A Plasmodium homolog of ER tubule-forming proteins is required for parasite virulence.
ABSTRACT: Reticulon and REEP family of proteins stabilize the high curvature of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) tubules. Plasmodium berghei Yop1 (PbYop1) is a REEP5 homolog in Plasmodium. Here, we characterize its function using a gene-knockout (Pbyop1?). Pbyop1? asexual stage parasites display abnormal ER architecture and an enlarged digestive vacuole. The erythrocytic cycle of Pbyop1? parasites is severely attenuated and the incidence of experimental cerebral malaria is significantly decreased in Pbyop1?-infected mice. Pbyop1? sporozoites have reduced speed, are slower to invade host cells but give rise to equal numbers of infected HepG2 cells, as WT sporozoites. We propose that PbYOP1's disruption may lead to defects in trafficking and secretion of a subset of proteins required for parasite development and invasion of erythrocytes. Furthermore, the maintenance of ER morphology in different parasite stages is likely to depend on different proteins.
Project description:Reticulon and the REEP family of proteins stabilize the high curvature of endoplasmic reticulum tubules. The REEP5 homolog in <i>Plasmodium</i>, <i>Plasmodium berghei</i> YOP1 (<i>Pb</i>YOP1), plays an important role in the erythrocytic cycle of the <i>P. berghei</i> ANKA and the pathogenesis of experimental cerebral malaria (ECM), but the mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we show that protection from ECM in <i>Pb</i>yop1Δ-infected mice is associated with reduced intracerebral Th1 accumulation, decreased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and attenuated pathologies in the brainstem, though the total number of CD4<sup>+</sup> and CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells sequestered in the brain are not reduced. Expression of adhesive molecules on brain endothelial cells, including ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and CD36, are decreased, particularly in the brainstem, where fatal pathology is always induced during ECM. Subsequently, CD8<sup>+</sup> T cell-mediated cell apoptosis in the brain is compromised. These findings suggest that <i>Pb</i>yop1Δ parasites can be a useful tool for mechanistic investigation of cerebral malaria pathogenesis.
Project description:Axons contain a smooth tubular endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network that is thought to be continuous with ER throughout the neuron; the mechanisms that form this axonal network are unknown. Mutations affecting reticulon or REEP proteins, with intramembrane hairpin domains that model ER membranes, cause an axon degenerative disease, hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). We show that <i>Drosophila</i> axons have a dynamic axonal ER network, which these proteins help to model. Loss of HSP hairpin proteins causes ER sheet expansion, partial loss of ER from distal motor axons, and occasional discontinuities in axonal ER. Ultrastructural analysis reveals an extensive ER network in axons, which shows larger and fewer tubules in larvae that lack reticulon and REEP proteins, consistent with loss of membrane curvature. Therefore HSP hairpin-containing proteins are required for shaping and continuity of axonal ER, thus suggesting roles for ER modeling in axon maintenance and function.
Project description:The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an elaborate organelle composed of distinct structural and functional domains. ER structure and dynamics involve membrane-shaping proteins of the reticulon and Yop1/DP1 families, which promote membrane curvature and regulate ER shaping and remodeling. Here, we analyzed the function of the reticulon (RTN1) and Yop1 proteins (YOP1 and YOP2) of the model fungus Podospora anserina and their contribution to sexual development. We found that RTN1 and YOP2 localize to the peripheral ER and are enriched in the dynamic apical ER domains of the polarized growing hyphal region. We discovered that the formation of these domains is diminished in the absence of RTN1 or YOP2 and abolished in the absence of YOP1 and that hyphal growth is moderately reduced when <i>YOP1</i> is deleted in combination with <i>RTN1</i> and/or <i>YOP2</i>. In addition, we found that RTN1 associates with the Spitzenkörper. Moreover, RTN1 localization is regulated during meiotic development, where it accumulates at the apex of growing asci (meiocytes) during their differentiation and at their middle region during the subsequent meiotic progression. Furthermore, we discovered that loss of RTN1 affects ascospore (meiotic spore) formation, in a process that does not involve YOP1 or YOP2. Finally, we show that the defects in ascospore formation of <i>rtn1</i> mutants are associated with defective nuclear segregation and spindle dynamics throughout meiotic development. Our results show that sexual development in <i>P. anserina</i> involves a developmental remodeling of the ER that implicates the reticulon RTN1, which is required for meiotic nucleus segregation. <b>IMPORTANCE</b> Meiosis consists of a reductional cell division, which allows ploidy maintenance during sexual reproduction and which provides the potential for genetic recombination, producing genetic variation. Meiosis constitutes a process of foremost importance for eukaryotic evolution. Proper partitioning of nuclei during this process relies on accurate functioning and positioning of the spindle, the microtubule cytoskeletal apparatus that conducts chromosome segregation. In this research, we show that in the model fungus Podospora anserina this process requires a protein involved in structuring the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-the reticulon RTN1. The ER is a complex organelle composed of distinct structural domains, including different peripheral domains and the nuclear envelope. Our findings suggest that spindle dynamics during meiosis relies on remodeling of the ER membrane, which involves the activity of RTN1. Our research discloses that the proteins implicated in shaping the ER are main contributors to the regulation of nuclear dynamics during the sexual cycle.
Project description:The integral membrane proteins of the DP1 (deleted in polyposis) and reticulon families are responsible for maintaining the high membrane curvature required for both smooth endoplasmic reticulum (ER) tubules and the edges of ER sheets, and mutations in these proteins lead to motor neuron diseases, such as hereditary spastic paraplegia. Reticulon/DP1 proteins contain reticulon homology domains (RHDs) that have unusually long hydrophobic segments and are proposed to adopt intramembrane helical hairpins that stabilize membrane curvature. We have characterized the secondary structure and dynamics of the DP1 family protein produced from the YOP1 gene (Yop1p) and identified a C-terminal conserved amphipathic helix (APH) that, on its own, interacts strongly with negatively charged membranes and is necessary for membrane tubule formation. Analyses of DP1 and reticulon family members indicate that most, if not all, contain C-terminal sequences capable of forming APHs. Together, these results indicate that APHs play a previously unrecognized role in RHD membrane curvature stabilization.
Project description:Segregation of functional organelles during the cell cycle is crucial to generate healthy daughter cells. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, ER stress causes an ER inheritance block to ensure cells inherit a functional ER. Here, we report that formation of tubular ER in the mother cell, the first step in ER inheritance, depends on functional symmetry between the cortical ER (cER) and perinuclear ER (pnER). ER stress induces functional asymmetry, blocking tubular ER formation and ER inheritance. Using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, we show that the ER chaperone Kar2/BiP fused to GFP and an ER membrane reporter, Hmg1-GFP, behave differently in the cER and pnER. The functional asymmetry and tubular ER formation depend on Reticulons/Yop1, which maintain ER structure. LUNAPARK1 deletion in rtn1?rtn2?yop1? cells restores the pnER/cER functional asymmetry, tubular ER generation, and ER inheritance blocks. Thus, Reticulon/Yop1-dependent changes in ER structure are linked to ER inheritance during the yeast cell cycle.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The Plasmodium Cysteine Repeat Modular Proteins (PCRMP) are a family of four conserved proteins of malaria parasites, that contain a number of motifs implicated in host-parasite interactions. Analysis of mutants of the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei lacking expression of PCRMP1 or 2 showed that these proteins are essential for targeting of P. berghei sporozoites to the mosquito salivary gland and, hence, for transmission from the mosquito to the mouse.<h4>Methods</h4>In this work, the role of the remaining PCRMP family members, PCRMP3 and 4, has been investigated throughout the Plasmodium life cycle by generation and analysis of P. berghei gene deletion mutants, ?pcrmp3 and ?pcrmp4. The role of PCRMP members during the transmission and hepatic stages of the Plasmodium lifecycle has been evaluated by light- and electron microscopy and by analysis of liver stage development in HEPG2 cells in vitro and by infecting mice with mutant sporozoites. In addition, mice were immunized with live ?pcrmp3 and ?pcrmp4 sporozoites to evaluate their immunization potential as a genetically-attenuated parasite-based vaccine.<h4>Results</h4>Disruption of pcrmp3 and pcrmp4 in P. berghei revealed that they are also essential for transmission of the parasite through the mosquito vector, although acting in a distinct way to pbcrmp1 and 2. Mutants lacking expression of PCRMP3 or PCRMP4 show normal blood stage development and oocyst formation in the mosquito and develop into morphologically normal sporozoites, but these have a defect in egress from oocysts and do not enter the salivary glands. Sporozoites extracted from oocysts perform gliding motility and invade and infect hepatocytes but do not undergo further development and proliferation. Furthermore, the study shows that immunization with ?crmp3 and ?crmp4 sporozoites does not confer protective immunity upon subsequent challenge.<h4>Conclusions</h4>PCRMP3 and 4 play multiple roles during the Plasmodium life cycle; they are essential for the establishment of sporozoite infection in the mosquito salivary gland, and subsequently for development in hepatocytes. However, although ?pcrmp3 and ?pcrmp4 parasites are completely growth-impaired in the liver, immunization with live sporozoites does not induce the protective immune responses that have been shown for other genetically-attenuated parasites.
Project description:Peroxisome proliferation occurs by at least two routes, division of existing peroxisomes and de novo biogenesis from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The proteins and molecular mechanisms governing peroxisome emergence from the ER are poorly characterized. In this study, we report that two integral membrane peroxins (proteins required for peroxisome biogenesis) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Pex29 and Pex30, reside in distinct regions of the ER and associate with Rtn1 and Yop1, reticulon family members that contribute to ER morphology, to govern peroxisome emergence from the ER. In vivo and in vitro analyses reveal that peroxisome proliferation is therefore not restricted to the peroxisome but begins at the level of the ER.
Project description:Malaria parasite transmission to humans is initiated by the inoculation of Plasmodium sporozoites into the skin by mosquitoes. Sporozoites develop within mosquito midgut oocysts, first invade the salivary glands of mosquitoes, and finally infect hepatocytes in mammals. The apical structure of sporozoites is conserved with the infective forms of other apicomplexan parasites that have secretory organelles, such as rhoptries and micronemes. Because some rhoptry proteins are crucial for Plasmodium merozoite infection of erythrocytes, we examined the roles of rhoptry proteins in sporozoites. Here, we demonstrate that rhoptry neck protein 2 (RON2) is also localized to rhoptries in sporozoites. To elucidate RON2 function in sporozoites, we applied a promoter swapping strategy to restrict ron2 transcription to the intraerythrocytic stage in the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei. Ron2 knockdown sporozoites were severely impaired in their ability to invade salivary glands, via decreasing the attachment capacity to the substrate. This is the first rhoptry protein demonstrated to be involved in salivary gland invasion. In addition, ron2 knockdown sporozoites showed less infectivity to hepatocytes, possibly due to decreased attachment/gliding ability, indicating that parts of the parasite invasion machinery are conserved, but their contribution might differ among infective forms. Our sporozoite stage-specific knockdown system will help to facilitate understanding the comprehensive molecular mechanisms of parasite invasion of target cells.
Project description:Transgenic malaria parasites expressing fluorescent and bioluminescent proteins are valuable tools to interrogate malaria-parasite biology and to evaluate drugs and vaccines. Using CRISPR/Cas9 methodology a transgenic Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) NF54 line was generated that expresses a fusion of mCherry and luciferase genes under the control of the Pf etramp10.3 gene promoter (line mCherryfirstname.lastname@example.org). Pf etramp10.3 is related to rodent Plasmodium uis4 and the uis4 promoter has been used to drive high transgene expression in rodent parasite sporozoites and liver-stages. We examined transgene expression throughout the complete life cycle and compared this expression to transgenic lines expressing mCherry-luciferase and GFP-luciferase under control of the constitutive gapdh and eef1a promoters. The mCherryemail@example.com parasites express mCherry in gametocytes, sporozoites, and liver-stages. While no mCherry signal was detected in asexual blood-stage parasites above background levels, luciferase expression was detected in asexual blood-stages, as well as in gametocytes, sporozoites and liver-stages, with the highest levels of reporter expression detected in stage III-V gametocytes and in sporozoites. The expression of mCherry and luciferase in gametocytes and sporozoites makes this transgenic parasite line suitable to use in in vitro assays that examine the effect of transmission blocking inhibitors and to analyse gametocyte and sporozoite biology.
Project description:Plasmodium sporozoites can move at high speed for several tens of minutes, which is essential for the initial stage of a malaria infection. The crescent-shaped sporozoites move on 2D substrates preferably in the same direction on circular paths giving raise to helical paths in 3D matrices. Here we determined the structural basis that underlies this type of movement. Immature, non-motile sporozoites were found to lack the subpellicular network required for obtaining the crescent parasite shape. In vitro, parasites moving in the favoured direction move faster and more persistent than the few parasites that move in the opposite direction. Photobleaching experiments showed that sporozoites flip their ventral side up when switching the direction of migration. Cryo-electron tomography revealed a polarized arrangement of microtubules and polar rings towards the substrate in Plasmodium sporozoites, but not in the related parasite Toxoplasma gondii. As a consequence, secretory vesicles, which release proteins involved in adhesion, migration and invasion at the front end of the parasite, are delivered towards the substrate. The resulting chiral structure of the parasite appears to determine the unique directionality of movement and could explain how the sporozoite achieves rapid and sustained directional motility in the absence of external stimuli.