Thursday, October 27, 2011

SPM1 Stabilizes Subpellicular Microtubules in Toxoplasma gondii

Eukaryot Cell. 2011 Oct 21. [Epub ahead of print]

SPM1 Stabilizes Subpellicular Microtubules in Toxoplasma gondii.

Tran JQ, Li C, Chyan A, Chung L, Morrissette NS.

SourceDepartment of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine, Irvine CA 92697.

We have identified two novel proteins that co-localize with the subpellicular microtubules in the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii and named these proteins SPM1 and SPM2. These proteins have basic isoelectric points and both have homologs in other apicomplexan parasites. SPM1 contains six tandem copies of a 32 amino acid repeat whereas SPM2 lacks defined protein signatures. Alignment of Toxoplasma SPM2 with apparent Plasmodium SPM2 homologs indicates that the greatest degree of conservation lies in the carboxy-terminal half of the protein. Analysis of Plasmodium homologs of SPM1 indicates that while the central 32 amino acid repeats have expanded to different degrees (seven, eight, nine, twelve or thirteen repeats), the amino and carboxy-terminal regions remain conserved. In contrast, although the Cryptosporidium SPM1 homolog has a conserved carboxy-tail, the five repeats are considerably diverged, and it has a smaller amino-terminal domain. SPM1 is localized along the full length of the subpellicular microtubules but does not associate with the conoid or spindle microtubules. SPM2 has a restricted localization along the middle region of the subpellicular microtubules. Domain deletion analysis indicates that four or more copies of the SPM1 repeat are required for localization to microtubules, and the amino-terminal 63 residues of SPM2 are required for localization to the subpellicular microtubules. Gene deletion studies indicate that neither SPM1 nor SPM2 is essential for tachyzoite viability. However, loss of SPM1 decreases overall parasite fitness and eliminates the stability of subpellicular microtubules to detergent extraction.

PMID:22021240[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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