Differences in structure and hibernation mechanism highlight diversification of the microsporidian ribosome.
ABSTRACT: Assembling and powering ribosomes are energy-intensive processes requiring fine-tuned cellular control mechanisms. In organisms operating under strict nutrient limitations, such as pathogenic microsporidia, conservation of energy via ribosomal hibernation and recycling is critical. The mechanisms by which hibernation is achieved in microsporidia, however, remain poorly understood. Here, we present the cryo-electron microscopy structure of the ribosome from Paranosema locustae spores, bound by the conserved eukaryotic hibernation and recycling factor Lso2. The microsporidian Lso2 homolog adopts a V-shaped conformation to bridge the mRNA decoding site and the large subunit tRNA binding sites, providing a reversible ribosome inactivation mechanism. Although microsporidian ribosomes are highly compacted, the P. locustae ribosome retains several rRNA segments absent in other microsporidia, and represents an intermediate state of rRNA reduction. In one case, the near complete reduction of an expansion segment has resulted in a single bound nucleotide, which may act as an architectural co-factor to stabilize a protein-protein interface. The presented structure highlights the reductive evolution in these emerging pathogens and sheds light on a conserved mechanism for eukaryotic ribosome hibernation.
Project description:Cells adjust to nutrient deprivation by reversible translational shutdown. This is accompanied by maintaining inactive ribosomes in a hibernation state, in which they are bound by proteins with inhibitory and protective functions. In eukaryotes, such a function was attributed to suppressor of target of Myb protein 1 (Stm1; SERPINE1 mRNA-binding protein 1 [SERBP1] in mammals), and recently, late-annotated short open reading frame 2 (Lso2; coiled-coil domain containing short open reading frame 124 [CCDC124] in mammals) was found to be involved in translational recovery after starvation from stationary phase. Here, we present cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of translationally inactive yeast and human ribosomes. We found Lso2/CCDC124 accumulating on idle ribosomes in the nonrotated state, in contrast to Stm1/SERBP1-bound ribosomes, which display a rotated state. Lso2/CCDC124 bridges the decoding sites of the small with the GTPase activating center (GAC) of the large subunit. This position allows accommodation of the duplication of multilocus region 34 protein (Dom34)-dependent ribosome recycling system, which splits Lso2-containing, but not Stm1-containing, ribosomes. We propose a model in which Lso2 facilitates rapid translation reactivation by stabilizing the recycling-competent state of inactive ribosomes.
Project description:Microsporidia are obligate intracellular parasites, existing in a wide variety of animal hosts. Here, we reported AlocSWP2, a novel protein identified from the spore wall of Antonospora locustae (formerly, Nosema locustae, and synonym, Paranosema locustae), containing four cysteines that are conserved among the homologues of several Microspodian pathogens in insects and mammals. AlocSWP2 was detected in the wall of mature spores via indirect immunofluorescence assay. In addition, immunocytochemistry localization experiments showed that the protein was observed in the wall of sporoblasts, sporonts, and meronts during sporulation within the host body, also in the wall of mature spores. AlocSWP2 was not detected in the fat body of infected locust until the 9th day after inoculating spores via RT-PCR experiments. Furthermore, the survival percentage of infected locusts injected with dsRNA of AlocSWP2 on the 15th, 16th, and 17th days after inoculation with microsporidian were significantly higher than those of infected locusts without dsRNA treatment. Conversely, the amount of spores in locusts infected with A. locustae after treated with RNAi AlocSWP2 was significantly lower than those of infected locusts without RNAi of this gene. This novel spore wall protein from A. locustae may be involved in sporulation, thus contributing to host mortality.
Project description:Microsporidia are fungi-like parasites that have the smallest known eukaryotic genome, and for that reason they are used as a model to study the phenomenon of genome decay in parasitic forms of life. Similar to other intracellular parasites that reproduce asexually in an environment with alleviated natural selection, Microsporidia experience continuous genome decay that is driven by Muller's ratchet-an evolutionary process of irreversible accumulation of deleterious mutations that lead to gene loss and the miniaturization of cellular components. Particularly, Microsporidia have remarkably small ribosomes in which the rRNA is reduced to the minimal enzymatic core. In this study, we analyzed microsporidian ribosomes to study an apparent impact of Muller's ratchet on structure of RNA and protein molecules in parasitic forms of life. Through mass spectrometry of microsporidian proteome and analysis of microsporidian genomes, we found that massive rRNA reduction in microsporidian ribosomes appears to annihilate the binding sites for ribosomal proteins eL8, eL27, and eS31, suggesting that these proteins are no longer bound to the ribosome in microsporidian species. We then provided an evidence that protein eS31 is retained in Microsporidia due to its non-ribosomal function in ubiquitin biogenesis. Our study illustrates that, while Microsporidia carry the same set of ribosomal proteins as non-parasitic eukaryotes, some ribosomal proteins are no longer participating in protein synthesis in Microsporidia and they are preserved from genome decay by having extra-ribosomal functions. More generally, our study shows that many components of parasitic cells, which are identified by automated annotation of pathogenic genomes, may lack part of their biological functions due to continuous genome decay.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Microsporidia are a group of parasites related to fungi that infect a wide variety of animals and have gained recognition from the medical community in the past 20 years due to their ability to infect immuno-compromised humans. Microsporidian genomes range in size from 2.3 to 19.5 Mbp, but almost all of our knowledge comes from species that have small genomes (primarily from the human parasite Encephalitozoon cuniculi and the locust parasite Antonospora locustae). We have conducted an EST survey of the mosquito parasite Edhazardia aedis, which has an estimated genome size several times that of more well-studied species. The only other microsporidian EST project is from A. locustae, and serves as a basis for comparison with E. aedis. RESULTS: The spore transcriptomes of A. locustae and E. aedis were compared and the numbers of unique transcripts that belong to each COG (Clusters of Orthologous Groups of proteins) category differ by at most 5%. The transcripts themselves have widely varying start sites and encode a number of proteins that have not been found in other microsporidia examined to date. However, E. aedis seems to lack the multi-gene transcripts present in A. locustae and E. cuniculi. We also present the first documented case of transcription of a transposable element in microsporidia. CONCLUSION: Although E. aedis and A. locustae are distantly related, have very disparate life cycles and contain genomes estimated to be vastly different sizes, their patterns of transcription are similar. The architecture of the ancestral microsporidian genome is unknown, but the presence of genes in E. aedis that have not been found in other microsporidia suggests that extreme genome reduction and compaction is lineage specific and not typical of all microsporidia.
Project description:Microsporidia are a large group of unicellular parasites that infect insects and mammals. The simpler life cycle of microsporidia in insects provides a model system for understanding their evolution and molecular interactions with their hosts. However, no complete genome is available for insect-parasitic microsporidian species. The complete genome of Antonospora locustae, a microsporidian parasite that obligately infects insects, is reported here. The genome size of A. locustae is 3?170?203 nucleotides, composed of 17 chromosomes onto which a total of 1857 annotated genes have been mapped and detailed. A unique feature of the A. locustae genome is the presence of an ultra-low GC region of approximately 25?kb on 16 of the 17 chromosomes, in which the average GC content is only 20?%. Transcription profiling indicated that the ultra-low GC region of the parasite could be associated with differential regulation of host defences in the fat body to promote the parasite's survival and propagation. Phylogenetic gene analysis showed that A. locustae, and the microsporidian family in general, is likely at an evolutionarily transitional position between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and that it evolved independently. Transcriptomic analysis showed that A. locustae can systematically inhibit the locust phenoloxidase PPO, TCA and glyoxylate cycles, and PPAR pathways to escape melanization, and can activate host energy transfer pathways to support its reproduction in the fat body, which is an insect energy-producing organ. Our study provides a platform and model for studies of the molecular mechanisms of microsporidium-host interactions in an energy-producing organ and for understanding the evolution of microsporidia.
Project description:Microsporidia constitute a group of extremely specialized intracellular parasites that infect virtually all animals. They are highly derived, reduced fungi that lack several features typical of other eukaryotes, including canonical mitochondria, flagella, and peroxisomes. Consistent with the absence of peroxisomes in microsporidia, the recently completed genome of the microsporidian Encephalitozoon cuniculi lacks a gene for catalase, the major enzymatic marker for the organelle. We show, however, that the genome of the microsporidian Nosema locustae, in contrast to that of E. cuniculi, encodes a group II large-subunit catalase. Surprisingly, phylogenetic analyses indicate that the N. locustae catalase is not specifically related to fungal homologs, as one would expect, but is instead closely related to proteobacterial sequences. This finding indicates that the N. locustae catalase is derived by lateral gene transfer from a bacterium. The catalase gene is adjacent to a large region of the genome that appears to be far less compact than is typical of microsporidian genomes, a characteristic which may make this region more amenable to the insertion of foreign genes. The N. locustae catalase gene is expressed in spores, and the protein is detectable by Western blotting. This type of catalase is a particularly robust enzyme that has been shown to function in dormant cells, indicating that the N. locustae catalase may play some functional role in the spore. There is no evidence that the N. locustae catalase functions in a cryptic peroxisome.
Project description:Locusts aggregate into bands of nymphs and swarms of adults that can pose a major threat to crop. Previous studies have shown that infection by the microsporidian parasite Paranosema locustae prevents locust aggregation behavior and we show that gut bacteria, which produce components of locust aggregation pheromones, are substantially reduced in locusts infected with P. locustae. We found that P. locustae could reduce the diversity, abundance and community composition of Locusta migratoria's gut bacteria. The parasite infection was also shown to interrupt the peroxidase activity of locust hindgut. Genome-wide expression analysis showed that the parasite infection suppressed peroxidase mRNA relative expression of locust hindgut, but had no effects on attacin expression and superoxide dismutase at 16 d post-inoculation with 20,000 P. locustae spores. Our findings reveal the mechanisms by which P. locustae impairs bacterial diversity and community structure of Locusta migratoria's gut bacteria.
Project description:Locusts are infamous for their ability to aggregate into gregarious migratory swarms that pose a major threat to food security. Aggregation is elicited by an interplay of visual, tactile, and chemical stimuli, but the aggregation pheromone in feces is particularly important. Infection by the microsporidian parasite Paranosema (Nosema) locustae is known to inhibit aggregation of solitary Locusta migratoria manilensis and to induce gregarious locusts to shift back to solitary behavior. Here we suggest that P. locustae achieves this effect by acidifying the hindgut and modulating the locust immune response, which suppresses the growth of the hindgut bacteria that produce aggregation pheromones. This in turn reduces production of the neurotransmitter serotonin that initiates gregarious behavior. Healthy L. migratoria manilensis exposed to olfactory stimuli from parasite-infected locusts also produced significantly less serotonin, reducing gregarization. P. locustae also suppresses biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter dopamine that maintains gregarization. Our findings reveal the mechanisms by which P. locustae reduces production of aggregation pheromone and blocks the initiation and maintainence of gregarious behavior.
Project description:Ribosome-binding proteins function broadly in protein synthesis, gene regulation, and cellular homeostasis, but the complete complement of functional ribosome-bound proteins remains unknown. Using quantitative mass spectrometry, we identified late-annotated short open reading frame 2 (Lso2) as a ribosome-associated protein that is broadly conserved in eukaryotes. Genome-wide crosslinking and immunoprecipitation of Lso2 and its human ortholog coiled-coil domain containing 124 (CCDC124) recovered 25S ribosomal RNA in a region near the A site that overlaps the GTPase activation center. Consistent with this location, Lso2 also crosslinked to most tRNAs. Ribosome profiling of yeast lacking LSO2 (lso2?) revealed global translation defects during recovery from stationary phase with translation of most genes reduced more than 4-fold. Ribosomes accumulated at start codons, were depleted from stop codons, and showed codon-specific changes in occupancy in lso2?. These defects, and the conservation of the specific ribosome-binding activity of Lso2/CCDC124, indicate broadly important functions in translation and physiology.
Project description:Molecular tools of the intracellular protozoan pathogens Apicomplexa and Kinetoplastida for manipulation of host cell machinery have been the focus of investigation for approximately two decades. Microsporidia, fungi-related microorganisms forming another large group of obligate intracellular parasites, are characterized by development in direct contact with host cytoplasm (the majority of species), strong minimization of cell machinery, and acquisition of unique transporters to exploit host metabolic system. All the aforementioned features are suggestive of the ability of microsporidia to modify host metabolic and regulatory pathways. Seven proteins of the microsporidium Antonospora (Paranosema) locustae with predicted signal peptides but without transmembrane domains were overexpressed in Escherichia coli. Western-blot analysis with antibodies against recombinant products showed secretion of parasite proteins from different functional categories into the infected host cell. Secretion of parasite hexokinase and ?/?-hydrolase was confirmed by immunofluorescence microscopy. In addition, this method showed specific accumulation of A. locustae hexokinase in host nuclei. Expression of hexokinase, trehalase, and two leucine-rich repeat proteins without any exogenous signal peptide led to their secretion in the yeast Pichia pastoris. In contrast, ?/?-hydrolase was not found in the culture medium, though a significant amount of this enzyme accumulated in the yeast membrane fraction. These results suggest that microsporidia possess a broad set of enzymes and regulatory proteins secreted into infected cells to control host metabolic processes and molecular programs.