The two domains of centrin have distinct basal body functions in Tetrahymena.
ABSTRACT: The basal body is a microtubule-organizing center responsible for organizing the cilium, a structure important for cell locomotion and sensing of the surrounding environment. A widely conserved basal body component is the Ca(2+)-binding protein centrin. Analyses of centrin function suggest a role in basal body assembly and stability; however, its molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Here we describe a mutagenic strategy to study the function and essential nature of the various structural features of Cen1 in the ciliate Tetrahymena. We find that the two domains of Cen1 are both essential, and examination of strains containing mutant CEN1 alleles indicates that there are two predominant basal body phenotypes: misorientation of newly assembled basal bodies and stability defects. The results also show that the two domains of Cen1 are able to bind Ca(2+) and that perturbation of Ca(2+) binding affects Cen1 function. In all, the data suggest that the two domains of Cen1 have distinct functions.
Project description:Centrins are a ubiquitous family of small Ca(2+)-binding proteins found at basal bodies that are placed into two groups based on sequence similarity to the human centrins 2 and 3. Analyses of basal body composition in different species suggest that they contain a centrin isoform from each group. We used the ciliate protist Tetrahymena thermophila to gain a better understanding of the functions of the two centrin groups and to determine their potential redundancy. We have previously shown that the Tetrahymena centrin 1 (Cen1), a human centrin 2 homologue, is required for proper basal body function. In this paper, we show that the Tetrahymena centrin 2 (Cen2), a human centrin 3 homologue, has functions similar to Cen1 in basal body orientation, maintenance, and separation. The two are, however, not redundant. A further examination of human centrin 3 homologues shows that they function in a manner distinct from human centrin 2 homologues. Our data suggest that basal bodies require a centrin from both groups in order to function correctly.
Project description:Centrins, small calcium binding EF-hand proteins, function in the duplication of a variety of microtubule organizing centers. These include centrioles in humans, basal bodies in green algae, and spindle pole bodies in yeast. The ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila contains at least four centrin genes as determined by sequence homology, and these have distinct localization and expression patterns. CEN1's role at the basal body was examined more closely. The Cen1 protein localizes primarily to two locations: one is the site at the base of the basal body where duplication is initiated. The other is the transition zone between the basal body and axoneme. CEN1 is an essential gene, the deletion of which results in the loss of basal bodies, which is likely due to defects in both basal body duplication and basal body maintenance. Analysis of the three other centrins indicates that two of them function at microtubule-rich structures unique to ciliates, whereas the fourth is not expressed under conditions examined in this study, although when artificially expressed it localizes to basal bodies. This study provides evidence that in addition to its previously known function in the duplication of basal bodies, centrin is also important for the integrity of these organelles.
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:Centrins are calmodulin-like phosphoproteins present in the centrosome and play an active role in the duplication, separation and organization of centrosomal structures such as the microtubule-organizing centre (MTOC) during mitosis. They are also major components of the basal body of flagella and cilia. In Plasmodium spp., the parasite that causes malaria, mitosis is closed during asexual replication and the MTOC is embedded within the intact nuclear membrane. The MTOC has been named the centriolar plaque and is similar to the spindle pole body in yeast. In all phases of asexual replication, repeated rounds of nuclear division precede cell division. However, our knowledge of the location and function of centrins during this process is limited. Previous studies have identified four putative centrins in the human parasite P lasmodium falciparum. We report here the cellular localization of an alveolate-specific centrin (PbCEN-4) during the atypical cell division of asexual replicative stages, using live cell imaging with the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei as a model system. We show that this centrin forms a multi-protein complex with other centrins, but is dispensable for parasite proliferation.
Project description:The previous characterization and structural analyses of Sfi1p, a Saccharomyces cerevisiae centrin-binding protein essential for spindle pole body duplication, have suggested molecular models to account for centrin-mediated, Ca2+-dependent contractility processes (S. Li, A. M. Sandercock, P. Conduit, C. V. Robinson, R. L. Williams, and J. V. Kilmartin, J. Cell Biol. 173:867-877, 2006). Such processes can be analyzed by using Paramecium tetraurelia, which harbors a large Ca2+ -dependent contractile cytoskeletal network, the infraciliary lattice (ICL). Previous biochemical and genetic studies have shown that the ICL is composed of diverse centrin isoforms and a high-molecular-mass centrin-associated protein, whose reduced size in the démaillé (dem1) mutant correlates with defective organization of the ICL. Using sequences derived from the high-molecular-mass protein to probe the Paramecium genome sequence, we characterized the PtCenBP1 gene, which encodes a 460-kDa protein. PtCenBP1p displays six almost perfect repeats of ca. 427 amino acids (aa) and harbors 89 potential centrin-binding sites with the consensus motif LLX11F/LX2WK/R, similar to the centrin-binding sites of ScSfi1p. The smaller (260-kDa) protein encoded by the dem1 mutant PtCenBP1 allele comprises only two repeats of 427 aa and 46 centrin-binding sites. By using RNA interference and green fluorescent protein fusion experiments, we showed that PtCenBP1p forms the backbone of the ICL and plays an essential role in its assembly and contractility. This study provides the first in vivo demonstration of the role of Sfi1p-like proteins in centrin-mediated Ca2+-dependent contractile processes.
Project description:During spermiogenesis in the water fern, Marsilea vestita, basal bodies are synthesized de novo in cells that lack preexisting centrioles, in a particle known as a blepharoplast. We have focused on basal body assembly in this organism, asking what components are required for blepharoplast formation. Spermiogenesis is a rapid process that is activated by placing dry microspores into water. Dry microspores contain large quantities of stored protein and stored mRNA, and inhibitors reveal that certain proteins are translated from stored transcripts at specific times during development. Centrin translation accompanies blepharoplast appearance, while beta-tubulin translation occurs later, during axonemal formation. In asking whether centrin is an essential component of the blepharoplast, we used antisense, sense, and double-stranded RNA probes made from the Marsilea centrin cDNA, MvCen1, to block centrin translation. We employed a novel method to introduce these RNAs directly into the cells. Antisense and sense both arrest spermiogenesis when blepharoplasts should appear, and dsRNA made from the same cDNA is an effective inhibitor at concentrations at least 10 times lower than either of the single-stranded RNA used in these experiments. Blepharoplasts are undetectable and basal bodies fail to form. Antisense, sense, and dsRNA probes made from Marsilea beta-tubulin permitted normal development until axonemes form. In controls, antisense, sense, and dsRNA, made from a segment of HIV, had no effect on spermiogenesis. Immunoblots suggest that translational blocks induced by centrin-based RNA are gene specific and concentration dependent, since neither beta-tubulin- nor HIV-derived RNAs affects centrin translation. The disruption of centrin translation affects microtubule distributions in spermatids, since centrin appears to control formation of the cytoskeleton and motile apparatus. These results show that centrin plays an essential role in the formation of a motile apparatus during spermiogenesis of M. vestita.
Project description:Directed fluid flow, which is achieved by the coordinated beating of motile cilia, is required for processes as diverse as cellular swimming, developmental patterning and mucus clearance. Cilia are nucleated, anchored and aligned at the plasma membrane by basal bodies, which are cylindrical microtubule-based structures with ninefold radial symmetry. In the unicellular ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila, two centrin family members associated with the basal body are important for both basal body organization and stabilization. We have identified a family of 13 proteins in Tetrahymena that contain centrin-binding repeats related to those identified in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sfi1 protein. We have named these proteins Sfr1-Sfr13 (for Sfi1-repeat). Nine of the Sfr proteins localize in unique polarized patterns surrounding the basal body, suggesting non-identical roles in basal body organization and association with basal body accessory structures. Furthermore, the Sfr proteins are found in distinct basal body populations in Tetrahymena cells, indicating that they are responsive to particular developmental programs. A complete genetic deletion of one of the family members, Sfr13, causes unstable basal bodies and defects in daughter basal body separation from the mother, phenotypes also observed with centrin disruption. It is likely that the other Sfr family members are involved in distinct centrin functions, providing specificity to the tasks that centrins perform at basal bodies.
Project description:Centrins are calmodulin-like proteins present in microtubule-organizing centers. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae centrin, Cdc31p, was functionally tagged with a single Z domain of protein A, and used in pull-down experiments to isolate Cdc31p-binding proteins. One of these, Sfi1p, localizes to the half-bridge of the spindle pole body (SPB), where Cdc31p is also localized. Temperature-sensitive mutants in SFI1 show a defect in SPB duplication and genetic interactions with cdc31-1. Sfi1p contains multiple internal repeats that are also present in a Schizosaccharomyces pombe protein, which also localizes to the SPB, and in several human proteins, one of which localizes close to the centriole region. Cdc31p binds directly to individual Sfi1 repeats in a 1:1 ratio, so a single molecule of Sfi1p binds multiple molecules of Cdc31p. The centrosomal human protein containing Sfi1 repeats also binds centrin in the repeat region, showing that this centrin-binding motif is conserved.
Project description:Eag1 is neuron-specific K(+) channel abundantly expressed in the brain and retina. Subcellular localization and physiological analyses in neurons reveal that Eag1 may participate in Ca(2+)-signaling processes in the synapse. Here, we searched for rat Eag1 (rEag1)-binding proteins that may contribute to Ca(2+) regulation of the K(+) channel. Yeast two-hybrid screening identified centrin 4, a member of the centrin family of Ca(2+)-binding proteins. GST pull-down and immunoprecipitation assays in brain and retina lysates confirm the interaction of centrin with rEag1 in neurons. Centrin 4 binds to rEag1 in the absence of Ca(2+). Raising Ca(2+) concentration enhances the association efficiency of centrin 4 and rEag1, and is required for the suppression of rEag1 currents by centrin 4. Altogether, our data suggest that centrin 4 is a novel binding partner that may contribute to Ca(2+) regulation of rEag1 in neurons.
Project description:Centrin is an evolutionarily conserved EF-hand-containing protein, which is present in eukaryotic organisms as diverse as algae, yeast, and humans. Centrins are associated with the microtubule-organizing center and with centrosome-related structures, such as basal bodies in flagellar and ciliated cells, and the spindle pole body in yeast. Five centrin genes have been identified in Trypanosoma brucei (T. brucei), a protozoan parasite that causes sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in cattle in sub-Saharan Africa. In the present study, we identified that centrin5 of T. brucei (TbCentrin5) is localized throughout the cytosol and nucleus and enriched in the flagellum. We further identified that TbCentrin5 binds Ca<sup>2+</sup> ions with a high affinity and constructed a model of TbCentrin5 bound by Ca<sup>2+</sup> ions. Meanwhile, we observed that TbCentrin5 interacts with TbCentrin1, TbCentrin3, and TbCentrin4 and that the interactions are Ca<sup>2+</sup> -dependent, suggesting that TbCentrin5 is able to form different complexes with other TbCentrins to participate in relevant cellular processes. Our study provides a foundation for better understanding of the biological roles of TbCentrin5.