Sickle Cell Trait Modulates the Proteome and Phosphoproteome of Plasmodium falciparum-Infected Erythrocytes.
ABSTRACT: The high prevalence of sickle cell disease in some human populations likely results from the protection afforded against severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria and death by heterozygous carriage of HbS. P. falciparum remodels the erythrocyte membrane and skeleton, displaying parasite proteins at the erythrocyte surface that interact with key human proteins in the Ankyrin R and 4.1R complexes. Oxidative stress generated by HbS, as well as by parasite invasion, disrupts the kinase/phosphatase balance, potentially interfering with the molecular interactions between human and parasite proteins. HbS is known to be associated with abnormal membrane display of parasite antigens. Studying the proteome and the phosphoproteome of red cell membrane extracts from P. falciparum infected and non-infected erythrocytes, we show here that HbS heterozygous carriage, combined with infection, modulates the phosphorylation of erythrocyte membrane transporters and skeletal proteins as well as of parasite proteins. Our results highlight modifications of Ser-/Thr- and/or Tyr- phosphorylation in key human proteins, such as ankyrin, β-adducin, β-spectrin and Band 3, and key parasite proteins, such as RESA or MESA. Altered phosphorylation patterns could disturb the interactions within membrane protein complexes, affect nutrient uptake and the infected erythrocyte cytoadherence phenomenon, thus lessening the severity of malaria symptoms.
Project description:The high prevalence of sickle cell disease in some human populations likely results from the protection afforded against severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria and death by heterozygous carriage of HbS. P. falciparum remodels the erythrocyte membrane and skeleton, displaying parasite proteins at the erythrocyte surface that interact with key human proteins in the Ankyrin R and 4.1R complexes. Oxidative stress generated by HbS, as well as by parasite invasion, disrupts the kinase/phosphatase balance, potentially interfering with the molecular interactions between human and parasite proteins. HbS is known to be associated with abnormal membrane display of parasite antigens. Studying the proteome and the phosphoproteome of red cell membrane extracts from P. falciparum infected and non-infected erythrocytes, we show here that HbS heterozygous carriage, combined with infection, modulates the phosphorylation of erythrocyte membrane transporters and skeletal proteins as well as of parasite proteins. Our results highlight modifications of Ser- /Thr- and/or Tyr- phosphorylation in key human proteins, such as ankyrin, β-adducin, β-spectrin and Band 3, and key parasite proteins, such as RESA or MESA. Altered phosphorylation patterns could disturb the interactions within membrane protein complexes, affect nutrient uptake and the infected erythrocyte cytoadherence phenomenon, thus lessening the severity of malaria symptoms.
Project description:<i>Plasmodium</i> proteins are exported to the erythrocyte cytoplasm to create an environment that supports parasite replication. Although hundreds of proteins are predicted to be exported through <i>Plasmodium</i> export element (PEXEL)-dependent and -independent mechanisms, the functions of exported proteins are largely uncharacterized. In this study, we used a biochemical screening approach to identify putative exported <i>P. falciparum</i> proteins that bound to inside-out vesicles prepared from erythrocytes. Out of 69 <i>P. falciparum</i> PEXEL-motif proteins tested, 18 bound to inside-out vesicles (IOVs) in two or more independent assays. Using co-affinity purifications followed by mass spectrometry, pairwise co-purification experiments, and the split-luciferase assay, we identified 31 putative protein-protein interactions between erythrocyte cytoskeletal proteins and predicted exported <i>P. falciparum</i> proteins. We further showed that PF3D7_1401600 binds to the spectrin-binding domain of erythrocyte ankyrin via its MESA erythrocyte cytoskeleton binding (MEC) motif and to the N-terminal domains of ankyrin and 4.1R through a fragment that required an intact <i>Plasmodium</i> helical interspersed sub-telomeric (PHIST) domain. Introduction of PF3D7_1401600 into erythrocyte ghosts increased retention in the microsphiltration assay, consistent with previous data that reported a reduction of rigidity in red blood cells infected with <i>PF3D7_1401600</i>-deficient parasites.
Project description:During its asexual life cycle, the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum exports numerous proteins beyond its surface to its host erythrocyte. We have studied the biosynthesis, processing and export of a 45 kDa parasite protein resident in membrane clefts in the erythrocyte cytoplasm. Our results indicate that this cleft protein is made as a single tightly membrane-bound 45 kDa polypeptide in ring- and trophozoite-infected erythrocytes (0-36 h in the life cycle). Using ring/trophozoite parasites released from erythrocytes, the 45 kDa protein is shown to be efficiently transported to the cell surface. This export is specifically blocked by the drug brefeldin A, and at 15 and 20 degrees C. These results indicate that transport blocks seen in the Golgi of mammalian cells are conserved in P. falciparum. Further, the newly synthesized 45 kDa protein passes through parasite Golgi compartments before its export to clefts in the erythrocyte. In mid-to-late-ring-infected erythrocytes, a fraction of the newly synthesized 45 kDa protein is processed to a second membrane-bound phosphorylated 47 kDa protein. The t1/2 of this processing step is about 4 h, suggesting that it occurs subsequent to protein export from the parasite. Evidence is presented that, in later trophozoite stages (24-36 h), the exported 45 and 47 kDa proteins are partially converted into soluble molecules in the intraerythrocytic space. Taken together, the results indicate that the lower eukaryote P. falciparum modulates a classical secretory pathway to support membrane export beyond its plasma membrane to clefts in the erythrocyte. Subsequent to export, phosphorylation and/or conversion into a soluble form may regulate the interactions of the 45 kDa protein with the clefts during parasite development.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Modulation of infected host cells by intracellular pathogens is a prerequisite for successful establishment of infection. In the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, potential candidates for erythrocyte remodelling include the apicomplexan-specific FIKK kinase family (20 members), several of which have been demonstrated to be transported into the erythrocyte cytoplasm via Maurer's clefts.<h4>Methodology</h4>In the current work, we have knocked out two members of this gene family (Pf fikk7.1 and Pf fikk12), whose products are localized at the inner face of the erythrocyte membrane. Both mutant parasite lines were viable and erythrocytes infected with these parasites showed no detectable alteration in their ability to adhere in vitro to endothelial receptors such as chondroitin sulfate A and CD36. However, we observed sizeable decreases in the rigidity of infected erythrocytes in both knockout lines. Mutant parasites were further analyzed using a phospho-proteomic approach, which revealed distinct phosphorylation profiles in ghost preparations of infected erythrocytes. Knockout parasites showed a significant reduction in the level of phosphorylation of a protein of approximately 80 kDa for FIKK12-KO in trophozoite stage and a large protein of about 300 kDa for FIKK7.1-KO in schizont stage.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our results suggest that FIKK members phosphorylate different membrane skeleton proteins of the infected erythrocyte in a stage-specific manner, inducing alterations in the mechanical properties of the parasite-infected red blood cell. This suggests that these host cell modifications may contribute to the parasites' survival in the circulation of the human host.
Project description:The most severe form of human malaria is caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Its virulence is closely linked to the increase in rigidity of infected erythrocytes and their adhesion to endothelial receptors, obstructing blood flow to vital organs. Unlike other human-infecting Plasmodium species, P. falciparum exports a family of 18 FIKK serine/threonine kinases into the host cell, suggesting that phosphorylation may modulate erythrocyte modifications. We reveal substantial species-specific phosphorylation of erythrocyte proteins by P. falciparum but not by Plasmodium knowlesi, which does not export FIKK kinases. By conditionally deleting all FIKK kinases combined with large-scale quantitative phosphoproteomics we identified unique phosphorylation fingerprints for each kinase, including phosphosites on parasite virulence factors and host erythrocyte proteins. Despite their non-overlapping target sites, a network analysis revealed that some FIKKs may act in the same pathways. Only the deletion of the non-exported kinase FIKK8 resulted in reduced parasite growth, suggesting the exported FIKKs may instead support functions important for survival in the host. We show that one kinase, FIKK4.1, mediates both rigidification of the erythrocyte cytoskeleton and trafficking of the adhesin and key virulence factor PfEMP1 to the host cell surface. This establishes the FIKK family as important drivers of parasite evolution and malaria pathology.
Project description:After invading human red blood cells (RBCs) the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum remodels the host cell by trafficking proteins to the RBC compartment. The virulence protein P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) is responsible for cytoadherence of infected cells to host endothelial receptors. This protein is exported across the parasite plasma membrane and parasitophorous vacuole membrane and inserted into the RBC membrane. We have used green fluorescent protein chimeras and fluorescence photobleaching experiments to follow PfEMP1 export through the infected RBC. Our data show that a knob-associated histidine-rich protein (KAHRP) N-terminal protein export element appended to the PfEMP1 transmembrane and C-terminal domains was sufficient for efficient trafficking of protein domains to the outside of the P. falciparum-infected RBC. The physical state of the exported proteins suggests trafficking as a complex rather than in vesicles and supports the hypothesis that endogenous PfEMP1 is trafficked in a similar manner. This study identifies the sequences required for expression of proteins to the outside of the P. falciparum-infected RBC membrane.
Project description:The MESA erythrocyte cytoskeleton binding (MEC) motif is a 13-amino acid sequence found in 14 exported Plasmodium falciparum proteins. First identified in the P. falciparum Mature-parasite-infected Erythrocyte Surface Antigen (MESA), the MEC motif is sufficient to target proteins to the infected red blood cell cytoskeleton. To identify host cell targets, purified MESA MEC motif was incubated with a soluble extract from uninfected erythrocytes, precipitated and subjected to mass spectrometry. The most abundant co-purifying protein was erythrocyte ankyrin (ANK1). A direct interaction between the MEC motif and ANK1 was independently verified using co-purification experiments, the split-luciferase assay, and the yeast two-hybrid assay. A systematic mutational analysis of the core MEC motif demonstrated a critical role for the conserved aspartic acid residue at the C-terminus of the MEC motif for binding to both erythrocyte inside-out vesicles and to ANK1. Using a panel of ANK1 constructs, the MEC motif binding site was localized to the ZU5C domain, which has no known function. The MEC motif had no impact on erythrocyte deformability when introduced into uninfected erythrocyte ghosts, suggesting the MEC motif's primary function is to target exported proteins to the cytoskeleton. Finally, we show that PF3D7_0402100 (PFD0095c) binds to ANK1 and band 4.1, likely through its MEC and PHIST motifs, respectively. In conclusion, we have provided multiple lines of evidence that the MEC motif binds to erythrocyte ANK1.
Project description:Much of the virulence of Plasmodium falciparum malaria is caused by cytoadherence of infected erythrocytes, which promotes parasite survival by preventing clearance in the spleen. Adherence is mediated by membrane protrusions known as knobs, whose formation depends on the parasite-derived, knob-associated histidine-rich protein (KAHRP). Knobs are required for cytoadherence under flow conditions, and they contain both KAHRP and the parasite-derived erythrocyte membrane protein PfEMP1. Using electron tomography, we have examined the 3-dimensional structure of knobs in detergent-insoluble skeletons of P falciparum 3D7 schizonts. We describe a highly organized knob skeleton composed of a spiral structure coated by an electron-dense layer underlying the knob membrane. This knob skeleton is connected by multiple links to the erythrocyte cytoskeleton. We used immuno-electron microscopy (EM) to locate KAHRP in these structures. The arrangement of membrane proteins in the knobs, visualized by high-resolution freeze-fracture scanning EM, is distinct from that in the surrounding erythrocyte membrane, with a structure at the apex that likely represents the adhesion site. Thus, erythrocyte knobs in P falciparum infection contain a highly organized skeleton structure underlying a specialized region of membrane. We propose that the spiral and dense coat organize the cytoadherence structures in the knob, and anchor them into the erythrocyte cytoskeleton. The high density of knobs and their extensive mechanical linkage suggest an explanation for the rigidification of the cytoskeleton in infected cells, and for the transmission to the cytoskeleton of shear forces experienced by adhering cells.
Project description:Lipid rafts, sterol-rich and sphingolipid-rich microdomains on the plasma membrane are important in processes like cell signaling, adhesion, and protein and lipid transport. The virulence of many eukaryotic parasites is related to raft microdomains on the cell membrane. In the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins, which are important for invasion and are possible targets for vaccine development, are localized in the raft. However, rafts are poorly understood. We used quick-freezing and freeze-fracture immuno-electron microscopy to examine the localization of monosialotetrahexosylganglioside (GM1) and monosialodihexosylganglioside (GM3), putative raft microdomain components in P. falciparum and infected erythrocytes. This method immobilizes molecules in situ, minimizing artifacts. GM3 was localized in the exoplasmic (EF) and cytoplasmic leaflets (PF) of the parasite and the parasitophorous vacuole (PV) membranes, but solely in the EF of the infected erythrocyte membrane, as in the case for uninfected erythrocytes. Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P<sub>2</sub>) was localized solely in the PF of erythrocyte, parasite, and PV membranes. This is the first time that GM3, the major component of raft microdomains, was found in the PF of a biological membrane. The unique localization of raft microdomains may be due to P. falciparum lipid metabolism and its unique biological processes, like protein transport from the parasite to infected erythrocytes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The intra-erythrocytic development of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum depends on the uptake of a number of essential nutrients from the host cell and blood plasma. It is widely recognized that the parasite imports low molecular weight solutes from the plasma and the consumption of these nutrients by P. falciparum has been extensively analysed. However, although it was already shown that the parasite also imports functional proteins from the vertebrate host, the internalization route through the different infected erythrocyte membranes has not yet been elucidated. In order to further understand the uptake mechanism, the study examined the trafficking of human plasminogen from the extracellular medium into P. falciparum-infected red blood cells. METHODS:Plasmodium falciparum clone 3D7 was cultured in standard HEPES-buffered RPMI 1640 medium supplemented with 0.5% AlbuMAX. Exogenous human plasminogen was added to the P. falciparum culture and the uptake of this protein by the parasites was analysed by electron microscopy and Western blotting. Immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry were performed to investigate possible protein interactions that may assist plasminogen import into infected erythrocytes. The effect of pharmacological inhibitors of different cellular physiological processes in plasminogen uptake was also tested. RESULTS:It was observed that plasminogen was selectively internalized by P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes, with localization in plasma membrane erythrocyte and parasite's cytosol. The protein was not detected in parasitic food vacuole and haemoglobin-containing vesicles. Furthermore, in erythrocyte cytoplasm, plasminogen was associated with the parasite-derived membranous structures tubovesicular network (TVN) and Maurer's clefts. Several proteins were identified in immunoprecipitation assay and may be involved in the delivery of plasminogen across the P. falciparum multiple compartments. CONCLUSION:The findings here reported reveal new features regarding the acquisition of plasma proteins of the host by P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes, a mechanism that involves the exomembrane system, which is distinct from the haemoglobin uptake, clarifying a route that may be potentially targeted for inhibition studies.