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  • Frénal, Karine, et al. (författare)
  • Global analysis of apicomplexan protein S-acyl transferases reveals an enzyme essential for invasion
  • 2013
  • Ingår i: Traffic. - : John Wiley & Sons. - 1398-9219 .- 1600-0854. ; 14:8, s. 895-911
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The advent of techniques to study palmitoylation on a whole proteome scale has revealed that it is an important reversible modification that plays a role in regulating multiple biological processes. Palmitoylation can control the affinity of a protein for lipid membranes, which allows it to impact protein trafficking, stability, folding, signalling and interactions. The publication of the palmitome of the schizont stage of Plasmodium falciparum implicated a role for palmitoylation in host cell invasion, protein export and organelle biogenesis. However, nothing is known so far about the repertoire of protein S-acyl transferases (PATs) that catalyse this modification in Apicomplexa. We undertook a comprehensive analysis of the repertoire of Asp-His-His-Cys cysteine-rich domain (DHHC-CRD) PAT family in Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium berghei by assessing their localization and essentiality. Unlike functional redundancies reported in other eukaryotes, some apicomplexan-specific DHHCs are essential for parasite growth, and several are targeted to organelles unique to this phylum. Of particular interest is DHHC7, which localizes to rhoptry organelles in all parasites tested, including the major human pathogen P. falciparum. TgDHHC7 interferes with the localization of the rhoptry palmitoylated protein TgARO and affects the apical positioning of the rhoptry organelles. This PAT has a major impact on T. gondii host cell invasion, but not on the parasite's ability to egress.
  • Oppenheim, Rebecca D., et al. (författare)
  • BCKDH : the missing link in apicomplexan mitochondrial metabolism is required for full virulence of Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium berghei
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: PLoS Pathogens. - : PLOS. - 1553-7366 .- 1553-7374. ; 10:7
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • While the apicomplexan parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii are thought to primarily depend on glycolysis for ATP synthesis, recent studies have shown that they can fully catabolize glucose in a canonical TCA cycle. However, these parasites lack a mitochondrial isoform of pyruvate dehydrogenase and the identity of the enzyme that catalyses the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl-CoA remains enigmatic. Here we demonstrate that the mitochondrial branched chain ketoacid dehydrogenase (BCKDH) complex is the missing link, functionally replacing mitochondrial PDH in both T. gondii and P. berghei. Deletion of the E1a subunit of T. gondii and P. berghei BCKDH significantly impacted on intracellular growth and virulence of both parasites. Interestingly, disruption of the P. berghei E1a restricted parasite development to reticulocytes only and completely prevented maturation of oocysts during mosquito transmission. Overall this study highlights the importance of the molecular adaptation of BCKDH in this important class of pathogens.
  • Pino, Paco, et al. (författare)
  • A tetracycline-repressible transactivator system to study essential genes in malaria parasites
  • 2012
  • Ingår i: Cell Host and Microbe. - : Elsevier. - 1931-3128 .- 1934-6069. ; 12:6, s. 824-834
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • A major obstacle in analyzing gene function in apicomplexan parasites is the absence of a practical regulatable expression system. Here, we identified functional transcriptional activation domains within Apicomplexan AP2 (ApiAP2) family transcription factors. These ApiAP2 transactivation domains were validated in blood-, liver-, and mosquito-stage parasites and used to create a robust conditional expression system for stage-specific, tetracycline-dependent gene regulation in Toxoplasma gondii, Plasmodium berghei, and Plasmodium falciparum. To demonstrate the utility of this system, we created conditional knockdowns of two essential P. berghei genes: profilin (PRF), a protein implicated in parasite invasion, and N-myristoyltransferase (NMT), which catalyzes protein acylation. Tetracycline-induced repression of PRF and NMT expression resulted in a dramatic reduction in parasite viability. This efficient regulatable system will allow for the functional characterization of essential proteins that are found in these important parasites.
  • Stanway, Rebecca R., et al. (författare)
  • Genome-Scale Identification of Essential Metabolic Processes for Targeting the Plasmodium Liver Stage
  • 2019
  • Ingår i: Cell. - : Elsevier. - 0092-8674 .- 1097-4172. ; 179:5, s. 1112-1128.e1-e15
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Plasmodium gene functions in mosquito and liver stages remain poorly characterized due to limitations in the throughput of phenotyping at these stages. To fill this gap, we followed more than 1,300 barcoded P. berghei mutants through the life cycle. We discover 461 genes required for efficient parasite transmission to mosquitoes through the liver stage and back into the bloodstream of mice. We analyze the screen in the context of genomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic data by building a thermodynamic model of P. berghei liver-stage metabolism, which shows a major reprogramming of parasite metabolism to achieve rapid growth in the liver. We identify seven metabolic subsystems that become essential at the liver stages compared with asexual blood stages: type II fatty acid synthesis and elongation (FAE), tricarboxylic acid, amino sugar, heme, lipoate, and shikimate metabolism. Selected predictions from the model are individually validated in single mutants to provide future targets for drug development.
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