GTP avoidance in Tetrahymena thermophila requires tyrosine kinase activity, intracellular calcium, NOS, and guanylyl cyclase.
ABSTRACT: Guanosine 5'-triphosphate (GTP) is a chemorepellent in Tetrahymena thermophila that has been shown to stimulate cell division as well as ciliary reversal. Previous studies have proposed that GTP avoidance is linked to a receptor-mediated, calcium-based depolarization. However, the intracellular mechanisms involved in GTP avoidance have not been previously documented. In this study, we examine the hypothesis that GTP signals through a tyrosine kinase pathway in T. thermophila. Using behavioral assays, enzyme immunosorbent assays, Western blotting, and immunofluorescence, we present data that implicate a tyrosine kinase, phospholipase C, intracellular calcium, nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and guanylyl cyclase in GTP signaling. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein eliminates GTP avoidance in Tetrahymena in behavioral assays. Similarly, pharmacological inhibitors of phospholipase C, NOS, and guanylyl cyclase all eliminated Tetrahymena avoidance to GTP. Immunofluorescence data shows evidence of tyrosine kinase activity in the cilia, suggesting that this enzyme activity could be directly involved in ciliary reversal.
Project description:Live imaging has become a powerful tool in studies of ciliary proteins. Tetrahymena thermophila is an established ciliated model with well-developed genetic and biochemical approaches, but its large size, complex shape, and the large number of short and overlapping cilia, have made live imaging of ciliary proteins challenging. Here we describe a method that combines paralysis of cilia by nickel ions and total internal reflection microscopy for live imaging of fluorescent proteins inside cilia of Tetrahymena. Using this method, we quantitatively documented the intraflagellar transport in Tetrahymena.
Project description:We cloned a guanylyl cyclase of 280 kDa from the ciliate Paramecium which has an N-terminus similar to that of a P-type ATPase and a C-terminus with a topology identical to mammalian adenylyl cyclases. Respective signature sequence motifs are conserved in both domains. The cytosolic catalytic C1a and C2a segments of the cyclase are inverted. Genes coding for topologically identical proteins with substantial sequence similarities have been cloned from Tetrahymena and were detected in sequences from Plasmodium deposited by the Malaria Genome Project. After 99 point mutations to convert the Paramecium TAA/TAG-Gln triplets to CAA/CAG, together with partial gene synthesis, the gene from Paramecium was heterologously expressed. In Sf9 cells, the holoenzyme is proteolytically processed into the two domains. Immunocytochemistry demonstrates expression of the protein in Paramecium and localizes it to cell surface membranes. The data provide a novel structural link between class III adenylyl and guanylyl cyclases and imply that the protozoan guanylyl cyclases evolved from an ancestral adenylyl cyclase independently of the mammalian guanylyl cyclase isoforms. Further, signal transmission in Ciliophora (Paramecium, Tetrahymena) and in the most important endoparasitic phylum Apicomplexa (Plasmodium) is, quite unexpectedly, closely related.
Project description:Centrin, an EF hand Ca(2+) binding protein, has been cloned in Tetrahymena thermophila. It is a 167 amino acid protein of 19.4 kDa with a unique N-terminal region, coded by a single gene containing an 85-base pair intron. It has > 80% homology to other centrins and high homology to Tetrahymena EF hand proteins calmodulin, TCBP23, and TCBP25. Specific cellular localizations of the closely related Tetrahymena EF hand proteins are different from centrin. Centrin is localized to basal bodies, cortical fibers in oral apparatus and ciliary rootlets, the apical filament ring and to inner arm (14S) dynein (IAD) along the ciliary axoneme. The function of centrin in Ca(2+) control of IAD activity was explored using in vitro microtubule (MT) motility assays. Ca(2+) or the Ca(2+)-mimicking peptide CALP1, which binds EF hand proteins in the absence of Ca(2+), increased MT sliding velocity. Antibodies to centrin abrogated this increase. This is the first demonstration of a specific centrin function associated with axonemal dynein. It suggests that centrin is a key regulatory protein for Tetrahymena axonemal Ca(2+) responses, including ciliary reversal or chemotaxis.
Project description:The genome of Tetrahymena thermophila contains 39 loci encoding NIMA-related kinases (NRKs), an extraordinarily large number for a unicellular organism. Evolutionary analyses grouped these sequences into several subfamilies, some of which have orthologues in animals, whereas others are protist specific. When overproduced, NRKs of three subfamilies caused rapid shortening of cilia. Ultrastructural studies revealed that each NRK triggered ciliary resorption by a distinct mechanism that involved preferential depolymerization of a subset of axonemal microtubules, at either the distal or proximal end. Overexpression of a kinase-inactive variant caused lengthening of cilia, indicating that constitutive NRK-mediated resorption regulates the length of cilia. Each NRK preferentially resorbed a distinct subset of cilia, depending on the location along the anteroposterior axis. We also show that normal Tetrahymena cells maintain unequal length cilia. We propose that ciliates used a large number of NRK paralogues to differentially regulate the length of specific subsets of cilia in the same cell.
Project description:The adenylyl and guanylyl cyclases catalyze the formation of 3', 5'-cyclic adenosine or guanosine monophosphate from the corresponding nucleoside 5'-triphosphate. The guanylyl cyclases, the mammalian adenylyl cyclases, and their microbial homologues function as pairs of homologous catalytic domains. The crystal structure of the rat type II adenylyl cyclase C2 catalytic domain was used to model by homology a mammalian adenylyl cyclase C1-C2 domain pair, a homodimeric adenylyl cyclase of Dictyostelium discoideum, a heterodimeric soluble guanylyl cyclase, and a homodimeric membrane guanylyl cyclase. Mg2+ATP or Mg2+GTP were docked into the active sites based on known stereochemical constraints on their conformation. The models are consistent with the activities of seven active-site mutants. Asp-310 and Glu-432 of type I adenylyl cyclase coordinate a Mg2+ ion. The D310S and D310A mutants have 10-fold reduced Vmax and altered [Mg2+] dependence. The NTP purine moieties bind in mostly hydrophobic pockets. Specificity is conferred by a Lys and an Asp in adenylyl cyclase, and a Glu, an Arg, and a Cys in guanylyl cyclase. The models predict that an Asp from one domain is a general base in the reaction, and that the transition state is stabilized by a conserved Asn-Arg pair on the other domain.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The multi-tubulin hypothesis proposes that each tubulin isotype performs a unique role, or subset of roles, in the universe of microtubule function(s). To test this hypothesis, we are investigating the functions of the recently discovered, noncanonical ?-like tubulins (BLTs) of the ciliate, Tetrahymena thermophila. Tetrahymena forms 17 distinct microtubular structures whose assembly had been thought to be based on single ?- and ?-isotypes. However, completion of the macronuclear genome sequence of Tetrahymena demonstrated that this ciliate possessed a ?-tubulin multigene family: two synonymous genes (BTU1 and BTU2) encode the canonical ?-tubulin, BTU2, and six genes (BLT1-6) yield five divergent ?-tubulin isotypes. In this report, we examine the structural features and functions of two of the BLTs (BLT1 and BLT4) and compare them to those of BTU2. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: With respect to BTU2, BLT1 and BLT4 had multiple sequence substitutions in their GTP-binding sites, in their interaction surfaces, and in their microtubule-targeting motifs, which together suggest that they have specialized functions. To assess the roles of these tubulins in vivo, we transformed Tetrahymena with expression vectors that direct the synthesis of GFP-tagged versions of the isotypes. We show that GFP-BLT1 and GFP-BLT4 were not detectable in somatic cilia and basal bodies, whereas GFP-BTU2 strongly labeled these structures. During cell division, GFP-BLT1 and GFP-BLT4, but not GFP-BTU2, were incorporated into the microtubule arrays of the macronucleus and into the mitotic apparatus of the micronucleus. GFP-BLT1 also participated in formation of the microtubules of the meiotic apparatus of the micronucleus during conjugation. Partitioning of the isotypes between nuclear and ciliary microtubules was confirmed biochemically. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that Tetrahymena uses a family of distinct ?-tubulin isotypes to construct subsets of functionally different microtubules, a result that provides strong support for the multi-tubulin hypothesis.
Project description:Adenylyl cyclases are widely distributed across all kingdoms whereas guanylyl cyclases are generally thought to be restricted to eukaryotes. Here we report that the ?-proteobacterium Rhodospirillum centenum secretes cGMP when developing cysts and that a guanylyl cyclase deletion strain fails to synthesize cGMP and is defective in cyst formation. The R. centenum cyclase was purified and shown to effectively synthesize cGMP from GTP in vitro, demonstrating that it is a functional guanylyl cyclase. A homologue of the Escherichia coli cAMP receptor protein (CRP) is linked to the guanylyl cyclase and when deleted is deficient in cyst development. Isothermal calorimetry (ITC) and differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF) analyses demonstrate that the recombinant CRP homologue preferentially binds to, and is stabilized by cGMP, but not cAMP. This study thus provides evidence that cGMP has a crucial role in regulating prokaryotic development. The involvement of cGMP in regulating bacterial development has broader implications as several plant-interacting bacteria contain a similar cyclase coupled by the observation that Azospirillum brasilense also synthesizes cGMP when inducing cysts.
Project description:The synthesis of ciliary-membrane phospholipids and ciliary proteins was studied after deciliation in starving Tetrahymena thermophila cells. Deciliated cells regenerated the new ciliary membrane without any induced phospholipid synthesis. The constant cell volume found during the regrowth of the cilia suggests that renewal of ciliary membranes takes place by insertion of intracellular membrane material into the cell surface. In contrast with the absence of induced phospholipid synthesis during ciliary regeneration, the synthesis of ciliary proteins was found to be induced. This enhanced synthetic activity was made possible by an increased rate of intracellular protein degradation in regenerating cells. It was found that the extent of the induced synthesis strongly depends upon the growth conditions of the cells before starvation. Furthermore, it was shown that the degree of induced protein synthesis is greater for higher-molecular-weight ciliary proteins than for lower-molecular-weight species.
Project description:Tetrahymena thermophila is a ciliate with hundreds of cilia primarily used for cellular motility. These cells propel themselves by generating hydrodynamic forces through coordinated ciliary beating. The coordination of cilia is ensured by the polarized organization of basal bodies (BBs), which exhibit remarkable structural and molecular conservation with BBs in other eukaryotes. During each cell cycle, massive BB assembly occurs and guarantees that future Tetrahymena cells gain a full complement of BBs and their associated cilia. BB duplication occurs next to existing BBs, and the predictable patterning of new BBs is facilitated by asymmetric BB accessory structures that are integrated with a membrane-associated cytoskeletal network. The large number of BBs combined with robust molecular genetics merits Tetrahymena as a unique model system to elucidate the fundamental events of BB assembly and organization.
Project description:In harsh conditions, Caenorhabditis elegans arrests development to enter a non-aging, resistant diapause state called the dauer larva. Olfactory sensation modulates the TGF-? and insulin signaling pathways to control this developmental decision. Four mutant alleles of daf-25 (abnormal DAuer Formation) were isolated from screens for mutants exhibiting constitutive dauer formation and found to be defective in olfaction. The daf-25 dauer phenotype is suppressed by daf-10/IFT122 mutations (which disrupt ciliogenesis), but not by daf-6/PTCHD3 mutations (which prevent environmental exposure of sensory cilia), implying that DAF-25 functions in the cilia themselves. daf-25 encodes the C. elegans ortholog of mammalian Ankmy2, a MYND domain protein of unknown function. Disruption of DAF-25, which localizes to sensory cilia, produces no apparent cilia structure anomalies, as determined by light and electron microscopy. Hinting at its potential function, the dauer phenotype, epistatic order, and expression profile of daf-25 are similar to daf-11, which encodes a cilium-localized guanylyl cyclase. Indeed, we demonstrate that DAF-25 is required for proper DAF-11 ciliary localization. Furthermore, the functional interaction is evolutionarily conserved, as mouse Ankmy2 interacts with guanylyl cyclase GC1 from ciliary photoreceptors. The interaction may be specific because daf-25 mutants have normally-localized OSM-9/TRPV4, TAX-4/CNGA1, CHE-2/IFT80, CHE-11/IFT140, CHE-13/IFT57, BBS-8, OSM-5/IFT88, and XBX-1/D2LIC in the cilia. Intraflagellar transport (IFT) (required to build cilia) is not defective in daf-25 mutants, although the ciliary localization of DAF-25 itself is influenced in che-11 mutants, which are defective in retrograde IFT. In summary, we have discovered a novel ciliary protein that plays an important role in cGMP signaling by localizing a guanylyl cyclase to the sensory organelle.