monomers of Tau can be triggered by mutations in the Tau gene, post-translational modifications, or interactions with polyanionic molecules and aggregation-prone proteins/peptides. The self-assembly of amyloid fibrils of Tau shares a number of characteristic features with amyloidogenesis of other proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases. For example, in vitro experiments have demonstrated that the nucleation phase, which is the rate-limiting stage of Tau amyloidogenesis, is shortened in the presence of fragmented preformed Tau fibrils acting as aggregation templates ("seeds"). Accordingly, Tau aggregates released by tauopathy-affected neurons can spread the neurodegenerative process in the brain through a prion-like mechanism, originally described for the pathogenic form of prion protein. Moreover, Tau has been shown to form amyloid strains-structurally diverse self-propagating aggregates of potentially various pathological effects, resembling in this respect prion strains. Here, we review the current literature on Tau aggregation and discuss mechanisms of propagation of Tau amyloid in the light of the prion-like paradigm. © 2017 The Protein Society.

  13. Epistasis in protein evolution

    PubMed Central

    Starr, Tyler N.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The structure, function, and evolution of proteins depend on physical and genetic interactions among amino acids. Recent studies have used new strategies to explore the prevalence, biochemical mechanisms, and evolutionary implications of these interactions—called epistasis—within proteins. Here we describe an emerging picture of pervasive epistasis in which the physical and biological effects of mutations change over the course of evolution in a lineage‐specific fashion. Epistasis can restrict the trajectories available to an evolving protein or open new paths to sequences and functions that would otherwise have been inaccessible. We describe two broad classes of epistatic interactions, which arise from different physical mechanisms and have different effects on evolutionary processes. Specific epistasis—in which one mutation influences the phenotypic effect of few other mutations—is caused by direct and indirect physical interactions between mutations, which nonadditively change the protein's physical properties, such as conformation, stability, or affinity for ligands. In contrast, nonspecific epistasis describes mutations that modify the effect of many others; these typically behave additively with respect to the physical properties of a protein but exhibit epistasis because of a nonlinear relationship between the physical properties and their biological effects, such as function or fitness. Both types of interaction are rampant, but specific epistasis has stronger effects on the rate and outcomes of evolution, because it imposes stricter constraints and modulates evolutionary potential more dramatically; it therefore makes evolution more contingent on low‐probability historical events and leaves stronger marks on the sequences, structures, and functions of protein families. PMID:26833806

  14. [Protein-losing enteropathy].

    PubMed

    Parfenov, A I; Krums, L M

    2017-01-01

    Protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) is a rare complication of intestinal diseases. Its main manifestation is hypoproteinemic edema. The diagnosis of PLE is based on the verification of protein loss into the intestinal lumen, by determining fecal α1-antitrypsin concentration and clearance. The localization of the affected colonic segment is clarified using radiologic and endoscopic techniques. The mainstay of treatment for PLE is a fat-free diet enriched with medium-chain triglycerides. Surgical resection of the affected segment of the colon may be the treatment of choice for severe hypoproteinemia resistant to drug therapy.

  15. DELIVERY OF THERAPEUTIC PROTEINS

    PubMed Central

    Pisal, Dipak S.; Kosloski, Matthew P.; Balu-Iyer, Sathy V.

    2009-01-01

    The safety and efficacy of protein therapeutics are limited by three interrelated pharmaceutical issues, in vitro and in vivo instability, immunogenicity and shorter half-lives. Novel drug modifications for overcoming these issues are under investigation and include covalent attachment of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), polysialic acid, or glycolic acid, as well as developing new formulations containing nanoparticulate or colloidal systems (e.g. liposomes, polymeric microspheres, polymeric nanoparticles). Such strategies have the potential to develop as next generation protein therapeutics. This review includes a general discussion on these delivery approaches. PMID:20049941

  16. Protein biosynthesis in mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Kuzmenko, A V; Levitskii, S A; Vinogradova, E N; Atkinson, G C; Hauryliuk, V; Zenkin, N; Kamenski, P A

    2013-08-01

    Translation, that is biosynthesis of polypeptides in accordance with information encoded in the genome, is one of the most important processes in the living cell, and it has been in the spotlight of international research for many years. The mechanisms of protein biosynthesis in bacteria and in the eukaryotic cytoplasm are now understood in great detail. However, significantly less is known about translation in eukaryotic mitochondria, which is characterized by a number of unusual features. In this review, we summarize current knowledge about mitochondrial translation in different organisms while paying special attention to the aspects of this process that differ from cytoplasmic protein biosynthesis.

  17. Protein Biosynthesis in Mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Kuzmenko, A. V.; Levitskii, S. A.; Vinogradova, E. N.; Atkinson, G. C.; Hauryliuk, V.; Zenkin, N.; Kamenski, P. A.

    2013-01-01

    Translation, that is biosynthesis of polypeptides in accordance with information encoded in the genome, is one of the most important processes in the living cell, and it has been in the spotlight of international research for many years. The mechanisms of protein biosynthesis in bacteria and in the eukaryotic cytoplasm are now understood in great detail. However, significantly less is known about translation in eukaryotic mitochondria, which is characterized by a number of unusual features. In this review, we summarize current knowledge about mitochondrial translation in different organisms while paying special attention to the aspects of this process that differ from cytoplasmic protein biosynthesis. PMID:24228873

  18. Congenital protein hypoglycosylation diseases

    PubMed Central

    Sparks, Susan E

    2012-01-01

    Glycosylation is an essential process by which sugars are attached to proteins and lipids. Complete lack of glycosylation is not compatible with life. Because of the widespread function of glycosylation, inherited disorders of glycosylation are multisystemic. Since the identification of the first defect on N-linked glycosylation in the 1980s, there are over 40 different congenital protein hypoglycosylation diseases. This review will include defects of N-linked glycosylation, O-linked glycosylation and disorders of combined N- and O-linked glycosylation. PMID:23776380

  19. SAP family proteins.

    PubMed

    Fujita, A; Kurachi, Y

    2000-03-05

    Thus far, five members including Dlg, SAP97/hDlg, SAP90/PSD-95, SAP102, and PSD-93/chapsyn110 which belong to SAP family have been identified. Recent studies have revealed that these proteins play important roles in the localization and function of glutamate receptors and K(+) channels. Although most of them have been reported to be localized to the synapse, only one member, SAP97, is expressed also in the epithelial cells. In this review, we have summarized structural characters of SAP family proteins and discuss their functions in neurons and epithelial cells.

  20. Protein energy malnutrition.

    PubMed

    Grover, Zubin; Ee, Looi C

    2009-10-01

    Protein energy malnutrition (PEM) is a common problem worldwide and occurs in both developing and industrialized nations. In the developing world, it is frequently a result of socioeconomic, political, or environmental factors. In contrast, protein energy malnutrition in the developed world usually occurs in the context of chronic disease. There remains much variation in the criteria used to define malnutrition, with each method having its own limitations. Early recognition, prompt management, and robust follow up are critical for best outcomes in preventing and treating PEM.

  1. Discovery of binding proteins for a protein target using protein-protein docking-based virtual screening.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Changsheng; Tang, Bo; Wang, Qian; Lai, Luhua

    2014-10-01

    Target structure-based virtual screening, which employs protein-small molecule docking to identify potential ligands, has been widely used in small-molecule drug discovery. In the present study, we used a protein-protein docking program to identify proteins that bind to a specific target protein. In the testing phase, an all-to-all protein-protein docking run on a large dataset was performed. The three-dimensional rigid docking program SDOCK was used to examine protein-protein docking on all protein pairs in the dataset. Both the binding affinity and features of the binding energy landscape were considered in the scoring function in order to distinguish positive binding pairs from negative binding pairs. Thus, the lowest docking score, the average Z-score, and convergency of the low-score solutions were incorporated in the analysis. The hybrid scoring function was optimized in the all-to-all docking test. The docking method and the hybrid scoring function were then used to screen for proteins that bind to tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), which is a well-known therapeutic target for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. A protein library containing 677 proteins was used for the screen. Proteins with scores among the top 20% were further examined. Sixteen proteins from the top-ranking 67 proteins were selected for experimental study. Two of these proteins showed significant binding to TNFα in an in vitro binding study. The results of the present study demonstrate the power and potential application of protein-protein docking for the discovery of novel binding proteins for specific protein targets. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. How Many Protein-Protein Interactions Types Exist in Nature?

    PubMed Central

    Mitra, Pralay; Zhang, Yang

    2012-01-01

    Protein quaternary structure universe” refers to the ensemble of all protein-protein complexes across all organisms in nature. The number of quaternary folds thus corresponds to the number of ways proteins physically interact with other proteins. This study focuses on answering two basic questions: Whether the number of protein-protein interactions is limited and, if yes, how many different quaternary folds exist in nature. By all-to-all sequence and structure comparisons, we grouped the protein complexes in the protein data bank (PDB) into 3,629 families and 1,761 folds. A statistical model was introduced to obtain the quantitative relation between the numbers of quaternary families and quaternary folds in nature. The total number of possible protein-protein interactions was estimated around 4,000, which indicates that the current protein repository contains only 42% of quaternary folds in nature and a full coverage needs approximately a quarter century of experimental effort. The results have important implications to the protein complex structural modeling and the structure genomics of protein-protein interactions. PMID:22719985

  3. Predicting Permanent and Transient Protein-Protein Interfaces

    PubMed Central

    La, David; Kong, Misun; Hoffman, William; Choi, Youn Im; Kihara, Daisuke

    2014-01-01

    Protein-protein interactions are involved in many diverse functions in a cell. To optimize functional roles of interactions, proteins interact with a spectrum of binding affinities. Interactions are conventionally classified into permanent and transient, where the former denotes tight binding between proteins that result in strong complexes, while the latter compose of relatively weak interactions that can dissociate after binding to regulate functional activity at specific time point. Knowing the type of interactions has significant implications for understanding the nature and function of protein-protein interactions. In this study, we constructed amino acid substitution models that capture mutation patterns at permanent and transient type of protein interfaces, which were found to be different with statistical significance. Using the substitution models, we developed a novel computational method that predicts permanent and transient protein binding interfaces in protein surfaces. Without knowledge of the interacting partner, the method employs a single query protein structure and a multiple sequence alignment of the sequence family. Using a large dataset of permanent and transient proteins, we show that our method performs very well in protein interface classification. A very high Area Under the Curve (AUC) value of 0.957 was observed when predicted protein binding sites were classified. Remarkably, near prefect accuracy was achieved with an AUC of 0.991 when actual binding sites were classified. The developed method will be also useful for protein design of permanent and transient protein binding interfaces. PMID:23239312

  4. An introduction to protein moonlighting.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, Constance J

    2014-12-01

    Moonlighting proteins comprise a class of multifunctional proteins in which a single polypeptide chain performs multiple physiologically relevant biochemical or biophysical functions. Almost 300 proteins have been found to moonlight. The known examples of moonlighting proteins include diverse types of proteins, including receptors, enzymes, transcription factors, adhesins and scaffolds, and different combinations of functions are observed. Moonlighting proteins are expressed throughout the evolutionary tree and function in many different biochemical pathways. Some moonlighting proteins can perform both functions simultaneously, but for others, the protein's function changes in response to changes in the environment. The diverse examples of moonlighting proteins already identified, and the potential benefits moonlighting proteins might provide to the organism, such as through coordinating cellular activities, suggest that many more moonlighting proteins are likely to be found. Continuing studies of the structures and functions of moonlighting proteins will aid in predicting the functions of proteins identified through genome sequencing projects, in interpreting results from proteomics experiments, in understanding how different biochemical pathways interact in systems biology, in annotating protein sequence and structure databases, in studies of protein evolution and in the design of proteins with novel functions.

  5. Protein Folding: Then and Now

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yiwen; Ding, Feng; Nie, Huifen; Serohijos, Adrian W.; Sharma, Shantanu; Wilcox, Kyle C.; Yin, Shuangye; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.

    2007-01-01

    Over the past three decades the protein folding field has undergone monumental changes. Originally a purely academic question, how a protein folds has now become vital in understanding diseases and our abilities to rationally manipulate cellular life by engineering protein folding pathways. We review and contrast past and recent developments in the protein folding field. Specifically, we discuss the progress in our understanding of protein folding thermodynamics and kinetics, the properties of evasive intermediates, and unfolded states. We also discuss how some abnormalities in protein folding lead to protein aggregation and human diseases. PMID:17585870

  6. Protein domain connectivity and essentiality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da F. Costa, L.; Rodrigues, F. A.; Travieso, G.

    2006-10-01

    Protein-protein interactions can be properly modeled as scale-free complex networks, while the lethality of proteins has been correlated with the node degrees, therefore defining a lethality-centrality rule. In this work the authors revisit this relevant problem by focusing attention not on proteins as a whole, but on their functional domains, which are ultimately responsible for their binding potential. Four networks are considered: the original protein-protein interaction network, its randomized version, and two domain networks assuming different lethality hypotheses. By using formal statistical analysis, they show that the correlation between connectivity and essentiality is higher for domains than for proteins.

  7. Conformation Distributions in Adsorbed Proteins.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meuse, Curtis W.; Hubbard, Joseph B.; Vrettos, John S.; Smith, Jackson R.; Cicerone, Marcus T.

    2007-03-01

    While the structural basis of protein function is well understood in the biopharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, few methods for the characterization and comparison of protein conformation distributions are available. New methods capable of measuring the stability of protein conformations and the integrity of protein-protein, protein-ligand and protein-surface interactions both in solution and on surfaces are needed to help the development of protein-based products. We are developing infrared spectroscopy methods for the characterization and comparison of molecular conformation distributions in monolayers and in solutions. We have extracted an order parameter describing the orientational and conformational variations of protein functional groups around the average molecular values from a single polarized spectrum. We will discuss the development of these methods and compare them to amide hydrogen/deuterium exchange methods for albumin in solution and on different polymer surfaces to show that our order parameter is related to protein stability.

  8. Protein Catalysts by Computational Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayo, Stephen

    2001-03-01

    Understanding the relationships between protein sequence, protein structure, and protein function remains as a central challenge in chemistry and biology. Combined computational and experimental approaches aimed at elucidating these relationships have led to a powerful method for the enhancement of naturally occurring proteins and the creation of new protein function. This presentation will briefly cover the development of our computational protein design methodology and will focus primarily on our recent success in designing an enzyme-like protein catalyst that functions as an esterase. The computational protein design methodology that will be described in this presentation promises not only to revolutionize the conduct of biotechnology in the 21st century, but also to provide a tractable approach for studying the relationships between protein fold and the evolvability of protein function.

  9. NextGen protein design

    PubMed Central

    Regan, Lynne

    2014-01-01

    Protein engineering is at an exciting stage because designed protein–protein interactions are being used in many applications. For instance, three designed proteins are now in clinical trials. Although there have been many successes over the last decade, protein engineering still faces numerous challenges. Often, designs do not work as anticipated and they still require substantial redesign. The present review focuses on the successes, the challenges and the limitations of rational protein design today. PMID:24059497

  10. Chaos in protein dynamics.

    PubMed

    Braxenthaler, M; Unger, R; Auerbach, D; Given, J A; Moult, J

    1997-12-01

    MD simulations, currently the most detailed description of the dynamic evolution of proteins, are based on the repeated solution of a set of differential equations implementing Newton's second law. Many such systems are known to exhibit chaotic behavior, i.e., very small changes in initial conditions are amplified exponentially and lead to vastly different, inherently unpredictable behavior. We have investigated the response of a protein fragment in an explicit solvent environment to very small perturbations of the atomic positions (10(-3)-10(-9) A). Independent of the starting conformation (native-like, compact, extended), perturbed dynamics trajectories deviated rapidly, leading to conformations that differ by approximately 1 A RMSD within 1-2 ps. Furthermore, introducing the perturbation more than 1-2 ps before a significant conformational transition leads to a loss of the transition in the perturbed trajectories. We present evidence that the observed chaotic behavior reflects physical properties of the system rather than numerical instabilities of the calculation and discuss the implications for models of protein folding and the use of MD as a tool to analyze protein folding pathways.

  11. Protein Crystal Bovine Insulin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    The comparison of protein crystal, Bovine Insulin space-grown (left) and earth-grown (right). Facilitates the incorporation of glucose into cells. In diabetics, there is either a decrease in or complete lack of insulin, thereby leading to several harmful complications. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  12. Protein thin film machines.

    PubMed

    Federici, Stefania; Oliviero, Giulio; Hamad-Schifferli, Kimberly; Bergese, Paolo

    2010-12-01

    We report the first example of microcantilever beams that are reversibly driven by protein thin film machines fueled by cycling the salt concentration of the surrounding solution. We also show that upon the same salinity stimulus the drive can be completely reversed in its direction by introducing a surface coating ligand. Experimental results are throughout discussed within a general yet simple thermodynamic model.

  13. Protein Stability in Ice

    PubMed Central

    Strambini, Giovanni B.; Gonnelli, Margherita

    2007-01-01

    This study presents an experimental approach, based on the change of Trp fluorescence between native and denatured states of proteins, which permits to monitor unfolding equilibria and the thermodynamic stability (ΔG°) of these macromolecules in frozen aqueous solutions. The results obtained by guanidinium chloride denaturation of the azurin mutant C112S from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, in the temperature range from −8 to −16°C, demonstrate that the stability of the native fold may be significantly perturbed in ice depending mainly on the size of the liquid water pool (VL) in equilibrium with the solid phase. The data establish a threshold, around VL = 1.5%, below which in ice ΔG° decreases progressively relative to liquid state, up to 3 kcal/mole for VL = 0.285%. The sharp dependence of ΔG° on VL is consistent with a mechanism based on adsorption of the protein to the ice surface. The reduction in ΔG° is accompanied by a corresponding decrease in m-value indicating that protein-ice interactions increase the solvent accessible surface area of the native fold or reduce that of the denatured state, or both. The method opens the possibility for examining in a more quantitative fashion the influence of various experimental conditions on the ice perturbation and in particular to test the effectiveness of numerous additives used in formulations to preserve labile pharmaco proteins. PMID:17189314

  14. Cellulose binding domain proteins

    DOEpatents

    Shoseyov, O.; Shpiegl, I.; Goldstein, M.; Doi, R.

    1998-11-17

    A cellulose binding domain (CBD) having a high affinity for crystalline cellulose and chitin is disclosed, along with methods for the molecular cloning and recombinant production. Fusion products comprising the CBD and a second protein are likewise described. A wide range of applications are contemplated for both the CBD and the fusion products, including drug delivery, affinity separations, and diagnostic techniques. 16 figs.

  15. Protein Crystal Bovine Insulin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    The comparison of protein crystal, Bovine Insulin space-grown (left) and earth-grown (right). Facilitates the incorporation of glucose into cells. In diabetics, there is either a decrease in or complete lack of insulin, thereby leading to several harmful complications. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  16. Cellulose binding domain proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Shoseyov, Oded; Shpiegl, Itai; Goldstein, Marc; Doi, Roy

    1998-01-01

    A cellulose binding domain (CBD) having a high affinity for crystalline cellulose and chitin is disclosed, along with methods for the molecular cloning and recombinant production thereof. Fusion products comprising the CBD and a second protein are likewise described. A wide range of applications are contemplated for both the CBD and the fusion products, including drug delivery, affinity separations, and diagnostic techniques.

  17. Protein states and proteinquakes.

    PubMed Central

    Ansari, A; Berendzen, J; Bowne, S F; Frauenfelder, H; Iben, I E; Sauke, T B; Shyamsunder, E; Young, R D

    1985-01-01

    After photodissociation of carbon monoxide bound to myoglobin, the protein relaxes to the deoxy equilibrium structure in a quake-like motion. Investigation of the proteinquake and of related intramolecular equilibrium motions shows that states and motions have a hierarchical glass-like structure. PMID:3860839

  18. Tuber Storage Proteins

    PubMed Central

    SHEWRY, PETER R.

    2003-01-01

    A wide range of plants are grown for their edible tubers, but five species together account for almost 90 % of the total world production. These are potato (Solanum tuberosum), cassava (Manihot esculenta), sweet potato (Ipomoea batatus), yams (Dioscorea spp.) and taro (Colocasia, Cyrtosperma and Xanthosoma spp.). All of these, except cassava, contain groups of storage proteins, but these differ in the biological properties and evolutionary relationships. Thus, patatin from potato exhibits activity as an acylhydrolase and esterase, sporamin from sweet potato is an inhibitor of trypsin, and dioscorin from yam is a carbonic anhydrase. Both sporamin and dioscorin also exhibit antioxidant and radical scavenging activity. Taro differs from the other three crops in that it contains two major types of storage protein: a trypsin inhibitor related to sporamin and a mannose‐binding lectin. These characteristics indicate that tuber storage proteins have evolved independently in different species, which contrasts with the highly conserved families of storage proteins present in seeds. Furthermore, all exhibit biological activities which could contribute to resistance to pests, pathogens or abiotic stresses, indicating that they may have dual roles in the tubers. PMID:12730067

  19. Conserved herpesvirus protein kinases

    PubMed Central

    Gershburg, Edward; Pagano, Joseph S.

    2008-01-01

    Conserved herpesviral protein kinases (CHPKs) are a group of enzymes conserved throughout all subfamilies of Herpesviridae. Members of this group are serine/threonine protein kinases that are likely to play a conserved role in viral infection by interacting with common host cellular and viral factors; however along with a conserved role, individual kinases may have unique functions in the context of viral infection in such a way that they are only partially replaceable even by close homologues. Recent studies demonstrated that CHPKs are crucial for viral infection and suggested their involvement in regulation of numerous processes at various infection steps (primary infection, nuclear egress, tegumentation), although the mechanisms of this regulation remain unknown. Notwithstanding, recent advances in discovery of new CHPK targets, and studies of CHPK knockout phenotypes have raised their attractiveness as targets for antiviral therapy. A number of compounds have been shown to inhibit the activity of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV)-encoded UL97 protein kinase and exhibit a pronounced antiviral effect, although the same compounds are inactive against Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-encoded protein kinase BGLF4, illustrating the fact that low homology between the members of this group complicates development of compounds targeting the whole group, and suggesting that individualized, structure-based inhibitor design will be more effective. Determination of CHPK structures will greatly facilitate this task. PMID:17881303

  20. Tuber storage proteins.

    PubMed

    Shewry, Peter R

    2003-06-01

    A wide range of plants are grown for their edible tubers, but five species together account for almost 90 % of the total world production. These are potato (Solanum tuberosum), cassava (Manihot esculenta), sweet potato (Ipomoea batatus), yams (Dioscorea spp.) and taro (Colocasia, Cyrtosperma and Xanthosoma spp.). All of these, except cassava, contain groups of storage proteins, but these differ in the biological properties and evolutionary relationships. Thus, patatin from potato exhibits activity as an acylhydrolase and esterase, sporamin from sweet potato is an inhibitor of trypsin, and dioscorin from yam is a carbonic anhydrase. Both sporamin and dioscorin also exhibit antioxidant and radical scavenging activity. Taro differs from the other three crops in that it contains two major types of storage protein: a trypsin inhibitor related to sporamin and a mannose-binding lectin. These characteristics indicate that tuber storage proteins have evolved independently in different species, which contrasts with the highly conserved families of storage proteins present in seeds. Furthermore, all exhibit biological activities which could contribute to resistance to pests, pathogens or abiotic stresses, indicating that they may have dual roles in the tubers.