Plasmodium falciparum subtilisin-like protease 2, a merozoite candidate for the merozoite surface protein 1-42 maturase.
ABSTRACT: The process of human erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium falciparum parasites involves a calcium-dependent serine protease with properties consistent with a subtilisin-like activity. This enzyme achieves the last crucial maturation step of merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) necessary for parasite entry into the host erythrocyte. In eukaryotic cells, such processing steps are performed by subtilisin-like maturases, known as proprotein convertases. In an attempt to characterize the MSP1 maturase, we have identified a gene that encodes a P. falciparum subtilisin-like protease (PfSUB2) whose deduced active site sequence resembles more bacterial subtilisins. Therefore, we propose that PfSUB2 belongs to a subclass of eukaryotic subtilisins different from proprotein convertases. Pfsub2 is expressed during merozoite differentiation and encodes an integral membrane protein localized in the merozoite dense granules, a secretory organelle whose contents are believed to participate in a late step of the erythrocyte invasion. PfSUB2's subcellular localization, together with its predicted enzymatic properties, leads us to propose that PfSUB2 could be responsible for the late MSP1 maturation step and thus is an attractive target for the development of new antimalarial drugs.
Project description:Proteolytic shedding of surface proteins during invasion by apicomplexan parasites is a widespread phenomenon, thought to represent a mechanism by which the parasites disengage adhesin-receptor complexes in order to gain entry into their host cell. Erythrocyte invasion by merozoites of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum requires the shedding of ectodomain components of two essential surface proteins, called MSP1 and AMA1. Both are released by the same merozoite surface "sheddase," but the molecular identity and mode of action of this protease is unknown. Here we identify it as PfSUB2, an integral membrane subtilisin-like protease (subtilase). We show that PfSUB2 is stored in apical secretory organelles called micronemes. Upon merozoite release it is secreted onto the parasite surface and translocates to its posterior pole in an actin-dependent manner, a trafficking pattern predicted of the sheddase. Subtilase propeptides are usually selective inhibitors of their cognate protease, and the PfSUB2 propeptide is no exception; we show that recombinant PfSUB2 propeptide binds specifically to mature parasite-derived PfSUB2 and is a potent, selective inhibitor of MSP1 and AMA1 shedding, directly establishing PfSUB2 as the sheddase. PfSUB2 is a new potential target for drugs designed to prevent erythrocyte invasion by the malaria parasite.
Project description:The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum invades erythrocytes where it replicates to produce invasive merozoites, which eventually egress to repeat the cycle. Merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP1), a prime malaria vaccine candidate and one of the most abundant components of the merozoite surface, is implicated in the ligand-receptor interactions leading to invasion. MSP1 is extensively proteolytically modified, first just before egress and then during invasion. These primary and secondary processing events are mediated respectively, by two parasite subtilisin-like proteases, PfSUB1 and PfSUB2, but the function and biological importance of the processing is unknown. Here, we examine the regulation and significance of MSP1 processing. We show that primary processing is ordered, with the primary processing site closest to the C-terminal end of MSP1 being cleaved last, irrespective of polymorphisms throughout the rest of the molecule. Replacement of the secondary processing site, normally refractory to PfSUB1, with a PfSUB1-sensitive site, is deleterious to parasite growth. Our findings show that correct spatiotemporal regulation of MSP1 maturation is crucial for the function of the protein and for maintenance of the parasite asexual blood-stage life cycle.
Project description:Successful invasion of human erythrocytes byPlasmodium falciparummerozoites is required for infection of the host and parasite survival. The early stages of invasion are mediated via merozoite surface proteins that interact with human erythrocytes. The nature of these interactions are currently not well understood, but it is known that merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) is critical for successful erythrocyte invasion. Here we show that the peripheral merozoite surface proteins MSP3, MSP6, MSPDBL1, MSPDBL2, and MSP7 bind directly to MSP1, but independently of each other, to form multiple forms of the MSP1 complex on the parasite surface. These complexes have overlapping functions that interact directly with human erythrocytes. We also show that targeting the p83 fragment of MSP1 using inhibitory antibodies inhibits all forms of MSP1 complexes and disrupts parasite growthin vitro.
Project description:The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum replicates within erythrocytes, producing progeny merozoites that are released from infected cells via a poorly understood process called egress. The most abundant merozoite surface protein, MSP1, is synthesized as a large precursor that undergoes proteolytic maturation by the parasite protease SUB1 just prior to egress. The function of MSP1 and its processing are unknown. Here we show that SUB1-mediated processing of MSP1 is important for parasite viability. Processing modifies the secondary structure of MSP1 and activates its capacity to bind spectrin, a molecular scaffold protein that is the major component of the host erythrocyte cytoskeleton. Parasites expressing an inefficiently processed MSP1 mutant show delayed egress, and merozoites lacking surface-bound MSP1 display a severe egress defect. Our results indicate that interactions between SUB1-processed merozoite surface MSP1 and the spectrin network of the erythrocyte cytoskeleton facilitate host erythrocyte rupture to enable parasite egress.
Project description:Merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) is a highly polymorphic Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein implicated in the invasion of human erythrocytes during the asexual cycle. It forms a complex with MSP6 and MSP7 on the merozoite surface, and this complex is released from the parasite around the time of erythrocyte invasion. MSP1 and many other merozoite surface proteins contain dimorphic elements in their protein structures, and here we show that MSP6 is also dimorphic. The sequences of eight MSP6 genes indicate that the alleles of each dimorphic form of MSP6 are highly conserved. The smaller 3D7-type MSP6 alleles are detected in parasites from all malarious regions of the world, whereas K1-type MSP6 alleles have only been detected in parasites from mainland Southeast Asia. Cleavage of MSP6, which produces the p36 fragment in 3D7-type MSP6 and associates with MSP1, also occurs in K1-type MSP6 but at a different site in the protein. Anti-3D7 MSP6 antibodies weakly inhibited erythrocyte invasion by homologous 3D7 merozoites but did not inhibit a parasite line expressing the K1-type MSP6 allele. Antibodies from hyperimmune individuals affinity purified on an MSP3 peptide cross-reacted with MSP6; therefore, MSP6 may also be a target of antibody-dependent cellular inhibition.
Project description:Erythrocyte surface proteins have been identified as receptors of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite proteins. The ligand-receptor interactions enable the parasite to invade human erythrocytes, initiating the clinical symptoms of malaria. These interactions are likely to have had an evolutionary impact on the genes that encode the ligand and receptor proteins. We used sequence data from Kilifi, Kenya to detect departures from neutrality in a paired analysis of P. falciparum merozoite ligands and their erythrocyte receptor genes from the same population. We genotyped parasite and human DNA obtained from 93 individuals with severe malaria. We examined six merozoite ligands EBA175, EBL1, EBA140, MSP1, Rh4 and Rh5, and their corresponding erythrocyte receptors, glycophorin (Gyp) A, GypB, GypC, band 3, complement receptor (CR) 1 and basigin, focusing on the regions involved in the ligand-receptor interactions. Positive Tajima's D values (>1) were observed only in the MSP1 C-terminal region and EBA175 region II, while negative values (<-1) were observed in EBL-1 region II, Rh4, basigin exons 3 and 5, CR1 exon 5, Gyp B exons 2, 3 and 4 and Gyp C exon 2. Additionally, ebl-1 region II and basigin exon 3 showed extreme negative values in all three tests, Tajima's D, Fu & Li D* and F*,???-?2. A large majority of the erythrocyte receptor and merozoite genes have a negative Tajima's D even when compared with previously published whole genome data. Thus, highlighting EBA175 region II and MSP1-33, as outlier genes with a positive Tajima's D (>1). Both these genes contain multiple polymorphisms, which in the case of EBA175 may counteract receptor polymorphisms and/or evade host immune responses and in MSP1 the polymorphisms may primarily evade host immune responses.
Project description:The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum replicates within an intraerythrocytic parasitophorous vacuole (PV). Rupture of the host cell allows release (egress) of daughter merozoites, which invade fresh erythrocytes. We previously showed that a subtilisin-like protease called PfSUB1 regulates egress by being discharged into the PV in the final stages of merozoite development to proteolytically modify the SERA family of papain-like proteins. Here, we report that PfSUB1 has a further role in 'priming' the merozoite prior to invasion. The major protein complex on the merozoite surface comprises three proteins called merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1), MSP6 and MSP7. We show that just before egress, all undergo proteolytic maturation by PfSUB1. Inhibition of PfSUB1 activity results in the accumulation of unprocessed MSPs on the merozoite surface, and erythrocyte invasion is significantly reduced. We propose that PfSUB1 is a multifunctional processing protease with an essential role in both egress of the malaria merozoite and remodelling of its surface in preparation for erythrocyte invasion.
Project description:Prokaryotic subtilisins and eukaryotic proprotein convertases (PCs) are two homologous protease subfamilies that belong to the larger ubiquitous super-family called subtilases. Members of the subtilase super-family are produced as zymogens wherein their propeptide domains function as dedicated intramolecular chaperones (IMCs) that facilitate correct folding and regulate precise activation of their cognate catalytic domains. The molecular and cellular determinants that modulate IMC-dependent folding and activation of PCs are poorly understood. In this chapter we review what we have learned from the folding and activation of prokaryotic subtilisin, discuss how this has molded our understanding of furin maturation, and foray into the concept of pH sensors, which may represent a paradigm that PCs (and possibly other IMC-dependent eukaryotic proteins) follow for regulating their biological functions using the pH gradient in the secretory pathway.
Project description:Limited endoproteolysis of inactive precursor proteins at sites marked by paired or multiple basic amino acids is a widespread process by which biologically active peptides and proteins are produced within the secretory pathway in eukaryotic cells. The identification of a novel family of endoproteases homologous with bacterial subtilisins and yeast Kex2p has accelerated progress in understanding the complex mechanisms underlying the production of the bioactive materials. Seven distinct proprotein convertases of this family (furin, PC2, PC1/PC3, PC4, PACE4, PC5/PC6, LPC/PC7/PC8/SPC7) have been identified in mammalian species, some having isoforms generated via alternative splicing. The family has been shown to be responsible for conversion of precursors of peptide hormones, neuropeptides, and many other proteins into their biologically active forms. Furin, the first proprotein convertase to be identified, has been most extensively studied. It has been shown to be expressed in all tissues and cell lines examined and to be mainly localized in the trans-Golgi network, although some proportion of the furin molecules cycle between this compartment and the cell surface. This endoprotease is capable of cleaving precursors of a wide variety of proteins, including growth factors, serum proteins, including proteases of the blood-clotting and complement systems, matrix metalloproteinases, receptors, viral-envelope glycoproteins and bacterial exotoxins, typically at sites marked by the consensus Arg-Xaa-(Lys/Arg)-Arg sequence. The present review covers the structure and function of mammalian subtilisin/Kex2p-like proprotein convertases, focusing on furin (EC 220.127.116.11).
Project description:Merozoite surface proteins have been implicated in the initial attachment to the host red blood cell membrane that begins the process of invasion, an important step in the life cycle of the malaria parasite. In Plasmodium falciparum, merozoite surface proteins include several glycosylphosphatidyl inositol-anchored proteins and peripheral proteins attached to the membrane through protein-protein interactions. The most abundant of these proteins is the merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) complex, encoded by at least three genes: msp1, msp6, and msp7. The msp7 gene is part of a six-member multigene family in Plasmodium falciparum. We have disrupted msp7 in the Plasmodium falciparum D10 parasite, as confirmed by Southern hybridization. Immunoblot and indirect immunofluorescence analyses confirmed the MSP7 null phenotype of D10DeltaMSP7 parasites. The synthesis, distribution, and processing of MSP1 were not affected in this parasite line. The level of expression and cellular distribution of the proteins MSP1, MSP3, MSP6, MSP9, and SERA5 remained comparable to those for the parental line. Furthermore, no significant change in the expression of MSP7-related proteins, except for that of MSRP5, was detected at the transcriptional level. The lack of MSP7 was not lethal at the asexual blood stage, but it did impair invasion of erythrocytes by merozoites to a significant degree. Despite this reduction in efficiency, D10DeltaMSP7 parasites did not show any obvious preference for alternate pathways of invasion.