Production and Functional Characterization of a Recombinant Predicted Pore-Forming Protein (TVSAPLIP12) of Trichomonas vaginalis in Nicotiana benthamiana Plants.
ABSTRACT: Pore-forming proteins (PFPs) are a group of functionally versatile molecules distributed in all domains of life, and several microbial pathogens notably use members of this class of proteins as cytotoxic effectors. Among pathogenic protists, Entamoeba histolytica, and Naegleria fowleri display a range of pore-forming toxins belonging to the Saposin-Like Proteins (Saplip) family: Amoebapores and Naegleriapores. Following the genome sequencing of Trichomonas vaginalis, we identified a gene family of 12 predicted saposin-like proteins (TvSaplips): this work focuses on investigating the potential role of TvSaplips as cytopathogenetic effectors. We provide evidence that TvSaplip12 gene expression is potently upregulated upon T. vaginalis contact with target cells. We cloned and expressed recombinant TvSaplip12 in planta and we demonstrate haemolytic, cytotoxic, and bactericidal activities of rTvSaplip12 in vitro. Also, evidence for TvSaplip subcellular discrete distribution in cytoplasmic granules is presented. Altogether, our results highlight the importance of TvSaplip in T. vaginalis pathogenesis, depicting its involvement in the cytolytic and bactericidal activities during the infection process, leading to predation on host cells and resident vaginal microbiota for essential nutrients acquisition. This hence suggests a potential key role for TvSaplip12 in T. vaginalis pathogenesis as a candidate Trichopore.
Project description:Surfactant protein B (SP-B) proprotein contains three saposin-like protein (SAPLIP) domains: a SAPLIP domain corresponding to the mature SP-B peptide is essential for lung function and postnatal survival; the function of SAPLIP domains in the N-terminal (SP-BN) and C-terminal regions of the proprotein is not known. In the current study, SP-BN was detected in the supernatant of mouse bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and in nonciliated bronchiolar cells, alveolar type II epithelial cells, and alveolar macrophages. rSP-BN indirectly promoted the uptake of bacteria by macrophage cell lines and directly killed bacteria at acidic pH, consistent with a lysosomal, antimicrobial function. Native SP-BN isolated from BALF also killed bacteria but only at acidic pH; the bactericidal activity of BALF at acidic pH was completely blocked by SP-BN Ab. Transgenic mice overexpressing SP-BN and mature SP-B peptide had significantly decreased bacterial burden and increased survival following intranasal inoculation with bacteria. These findings support the hypothesis that SP-BN contributes to innate host defense of the lung by supplementing the nonoxidant antimicrobial defenses of alveolar macrophages.
Project description:Saposin-like proteins (SAPLIPs) from soil-transmitted helminths play pivotal roles in host-pathogen interactions and have a high potential as targets for vaccination against parasitic diseases. We have identified two non-orthologous SAPLIPs from human and dog hookworm, Na-SLP-1 and Ac-SLP-1, and solved their three-dimensional crystal structures. Both proteins share the property of membrane binding as monitored by liposome co-pelleting assays and monolayer adsorption. Neither SAPLIP displayed any significant haemolytic or bactericidal activity. Based on the structural information, as well as the results from monolayer adsorption, we propose models of membrane interactions for both SAPLIPs. Initial membrane contact of the monomeric Na-SLP-1 is most likely by electrostatic interactions between the membrane surface and a prominent basic surface patch. In case of the dimeric Ac-SLP-1, membrane interactions are most likely initiated by a unique tryptophan residue that has previously been implicated in membrane interactions in other SAPLIPs.
Project description:Surfactant protein (SP)-B is a 79-residue polypeptide crucial for the biophysical and physiological function of endogenous lung surfactant. SP-B is a member of the Saposin or Saposin-like proteins (SAPLIP) family of proteins that share an overall three-dimensional folding pattern based on secondary structures and disulfide connectivity and exhibit a wide diversity of biological functions. Here we review the synthesis, molecular biophysics and activity of synthetic analogs of Saposin proteins designed to mimic those interactions of the parent proteins with lipids that enhance interfacial activity. Saposin proteins generally interact with target lipids as either monomers or multimers via well-defined amphipathic helices, flexible hinge domains, and insertion sequences. Based on the known 3D-structural motif for the Saposin family, we show how bioengineering techniques may be used to develop minimal peptide constructs that maintain desirable structural properties and activities in biomedical applications. One important application is the molecular design, synthesis and activity of Saposin mimics based on the SP-B structure. Synthetic lung surfactants containing active SP-B analogs may be potentially useful in treating diseases of surfactant deficiency or dysfunction including the neonatal respiratory distress syndrome and acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Project description:Pore forming proteins (PFPs) share the ability of creating pores that allow the passage of ions, proteins or other constituents through a wide variety of target membranes, ranging from bacteria to humans. They often cause cell death, as pore formation disrupts the membrane permeability barrier required for maintaining cell homeostasis. The organization into supramolecular complexes or oligomers that pierce the membrane is a common feature of PFPs. However, the molecular pathway of self-assembly and pore opening remains unclear. Here, we review the most recent discoveries in the mechanism of membrane oligomerization and pore formation of a subset of PFPs, the ?-PFPs, whose pore-forming domains are formed by helical segments. Only now we are starting to grasp the molecular details of their function, mainly thanks to the introduction of single molecule microscopy and nanoscopy techniques. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Pore-forming toxins edited by Mauro Dalla Serra and Franco Gambale.
Project description:Wnt signaling is essential for embryonic development and adult homeostasis in multicellular organisms. A conserved feature among Wnt family proteins is the presence of two structural domains. Within the N-terminal (NT) domain there exists a motif that is superimposable upon saposin-like protein (SAPLIP) family members. SAPLIPs are found in plants, microbes and animals and possess lipid surface seeking activity. To investigate the function of the Wnt3a saposin-like subdomain (SLD), recombinant SLD was studied in isolation. Bacterial expression of this Wnt fragment was achieved only when the core SLD included 82 NT residues of Wnt3a (NT-SLD). Unlike SAPLIPs, NT-SLD required the presence of detergent to achieve solubility at neutral pH. Deletion of two hairpin loop extensions present in NT-SLD, but not other SAPLIPs, had no effect on the solubility properties of NT-SLD. Far UV circular dichroism spectroscopy of NT-SLD yielded 50-60% ?-helix secondary structure. Limited proteolysis of isolated NT-SLD in buffer and detergent micelles showed no differences in cleavage kinetics. Unlike prototypical saposins, NT-SLD exhibited weak membrane-binding affinity and lacked cell lytic activity. In cell-based canonical Wnt signaling assays, NT-SLD was unable to induce stabilization of ?-catenin or modulate the extent of ?-catenin stabilization induced by full-length Wnt3a. Taken together, the results indicate neighboring structural elements within full-length Wnt3a affect SLD conformational stability. Moreover, SLD function(s) in Wnt proteins appear to have evolved away from those commonly attributed to SAPLIP family members.
Project description:Due to their archaic life style and microbivor behavior, amoebae may represent a source of antimicrobial peptides and proteins. The amoebic protozoon Dictyostelium discoideum has been a model organism in cell biology for decades and has recently also been used for research on host-pathogen interactions and the evolution of innate immunity. In the genome of D. discoideum, genes can be identified that potentially allow the synthesis of a variety of antimicrobial proteins. However, at the protein level only very few antimicrobial proteins have been characterized that may interact directly with bacteria and help in fighting infection of D. discoideum with potential pathogens. Here, we focus on a large group of gene products that structurally belong to the saposin-like protein (SAPLIP) family and which members we named provisionally Apls (amoebapore-like peptides) according to their similarity to a comprehensively studied antimicrobial and cytotoxic pore-forming protein of the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica. We focused on AplD because it is the only Apl gene that is reported to be primarily transcribed further during the multicellular stages such as the mobile slug stage. Upon knock-out (KO) of the gene, aplD- slugs became highly vulnerable to virulent Klebsiella pneumoniae. AplD- slugs harbored bacterial clumps in their interior and were unable to slough off the pathogen in their slime sheath. Re-expression of AplD in aplD- slugs rescued the susceptibility toward K. pneumoniae. The purified recombinant protein rAplD formed pores in liposomes and was also capable of permeabilizing the membrane of live Bacillus megaterium. We propose that the multifarious Apl family of D. discoideum comprises antimicrobial effector polypeptides that are instrumental to interact with bacteria and their phospholipid membranes. The variety of its members would allow a complementary and synergistic action against a variety of microbes, which the amoeba encounters in its environment.
Project description:The plant-specific insert is an approximately 100-residue domain found exclusively within the C-terminal lobe of some plant aspartic proteases. Structurally, this domain is a member of the saposin-like protein family, and is involved in plant pathogen defense as well as vacuolar targeting of the parent protease molecule. Similar to other members of the saposin-like protein family, most notably saposins A and C, the recently resolved crystal structure of potato (Solanum tuberosum) plant-specific insert has been shown to exist in a substrate-bound open conformation in which the plant-specific insert oligomerizes to form homodimers. In addition to the open structure, a closed conformation also exists having the classic saposin fold of the saposin-like protein family as observed in the crystal structure of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) plant-specific insert. In the present study, the mechanisms of tertiary and quaternary conformation changes of potato plant-specific insert were investigated in silico as a function of pH. Umbrella sampling and determination of the free energy change of dissociation of the plant-specific insert homodimer revealed that increasing the pH of the system to near physiological levels reduced the free energy barrier to dissociation. Furthermore, principal component analysis was used to characterize conformational changes at both acidic and neutral pH. The results indicated that the plant-specific insert may adopt a tertiary structure similar to the characteristic saposin fold and suggest a potential new structural motif among saposin-like proteins. To our knowledge, this acidified PSI structure presents the first example of an alternative saposin-fold motif for any member of the large and diverse SAPLIP family.
Project description:Amoebapores, the pore-forming polypeptides of the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica, and NK-lysin, an effector molecule of porcine NK (natural killer) and cytotoxic T cells, belong to the same protein family, the saposin-like proteins. As both types of protein are implicated in the killing of microbes in vivo, it appears that phylogenetically diverse organisms such as amoebae and mammals use similar effector molecules to fulfil a comparable task. However, structural features have led to the assumption that the proteins display their activities according to different modes of action. To address this question, we analysed the antibacterial, cytotoxic and pore-forming activities of these proteins in parallel and in comprehensive detail. Interestingly, the comparison of activities revealed significant differences. Whereas NK-lysin, recombinantly expressed, is efficient at a broad range of pH values, the amoebapores exhibited a pronounced pH dependence of all their activities, with markedly decreased activity at pH values above 6. Moreover, increasing salinity affects amoebapores more drastically than NK-lysin. All of the proteins compared were found to be potently active against Gram-positive bacteria, but only NK-lysin was equally efficient against Gram-negative bacteria. However, the amoebapores displayed five times higher pore-forming activity than NK-lysin, which is in accordance with the more hydrophobic character of the amoebapores compared with the essentially cationic NK-lysin.
Project description:Deployed by both hosts and pathogens, ?-pore-forming proteins (?-PFPs) rupture membranes and lyse target cells. Soluble protein monomers oligomerize on the lipid bilayer where they undergo dramatic structural rearrangements, resulting in a transmembrane ?-barrel pore. Advances in electron cryo-microscopy (cryoEM) sample preparation, image detection, and computational algorithms have led to a number of recent structures that reveal a molecular mechanism of pore formation in atomic detail.
Project description:The recombinant TvCP4 prepro region (ppTvCP4r) acts as an exogenous inhibitor of cathepsin L-like CPs from Trichomonas vaginalis (Cárdenas-Guerra et al., 2015 ). Here, we present the dataset of the trichomonad ppTvCP4r inhibitory effect against the CP proteolytic activities from other microorganisms, such as Naegleria fowleri and Acanthamoeba castellanii free-living amoeba. The proteolytic activity inhibition of total crude extracts (TCEs) of N. fowleri and A. castellanii was determined and recorded using a fluorogenic substrate specific for cathepsin L CPs without or with a ppTvCP4r treatment at different concentrations and pH.