Functional characterization of a redundant Plasmodium TRAP family invasin, TRAP-like protein, by aldolase binding and a genetic complementation test.
ABSTRACT: Efficient and specific host cell entry is of exquisite importance for intracellular pathogens. Parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa are highly motile and actively enter host cells. These functions are mediated by type I transmembrane invasins of the TRAP family that link an extracellular recognition event to the parasite actin-myosin motor machinery. We systematically tested potential parasite invasins for binding to the actin bridging molecule aldolase and complementation of the vital cytoplasmic domain of the sporozoite invasin TRAP. We show that the ookinete invasin CTRP and a novel, structurally related protein, termed TRAP-like protein (TLP), are functional members of the TRAP family. Although TLP is expressed in invasive stages, targeted gene disruption revealed a nonvital role during life cycle progression. This is the first genetic analysis of TLP, encoding a redundant TRAP family invasin, in the malaria parasite.
Project description:In the apicomplexan protozoans motility and cell invasion are mediated by the TRAP/MIC2 family of transmembrane proteins, members of which link extracellular adhesion to the intracellular actomyosin motor complex. Here we characterize a new member of the TRAP/MIC2 family, named TRAP-Like Protein (TLP), that is highly conserved within the Plasmodium genus. Similar to the Plasmodium sporozoite protein, TRAP, and the ookinete protein, CTRP, TLP possesses an extracellular domain architecture that is comprised of von Willebrand factor A (vWA) and thrombospondin type 1 (TSP1) domains, plus a short cytoplasmic domain. Comparison of the vWA domain of TLP genes from multiple Plasmodium falciparum isolates showed relative low sequence diversity, suggesting that the protein is not under selective pressures of the host immune system. Analysis of transcript levels by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed that TLP is predominantly expressed in salivary gland sporozoites of P. falciparum and P. berghei. Targeted disruption of P. berghei TLP resulted in a decreased capacity for cell traversal by sporozoites, and reduced infectivity of sporozoites in vivo, whereas in vitro sporozoite motility and hepatocyte invasion were unaffected. These results indicate a role of TLP in cell traversal by sporozoites.
Project description:Intimins and invasins are virulence factors produced by pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria. They contain C-terminal extracellular passenger domains that are involved in adhesion to host cells and N-terminal ? domains that are embedded in the outer membrane. Here, we identify the domain boundaries of an E. coli intimin ? domain and use this information to solve its structure and the ? domain structure of a Y. pseudotuberculosis invasin. Both ? domain structures crystallized as monomers and reveal that the previous range of residues assigned to the ? domain also includes a protease-resistant domain that is part of the passenger. Additionally, we identify 146 nonredundant representative members of the intimin/invasin family based on the boundaries of the highly conserved intimin and invasin ? domains. We then use this set of sequences along with our structural data to find and map the evolutionarily constrained residues within the ? domain.
Project description:Invasion of the malarial parasite into a vector mosquito begins when the motile ookinete transverses the gut epithelium. Adhesive proteins that may mediate this invasive process have not been identified to date. We found that a molecule with an adhesive protein-like structure was expressed in the ookinete of Plasmodium berghei. This protein is structurally homologous to circumsporozoite protein and thrombospondin-related adhesive protein (TRAP)-related protein, CTRP, of Plasmodium falciparum. We named it P. berghei CTRP (PbCTRP) and report here its structure and manner of expression. PbCTRP has six integrin I region-like domains and seven thrombospondin-like domains in its putative extracellular region. This structure is similar to that of CTRP and TRAPs of malaria sporozoite. The putative transmembrane and cytoplasmic regions of PbCTRP, CTRP, and TRAP also have conserved amino acid sequences. PbCTRP is produced at least 10 h after fertilization when zygotes begin transformation to ookinetes. In the mature ookinete, PbCTRP is located mainly in the anterior cytoplasm. The staining pattern was also similar to TRAP in the sporozoite. We suggest that PbCTRP may play a role in ookinete invasive motility and belongs to a protein family together with TRAP and other structurally related proteins of apicomplexan parasites.
Project description:Malaria transmission occurs by intradermal deposition of Plasmodium sporozoites during the infectious bite of a female Anopheles mosquito. After formation in midgut-associated oocysts sporozoites actively enter mosquito salivary glands and subsequently invade host hepatocytes where they transform into clinically silent liver stages. To date, two sporozoite-specific transmembrane proteins have been identified that perform vital functions in natural malaria transmission. The sporozoite invasin TRAP drives sporozoite motility and target cell entry whereas the adhesin MAEBL mediates sporozoite recognition of and attachment to salivary glands. Here, we demonstrate that the sporozoite-specific transmembrane protein S6 is required for efficient malaria transmission to the vertebrate host. Targeted deletion of S6 results in severe impairment of sporozoite gliding motility and invasion of mosquito salivary glands. During sporozoite maturation S6 expression is tightly regulated by transcriptional and translational control. We propose that S6 functions together with TRAP/MIC2 family invasins to direct fast, efficient and specific cell entry and, ultimately, life cycle progression of the malaria sporozoite.
Project description:The transformation of malaria ookinetes into oocysts occurs in the mosquito midgut and is a major bottleneck for parasite transmission. The secreted ookinete surface protein, circumsporozoite- and thrombospondin-related adhesive protein (TRAP)-related protein (CTRP), is essential for this transition and hence constitutes a potential target for malaria transmission blockade. CTRP is a modular multidomain protein containing six tandem von Willebrand factor A-like (A) domains and seven tandem thrombospondin type I repeat-like (TS) domains. Here we present, to our knowledge, the first structure-function analysis of CTRP using genetically modified Plasmodium berghei parasites expressing mutant versions of the ctrp gene. Our data show that the A domains of CTRP are critical for ookinete gliding motility and oocyst formation whilst, unexpectedly, its TS domains are fully redundant. These results may have important implications for the design of CTRP-based transmission blocking strategies.
Project description:Enteropathogenic Yersinia expresses several invasins that are fundamental virulence factors required for adherence and colonization of tissues in the host. Within the invasin-family of Yersinia adhesins, to date only Invasin has been extensively studied at both structural and functional levels. In this work, we structurally characterize the recently identified inverse autotransporter InvasinE from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis (formerly InvasinD from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis strain IP31758) that belongs to the invasin-family of proteins. The sequence of the C-terminal adhesion domain of InvasinE differs significantly from that of other members of the Yersinia invasin-family and its detailed cellular and molecular function remains elusive. In this work, we present the 1.7 Å crystal structure of the adhesion domain of InvasinE along with two Immunoglobulin-like domains. The structure reveals a rod shaped architecture, confirmed by small angle X-ray scattering in solution. The adhesion domain exhibits strong structural similarities to the C-type lectin-like domain of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis Invasin and enteropathogenic/enterohemorrhagic E. coli Intimin. However, despite the overall structural similarity, the C-type lectin-like domain in InvasinE lacks motifs required for Ca2+ /carbohydrate binding as well as sequence or structural features critical for Tir binding in Intimin and ?1 -integrin binding in Invasin, suggesting that InvasinE targets a distinct, yet unidentified molecule on the host-cell surface. Although the biological role and target molecule of InvasinE remain to be elucidated, our structural data provide novel insights into the architecture of invasin-family proteins and a platform for further studies towards unraveling the function of InvasinE in the context of infection and host colonization.
Project description:The bacterial cell surface proteins intimin and invasin are virulence factors that share a common domain structure and bind selectively to host cell receptors in the course of bacterial pathogenesis. The ?-barrel domains of intimin and invasin show significant sequence and structural similarities. Conversely, a variety of proteins with sometimes limited sequence similarity have also been annotated as "intimin-like" and "invasin" in genome datasets, while other recent work on apparently unrelated virulence-associated proteins ultimately revealed similarities to intimin and invasin. Here we characterize the sequence and structural relationships across this complex protein family. Surprisingly, intimins and invasins represent a very small minority of the sequence diversity in what has been previously the "intimin/invasin protein family". Analysis of the assembly pathway for expression of the classic intimin, EaeA, and a characteristic example of the most prevalent members of the group, FdeC, revealed a dependence on the translocation and assembly module as a common feature for both these proteins. While the majority of the sequences in the grouping are most similar to FdeC, a further and widespread group is two-partner secretion systems that use the ?-barrel domain as the delivery device for secretion of a variety of virulence factors. This comprehensive analysis supports the adoption of the "inverse autotransporter protein family" as the most accurate nomenclature for the family and, in turn, has important consequences for our overall understanding of the Type V secretion systems of bacterial pathogens.
Project description:Surface-associated TRAP (thrombospondin-related anonymous protein) family proteins are conserved across the phylum of apicomplexan parasites. TRAP proteins are thought to play an integral role in parasite motility and cell invasion by linking the extracellular environment with the parasite submembrane actomyosin motor. Blood stage forms of the malaria parasite Plasmodium express a TRAP family protein called merozoite-TRAP (MTRAP) that has been implicated in erythrocyte invasion. Using MTRAP-deficient mutants of the rodent-infecting P. berghei and human-infecting P. falciparum parasites, we show that MTRAP is dispensable for erythrocyte invasion. Instead, MTRAP is essential for gamete egress from erythrocytes, where it is necessary for the disruption of the gamete-containing parasitophorous vacuole membrane, and thus for parasite transmission to mosquitoes. This indicates that motor-binding TRAP family members function not just in parasite motility and cell invasion but also in membrane disruption and cell egress.
Project description: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.
Project description:Invasin and intimin are major virulence factors of enteropathogenic Yersiniae and Escherichia coli, mediating invasion into and intimate adherence to host cells, respectively. Several studies have hinted that extracellular portion of these homologous proteins might be exported via an autotransport mechanism, but rigorous experimental proof has been lacking. Here, we present a topology model for invasin and intimin, consistent with the hypothesis that the N-terminal ?-barrel domain acts as a translocation pore to secrete the C-terminal passenger domain. We confirmed this topology model by inserting epitope tags into the loops of the ?-barrel. We further show that obstructing the pore of ?-barrel hinders the export of the passenger domain. As for classical autotransport, the biogenesis of invasin and intimin is dependent on the Bam complex and the periplasmic chaperone SurA, whereas the chaperone/protease DegP is involved in quality control. However, compared to classical autotransporters (Type Va secretion), the domain structure of intimin and invasin is inverted. We conclude that proteins of the intimin and invasin family constitute a novel group of autotransported proteins, and propose that this class of autotransporters be termed Type Ve secretion.