Subcellular localization of acetyl-CoA carboxylase in the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii.
ABSTRACT: Apicomplexan parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii contain a primitive plastid, the apicoplast, whose genome consists of a 35-kb circular DNA related to the plastid DNA of plants. Plants synthesize fatty acids in their plastids. The first committed step in fatty acid synthesis is catalyzed by acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC). This enzyme is encoded in the nucleus, synthesized in the cytosol, and transported into the plastid. In the present work, two genes encoding ACC from T. gondii were cloned and the gene structure was determined. Both ORFs encode multidomain proteins, each with an N-terminal extension, compared with the cytosolic ACCs from plants. The N-terminal extension of one isozyme, ACC1, was shown to target green fluorescent protein to the apicoplast of T. gondii. In addition, the apicoplast contains a biotinylated protein, consistent with the assertion that ACC1 is localized there. The second ACC in T. gondii appears to be cytosolic. T. gondii mitochondria also contain a biotinylated protein, probably pyruvate carboxylase. These results confirm the essential nature of the apicoplast and explain the inhibition of parasite growth in cultured cells by herbicides targeting ACC.
Project description:Aryloxyphenoxypropionates, inhibitors of the plastid acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) of grasses, also inhibit Toxoplasma gondii ACC. Clodinafop, the most effective of the herbicides tested, inhibits growth of T. gondii in human fibroblasts by 70% at 10 microM in 2 days and effectively eliminates the parasite in 2-4 days at 10-100 microM. Clodinafop is not toxic to the host cell even at much higher concentrations. Parasite growth inhibition by different herbicides is correlated with their ability to inhibit ACC enzyme activity, suggesting that ACC is a target for these agents. Fragments of genes encoding the biotin carboxylase domain of multidomain ACCs of T. gondii, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium knowlesi, and Cryptosporidium parvum were sequenced. One T. gondii ACC (ACC1) amino acid sequence clusters with P. falciparum ACC, P. knowlesi ACC, and the putative Cyclotella cryptica chloroplast ACC. Another sequence (ACC2) clusters with that of C. parvum ACC, probably the cytosolic form.
Project description:cDNA fragments encoding the carboxyltransferase domain of the multidomain plastid acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase) from herbicide-resistant maize and from herbicide-sensitive and herbicide-resistant Lolium rigidum were cloned and sequenced. A Leu residue was found in ACCases from herbicide-resistant plants at a position occupied by Ile in all ACCases from sensitive grasses studied so far. Leu is present at the equivalent position in herbicide-resistant ACCases from other eukaryotes. Chimeric ACCases containing a 1000-aa fragment of two ACCase isozymes found in a herbicide-resistant maize were expressed in a yeast ACC1 null mutant to test herbicide sensitivity of the enzyme in vivo and in vitro. One of the enzymes was resistant/tolerant, and one was sensitive to haloxyfop and sethoxydim, rendering the gene-replacement yeast strains resistant and sensitive to these compounds, respectively. The sensitive enzyme has an Ile residue, and the resistant one has a Leu residue at the putative herbicide-binding site. Additionally, a single Ile to Leu replacement at an equivalent position changes the wheat plastid ACCase from sensitive to resistant. The effect of the opposite substitution, Leu to Ile, makes Toxoplasma gondii apicoplast ACCase resistant to haloxyfop and clodinafop. In this case, inhibition of the carboxyltransferase activity of ACCase (second half-reaction) of a large fragment of the Toxoplasma enzyme expressed in Escherichia coli was tested. The critical amino acid residue is located close to a highly conserved motif of the carboxyltransferase domain, which is probably a part of the enzyme active site, providing the basis for the activity of fop and dim herbicides.
Project description:5'-End fragments of two genes encoding plastid-localized acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase; EC 184.108.40.206) of wheat (Triticum aestivum) were cloned and sequenced. The sequences of the two genes, Acc-1,1 and Acc-1,2, are 89% identical. Their exon sequences are 98% identical. The amino acid sequence of the biotin carboxylase domain encoded by Acc-1,1 and Acc-1,2 is 93% identical with the maize plastid ACCase but only 80-84% identical with the cytosolic ACCases from other plants and from wheat. Four overlapping fragments of cDNA covering the entire coding region were cloned by PCR and sequenced. The wheat plastid ACCase ORF contains 2,311 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 255 kDa. A putative transit peptide is present at the N terminus. Comparison of the genomic and cDNA sequences revealed introns at conserved sites found in the genes of other plant multifunctional ACCases, including two introns absent from the wheat cytosolic ACCase genes. Transcription start sites of the plastid ACCase genes were estimated from the longest cDNA clones obtained by 5'-RACE (rapid amplification of cDNA ends). The untranslated leader sequence encoded by the Acc-1 genes is at least 130-170 nucleotides long and is interrupted by an intron. Southern analysis indicates the presence of only one copy of the gene in each ancestral chromosome set. The gene maps near the telomere on the short arm of chromosomes 2A, 2B, and 2D. Identification of three different cDNAs, two corresponding to genes Acc-1,1 and Acc-1,2, indicates that all three genes are transcriptionally active.
Project description:Most apicomplexan parasites possess a non-photosynthetic plastid (the apicoplast), which harbors enzymes for a number of metabolic pathways, including a prokaryotic type II fatty acid synthesis (FASII) pathway. In Toxoplasma gondii, the causative agent of toxoplasmosis, the FASII pathway is essential for parasite growth and infectivity. However, little is known about the fate of fatty acids synthesized by FASII. In this study, we have investigated the function of a plant-like glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase (TgATS1) that localizes to the T. gondii apicoplast. Knock-down of TgATS1 resulted in significantly reduced incorporation of FASII-synthesized fatty acids into phosphatidic acid and downstream phospholipids and a severe defect in intracellular parasite replication and survival. Lipidomic analysis demonstrated that lipid precursors are made in, and exported from, the apicoplast for de novo biosynthesis of bulk phospholipids. This study reveals that the apicoplast-located FASII and ATS1, which are primarily used to generate plastid galactolipids in plants and algae, instead generate bulk phospholipids for membrane biogenesis in T. gondii.
Project description:Cis-acting regulatory elements of the wheat acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) gene family were identified by comparing the promoter activity of 5' end gene fragments fused to a reporter gene in two transient expression systems: wheat protoplasts and epidermal cells of mature embryos. Expression of the plastid and the cytosolic ACC genes is each driven by two nested promoters responsible for the synthesis of two transcript types. The internal promoter is located in an intron removed from transcripts originating at the first promoter. These complex promoters, which are different for the cytosolic and plastid ACC genes, control tissue-specific expression of the enzymatic activity supplying cytosolic, plastid, and mitochondrial pools of malonyl-CoA. The activity of one such complex promoter, driving expression of one of the cytosolic ACC genes, was studied throughout development of transgenic wheat plants carrying a full-length promoter-reporter gene fusion. High activity of the promoter was detected in the coleoptile, in the upper sheath section of the leaf, on the top surface of the ovary, in some sections of the main veins in the lemma and glume, and in abaxial epidermis hair cells of the lemma, glume, and rachis. The findings are consistent with the developmental and environmental requirements for very-long-chain fatty acids and flavonoids, whose synthesis begins with the ACC reaction in the cytosol of these specific cell types.
Project description:Apicomplexan parasites harbor a single nonphotosynthetic plastid, the apicoplast, which is essential for parasite survival. Exploiting Toxoplasma gondii as an accessible system for cell biological analysis and molecular genetic manipulation, we have studied how these parasites ensure that the plastid and its 35-kb circular genome are faithfully segregated during cell division. Parasite organelles were labeled by recombinant expression of fluorescent proteins targeted to the plastid and the nucleus, and time-lapse video microscopy was used to image labeled organelles throughout the cell cycle. Apicoplast division is tightly associated with nuclear and cell division and is characterized by an elongated, dumbbell-shaped intermediate. The plastid genome is divided early in this process, associating with the ends of the elongated organelle. A centrin-specific antibody demonstrates that the ends of dividing apicoplast are closely linked to the centrosomes. Treatment with dinitroaniline herbicides (which disrupt microtubule organization) leads to the formation of multiple spindles and large reticulate plastids studded with centrosomes. The mitotic spindle and the pellicle of the forming daughter cells appear to generate the force required for apicoplast division in Toxoplasma gondii. These observations are discussed in the context of autonomous and FtsZ-dependent division of plastids in plants and algae.
Project description:Trypanosoma brucei, a eukaryotic pathogen that causes African sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in cattle, depends on the enzyme acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) for full virulence in mice. ACC produces malonyl-CoA, the two carbon donor for fatty acid synthesis. We assessed the effect of haloxyfop, an aryloxyphenoxypropionate herbicide inhibitor of plastid ACCs in many plants as well as Toxoplasma gondii, on T. brucei ACC activity and growth in culture. Haloxyfop inhibited TbACC in cell lysate (EC(50) 67 ?M), despite the presence of an amino acid motif typically associated with resistance. Haloxyfop also reduced growth of bloodstream and procyclic form parasites (EC(50) of 0.8 and 1.2 mM). However, the effect on growth was likely due to off-target effects because haloxyfop treatment had no effect on fatty acid elongation or incorporation into complex lipids in vivo.
Project description:Acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) carboxylase (ACC) catalyzes carboxylation of acetyl-CoA to form malonyl-CoA. In mammals, two isozymes exist with distinct physiological roles: cytosolic ACC1 participates in de novo lipogenesis (DNL), and mitochondrial ACC2 is involved in negative regulation of mitochondrial beta-oxidation. Since systemic ACC1 null mice were embryonic lethal, to clarify the physiological role of ACC1 in hepatic DNL, we generated the liver-specific ACC1 null mouse by crossbreeding of an Acc1(lox(ex46)) mouse, in which exon 46 of Acc1 was flanked by two loxP sequences and the liver-specific Cre transgenic mouse. In liver-specific ACC1 null mice, neither hepatic Acc1 mRNA nor protein was detected. However, to compensate for ACC1 function, hepatic ACC2 protein and activity were induced 1.4 and 2.2 times, respectively. Surprisingly, hepatic DNL and malonyl-CoA were maintained at the same physiological levels as in wild-type mice. Furthermore, hepatic DNL was completely inhibited by an ACC1/2 dual inhibitor, 5-tetradecyloxyl-2-furancarboxylic acid. These results strongly demonstrate that malonyl-CoA from ACC2 can access fatty acid synthase and become the substrate for the DNL pathway under the unphysiological circumstances that result with ACC1 disruption. Therefore, there does not appear to be strict compartmentalization of malonyl-CoA from either of the ACC isozymes in the liver.
Project description:Acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) is a biotin-dependent enzyme that is the target of several classes of herbicides. Malaria parasites contain a plant-like ACC, and this is the only protein predicted to be biotinylated in the parasite. We found that ACC is expressed in the apicoplast organelle in liver- and blood-stage malaria parasites; however, it is activated through biotinylation only in the liver stages. Consistent with this observation, deletion of the biotin ligase responsible for ACC biotinylation does not impede blood-stage growth, but results in late liver-stage developmental defects. Biotin depletion increases the severity of the developmental defects, demonstrating that parasite and host biotin metabolism are required for normal liver-stage progression. This finding may link the development of liver-stage malaria parasites to the nutritional status of the host, as neither the parasite nor the human host can synthesize biotin.
Project description:A vestigial, nonphotosynthetic plastid has been identified recently in protozoan parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa. The apicomplexan plastid, or "apicoplast," is indispensable, but the complete sequence of both the Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii apicoplast genomes has offered no clue as to what essential metabolic function(s) this organelle might perform in parasites. To investigate possible functions of the apicoplast, we sought to identify nuclear-encoded genes whose products are targeted to the apicoplast in Plasmodium and Toxoplasma. We describe here nuclear genes encoding ribosomal proteins S9 and L28 and the fatty acid biosynthetic enzymes acyl carrier protein (ACP), beta-ketoacyl-ACP synthase III (FabH), and beta-hydroxyacyl-ACP dehydratase (FabZ). These genes show high similarity to plastid homologues, and immunolocalization of S9 and ACP verifies that the proteins accumulate in the plastid. All the putatively apicoplast-targeted proteins bear N-terminal presequences consistent with plastid targeting, and the ACP presequence is shown to be sufficient to target a recombinant green fluorescent protein reporter to the apicoplast in transgenic T. gondii. Localization of ACP, and very probably FabH and FabZ, in the apicoplast implicates fatty acid biosynthesis as a likely function of the apicoplast. Moreover, inhibition of P. falciparum growth by thiolactomycin, an inhibitor of FabH, indicates a vital role for apicoplast fatty acid biosynthesis. Because the fatty acid biosynthesis genes identified here are of a plastid/bacterial type, and distinct from those of the equivalent pathway in animals, fatty acid biosynthesis is potentially an excellent target for therapeutics directed against malaria, toxoplasmosis, and other apicomplexan-mediated diseases.