RNAi of XAC1 (Tb927.7.2780) in Trypanosoma brucei bloodstream forms
ABSTRACT: Gradient fractions of RNAi of XAC1 (Tb927.7.2780) in Trypanosoma brucei bloodstream forms. RNAi was induced using tetracycline and cell extracts were fractionated into polysomal and monosome-non-ribosome-associated fractions.
Project description:Ribose 5-phosphate isomerase is an enzyme involved in the non-oxidative branch of the pentose phosphate pathway, and catalyzes the inter-conversion of D-ribose 5-phosphate and D-ribulose 5-phosphate. Trypanosomatids, including the agent of African sleeping sickness namely Trypanosoma brucei, have a type B ribose-5-phosphate isomerase. This enzyme is absent from humans, which have a structurally unrelated ribose 5-phosphate isomerase type A, and therefore has been proposed as an attractive drug target waiting further characterization. In this study, Trypanosoma brucei ribose 5-phosphate isomerase B showed in vitro isomerase activity. RNAi against this enzyme reduced parasites' in vitro growth, and more importantly, bloodstream forms infectivity. Mice infected with induced RNAi clones exhibited lower parasitaemia and a prolonged survival compared to control mice. Phenotypic reversion was achieved by complementing induced RNAi clones with an ectopic copy of Trypanosoma cruzi gene. Our results present the first functional characterization of Trypanosoma brucei ribose 5-phosphate isomerase B, and show the relevance of an enzyme belonging to the non-oxidative branch of the pentose phosphate pathway in the context of Trypanosoma brucei infection.
Project description:In the slender bloodstream form, Trypanosoma brucei mitochondria are repressed for many functions. Multiple components of mitochondrial complex I, NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase, are expressed in this stage, but electron transfer through complex I is not essential. Here we investigate the role of the parasite's second NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase, NDH2, which is composed of a single subunit that also localizes to the mitochondrion. While inducible knockdown of NDH2 had a modest growth effect in bloodstream forms, NDH2 null mutants, as well as inducible knockdowns in a complex I deficient background, showed a greater reduction in growth. Altering the NAD+/NADH balance would affect numerous processes directly and indirectly, including acetate production. Indeed, loss of NDH2 led to reduced levels of acetate, which is required for several essential pathways in bloodstream form T. brucei and which may have contributed to the observed growth defect. In conclusion our study shows that NDH2 is important, but not essential, in proliferating bloodstream forms of T. brucei, arguing that the mitochondrial NAD+/NADH balance is important in this stage, even though the mitochondrion itself is not actively engaged in the generation of ATP.
Project description:African trypanosomes are capable of both pyrimidine biosynthesis and salvage of preformed pyrimidines from the host, but it is unknown whether either process is essential to the parasite.Pyrimidine requirements for growth were investigated using strictly pyrimidine-free media, with or without single added pyrimidine sources. Growth rates of wild-type bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei brucei were unchanged in pyrimidine-free medium. The essentiality of the de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis pathway was studied by knocking out the PYR6-5 locus that produces a fusion product of orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRT) and Orotidine Monophosphate Decarboxylase (OMPDCase). The pyrimidine auxotroph was dependent on a suitable extracellular pyrimidine source. Pyrimidine starvation was rapidly lethal and non-reversible, causing incomplete DNA content in new cells. The phenotype could be rescued by addition of uracil; supplementation with uridine, 2'deoxyuridine, and cytidine allowed a diminished growth rate and density. PYR6-5(-/-) trypanosomes were more sensitive to pyrimidine antimetabolites and displayed increased uracil transport rates and uridine phosphorylase activity. Pyrimidine auxotrophs were able to infect mice although the infection developed much more slowly than infection with the parental, prototrophic trypanosome line.Pyrimidine salvage was not an essential function for bloodstream T. b. brucei. However, trypanosomes lacking de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis are completely dependent on an extracellular pyrimidine source, strongly preferring uracil, and display reduced infectivity. As T. brucei are able to salvage sufficient pyrimidines from the host environment, the pyrimidine biosynthesis pathway is not a viable drug target, although any interruption of pyrimidine supply was lethal.
Project description:Topoisomerase-II accumulates at centromeres during prometaphase, where it resolves the DNA catenations that represent the last link between sister chromatids. Previously, using approaches including etoposide-mediated topoisomerase-II cleavage, we mapped centromeric domains in trypanosomes, early branching eukaryotes in which chromosome segregation is poorly understood. Here, we show that in bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei, RNAi-mediated depletion of topoisomerase-II?, but not topoisomerase-II?, results in the abolition of centromere-localized activity and is lethal. Both phenotypes can be rescued by expression of the corresponding enzyme from T. cruzi. Therefore, processes which govern centromere-specific topoisomerase-II accumulation/activation have been functionally conserved within trypanosomes, despite the long evolutionary separation of these species and differences in centromeric DNA organization. The variable carboxyl terminal region of topoisomerase-II has a major role in regulating biological function. We therefore generated T. brucei lines expressing T. cruzi topoisomerase-II truncated at the carboxyl terminus and examined activity at centromeres after the RNAi-mediated depletion of the endogenous enzyme. A region necessary for nuclear localization was delineated to six residues. In other organisms, sumoylation of topoisomerase-II has been shown to be necessary for regulated chromosome segregation. Evidence that we present here suggests that sumoylation of the T. brucei enzyme is not required for centromere-specific cleavage activity.
Project description:Aurora kinase family members co-ordinate a range of events associated with mitosis and cytokinesis. Anti-cancer therapies are currently being developed against them. Here, we evaluate whether Aurora kinase-1 (TbAUK1) from pathogenic Trypanosoma brucei might be targeted in anti-parasitic therapies as well. Conditional knockdown of TbAUK1 within infected mice demonstrated its essential contribution to infection. An in vitro kinase assay was developed which used recombinant trypanosome histone H3 as a substrate. Tandem mass spectroscopy identified a novel phosphorylation site in the carboxyl-tail of recombinant trypanosome histone H3. Hesperadin, an inhibitor of human Aurora B, prevented the phosphorylation of substrate with IC(50) of 40 nM. Growth of cultured bloodstream forms was also sensitive to Hesperadin (IC(50) of 50 nM). Hesperadin blocked nuclear division and cytokinesis but not other aspects of the cell cycle. Consequently, growth arrested cells accumulated multiple kinetoplasts, flagella and nucleoli, similar to the effects of RNAi-dependent knockdown of TbAUK1 in cultured bloodstream forms cells. Molecular models predicted high-affinity binding of Hesperadin to both conserved and novel sites in TbAUK1. Collectively, these data demonstrate that cell cycle progression is essential for infections with T. brucei and that parasite Aurora kinases can be targeted with small-molecule inhibitors.
Project description:African trypanosomes undergo differentiation in order to adapt to the mammalian host and the tsetse fly vector. To characterize the role of a mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase homologue, TbMAPK5, in the differentiation of Trypanosoma brucei, we constructed a knockout in procyclic (insect) forms from a differentiation-competent (pleomorphic) stock. Two independent knockout clones proliferated normally in culture and were not essential for other life cycle stages in the fly. They were also able to infect immunosuppressed mice, but the peak parasitemia was 16-fold lower than that of the wild type. Differentiation of the proliferating long slender to the nonproliferating short stumpy bloodstream form is triggered by an autocrine factor, stumpy induction factor (SIF). The knockout differentiated prematurely in mice and in culture, suggestive of increased sensitivity to SIF. In contrast, a null mutant of a cell line refractory to SIF was able to proliferate normally. The differentiation phenotype was partially rescued by complementation with wild-type TbMAPK5 but exacerbated by introduction of a nonactivatable mutant form. Our results indicate a regulatory function for TbMAPK5 in the differentiation of bloodstream forms of T. brucei that might be exploitable as a target for chemotherapy against human sleeping sickness.
Project description:The biological membranes of Trypanosoma brucei contain a complex array of phospholipids that are synthesized de novo from precursors obtained either directly from the host, or as catabolised endocytosed lipids. This paper describes the use of nanoflow electrospray tandem mass spectrometry and high resolution mass spectrometry in both positive and negative ion modes, allowing the identification of approximately 500 individual molecular phospholipids species from total lipid extracts of cultured bloodstream and procyclic form T. brucei. Various molecular species of all of the major subclasses of glycerophospholipids were identified including phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidylinositol as well as phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylglycerol and cardolipin, and the sphingolipids sphingomyelin, inositol phosphoceramide and ethanolamine phosphoceramide. The lipidomic data obtained in this study will aid future biochemical phenotyping of either genetically or chemically manipulated commonly used bloodstream and procyclic strains of Trypanosoma brucei. Hopefully this will allow a greater understanding of the bizarre world of lipids in this important human pathogen.
Project description:Background: Cellular proteins vary significantly in both abundance and turnover rates. These parameters depend upon their rates of synthesis and degradation and it is useful to have access to data on protein turnover rates when, for example, designing genetic knock-down experiments or assessing the potential usefulness of covalent enzyme inhibitors. Little is known about the nature and regulation of protein turnover in Trypanosoma brucei, the etiological agent of human and animal African trypanosomiasis. Methods: To establish baseline data on T. brucei proteome turnover, a Stable Isotope Labelling with Amino acids in Cell culture (SILAC)-based mass spectrometry analysis was performed to reveal the synthesis and degradation profiles for thousands of proteins in the bloodstream and procyclic forms of this parasite. Results: This analysis revealed a slower average turnover rate of the procyclic form proteome relative to the bloodstream proteome. As expected, many of the proteins with the fastest turnover rates have functions in the cell cycle and in the regulation of cytokinesis in both bloodstream and procyclic forms. Moreover, the cellular localization of T. brucei proteins correlates with their turnover, with mitochondrial and glycosomal proteins exhibiting slower than average turnover rates. Conclusions: The intention of this study is to provide the trypanosome research community with a resource for protein turnover data for any protein or group of proteins. To this end, bioinformatic analyses of these data are made available via an open-access web resource with data visualization functions.