Project description:Extracts of 35 samples of European propolis were tested against wild type and resistant strains of the protozoal pathogens Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma congolense and Leishmania mexicana. The extracts were also tested against Crithidia fasciculata a close relative of Crithidia mellificae, a parasite of bees. Crithidia, Trypanosoma and Leishmania are all members of the order Kinetoplastida. High levels of activity were obtained for all the samples with the levels of activity varying across the sample set. The highest levels of activity were found against L. mexicana. The propolis samples were profiled by using liquid chromatography with high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and principal components analysis (PCA) of the data obtained indicated there was a wide variation in the composition of the propolis samples. Orthogonal partial least squares (OPLS) associated a butyrate ester of pinobanksin with high activity against T. brucei whereas in the case of T. congolense high activity was associated with methyl ethers of chrysin and pinobanksin. In the case of C. fasciculata highest activity was associated with methyl ethers of galangin and pinobanksin. OPLS modelling of the activities against L. mexicana using the mass spectrometry produced a less successful model suggesting a wider range of active components.
Project description:The monosaccharide D-arabinopyranose has only been found in glycoconjugates of the trypanasomatid parasites Leishmania major, Endotrypanum schaudinni and Crithidia fasciculata. The donor molecule for the relevant arabinosyltransferases is known to be GDP-alpha-D-Arap in L. major and C. fasciculata, and the latter organism is being used to study the biosynthesis of GDP-alpha-D-Arap. In this study, we describe the structure of the terminal product of arabinose metabolism in C. fasciculata, namely lipoarabinogalactan. This molecule was purified by hydrophobic-interaction chromatography and studied by a variety of techniques, including gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, electrospray mass spectrometry and chemical and enzymic digestions. These data show that lipoarabinogalactan contains a previously described D-arabino-D-galactan polysaccharide component covalently attached to a glycosylphosphatidylinositol type of membrane anchor that is similar to, but not identical with, that found in the lipophosphoglycans of the Leishmania.
Project description:Kinetoplast DNA (kDNA), the form of mitochondrial DNA in trypanosomatids, consists of thousands of interlocked circular DNAs organized into a compact disk structure. A type II DNA topoisomerase, a DNA polymerase beta, and a structure-specific endonuclease have been localized to antipodal sites flanking the kDNA disk along with nascent DNA minicircles. We have cloned a gene (LIG k) encoding a mitochondrial DNA ligase in the trypanosomatid Crithidia fasciculata, and we show that an epitope-tagged form of the ligase colocalizes with the other replication proteins at the antipodal sites and also at the two faces of the kDNA disk. DNA LIG k becomes adenylated in reactions with ATP, and the adenylate moiety is removed by incubation with pyrophosphate or nicked DNA. The ligase interacts physically with the beta polymerase and is proposed to be involved in the repair of gaps in the newly synthesized minicircles. In yeast and mammals, a single gene encodes both nuclear and mitochondrial forms of DNA ligase. The LIG K protein sequence has low similarity to mitochondrial DNA ligases in other eukaryotes and is distinct from the C. fasciculata nuclear DNA ligase (LIG I).
Project description:The transport of alpha-aminoisobutyrate into Crithidia fasciculata was characterized under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Kinetic data for alpha-aminoisobutyrate transport were consistent with the operation of a single system of broad specificity that showed no marked dependence on Na+. Under anaerobic conditions alpha-aminoisobutyrate transport was inhibited by uncouplers such as 2,4-dinitrophenol, lipophilic cations such as methyltriphenylphosphonium ion and adenosine triphosphatase inhibitors such as dicyclohexylcarbodi-imide and NaN3. A working model in which alpha-aminoisobutyrate enters this organism by an H+-symport mechanism, the electrochemical gradient of protons being maintained by an H+-translocating adenosine triphosphatase on the cytoplasmic membrane, is proposed.
Project description:Most eukaryotic organisms including protozoans like Crithidia, Leishmania, and Plasmodium encode a repertoire of equilibrative nucleoside transporters (ENTs). Using genomic sequencing data from Crithidia fasciculata, we discovered that this organism contains multiple ENT genes of highly similar sequence to the previously cloned and characterized adenosine transporter CfNT1: CfAT1 and CfNT3, and an allele of CfAT1, named CfAT1.2. Characterization of CfAT1 shows that it is an adenosine-only transporter, 87% identical to CfNT1 in protein sequence, with a 50-fold lower Km for adenosine. Site directed mutation of a key residue in transmembrane domain 4 (TM4) in both CfNT1 and CfAT1 shows that lysine at this position results in a high affinity phenotype, while threonine decreases adenosine affinity in both transporters. These results show that C. fasciculata has at least two adenosine transporters, and that as in other protozoan ENTs, a lysine residue in TM4 plays a key role in ligand affinity.
Project description:Total protein extracts (days 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the growth curve; separation of peanut lectin-agglutinating and non-agglutinating choanomastigotes at day 4). Taxonomy: Crithidia fasciculata (Kinetoplastida, Trypanosomatidae)
Project description:We have identified a new member of the family of trypanosome site-specific retrotransposons, using a degenerate oligonucleotide PCR strategy. The 9595 bp element, termed Crithidia retrotransposable element 2 (CRE2), was cloned and found to be inserted in the tandemly arrayed miniexon genes of Crithidia fasciculata. The element is flanked by 29 bp target site duplications but lacks the 3' poly dA tract characteristic of most other non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons. The amino terminal region of the single 2518-codon open reading frame contains a putative metal-binding motif and a proline-rich region similar to gag-like domains of other retrotransposons. The carboxy terminal region of this open reading frame shares sequence homology with the reverse transcriptase and putative endonuclease regions of three previously described trypanosomatid site-specific retrotransposons. All four of these retrotransposons are specifically inserted between nucleotides 11 and 12 of the highly conserved 39mer sequence of the miniexon gene. Most copies of CRE2 and the previously characterized CRE1 are located on different sized chromosomes. Additional CRE-related sequences were identified by screening Crithidia libraries. These results suggest that a particular sequence in the C. fasciculata miniexon repeat is the target for multiple distinct site-specific retrotransposon insertions.
Project description:The C-terminal domain of the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II in higher eukaryotes is present in the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei in a strongly modified form. To determine whether this is a general feature of the Kinetoplastida and to determine the role of this domain in RNA polymerase II transcription, we have analysed the C-terminal domain of the distantly related species Crithidia fasciculata. No positional identity of amino acid residues between the C-termini of C. fasciculata and T. brucei can be found. Moreover, both domains lack the heptapeptide repeat structure present in higher eukaryotes. The two domains are, however, very similar in amino acid composition, being rich in acidic residues as well as serine and tryosine. The latter observation is compatible with the concept that in vivo phosphorylation of the C-terminus activates RNA polymerase II.
Project description:Trypanothione [N1,N8-bis(glutathionyl)spermidine] is a unique metabolite found only in trypanosomatids, where it subsumes many of the functions of GSH in other organisms. In Crithidia fasciculata, two distinct ATP-dependent ligases, glutathionylspermidine synthetase (GspS; EC 18.104.22.168) and trypanothione synthetase (TryS; EC 22.214.171.124), are involved in the synthesis of trypanothione from GSH and spermidine. Both enzymes have been cloned previously, but expression in Escherichia coli produced insoluble and inactive protein. Here we report on the successful expression of soluble (His)6-tagged C. fasciculata GspS in E. coli. Following purification using nickel-chelating affinity chromatography, the tag sequence was removed and the enzyme purified to homogeneity by anion-exchange chromatography. The kinetic parameters of the recombinant enzyme have been determined using a coupled enzyme assay and also by HPLC analysis of end-product formation. Under optimal conditions (0.1 M K+-Hepes, pH 7.3) GspS has synthetase activity with apparent K(m) values for GSH, spermidine and MgATP of 242, 59 and 114 microM respectively, and a k(cat) of 15.5 s(-1). Glutathionylspermidine is formed as end product and the enzyme lacks TryS activity. Like E. coli GspS, the recombinant enzyme also possesses amidase activity (EC 126.96.36.199), hydrolysing glutathionylspermidine to GSH and spermidine with a k(cat) of 0.38 s(-1) and a K(m) of 500 microM. GspS can also hydrolyse trypanothione at about 1.5% of the rate with glutathionylspermidine. A single amino acid mutation (Cys-79-->Ala) is shown to ablate the amidase activity without affecting the synthetase activity.
Project description:U6 RNA genes from the trypanosomatids Crithidia fasciculata and Leptomonas seymouri have been isolated and sequenced. As in Trypanosoma brucei, the U6 RNA genes in both C. fasciculata and L. seymouri are arranged in close linkage with upstream tRNA genes. The U6 RNA sequences from C. fasciculata and L. seymouri deviate in five and three positions, respectively, from the published T. brucei sequence. Interestingly, both C. fasciculata U6 RNA genes carry a C-->T change at the second position of the ACAGAG hexanucleotide sequence, which is important for splicing function and has been considered phylogenetically invariable. A compensatory base change of the C. fasciculata spliced leader RNA at the highly conserved 5' splice site position +5, G-->A, suggests that an interaction between the 5' splice site region and U6 RNA recently proposed for the yeast cis-splicing system may also occur in trans splicing.