Toxoplasma ISP4 is a central IMC sub-compartment protein whose localization depends on palmitoylation but not myristoylation.

Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1489, USA.
Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology (Impact Factor: 2.73). 05/2012; 184(2):99-108. DOI: 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2012.05.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Apicomplexan parasites utilize a peripheral membrane system called the inner membrane complex (IMC) to facilitate host cell invasion and parasite replication. We recently identified a novel family of Toxoplasma IMC Sub-compartment Proteins (ISP1/2/3) that localize to sub-domains of the IMC using a targeting mechanism that is dependent on coordinated myristoylation and palmitoylation of a series of residues in the N-terminus of the protein. While the precise functions of the ISPs are unknown, deletion of ISP2 results in replication defects, suggesting that this family of proteins plays a role in daughter cell formation. Here we have characterized a fourth ISP family member (ISP4) and discovered that this protein localizes to the central IMC sub-compartment, similar to ISP2. Like ISP1/3, ISP4 is dispensable for the tachyzoite lytic cycle as the disruption of ISP4 does not produce any gross replication or growth defects. Surprisingly, targeting of ISP4 to the IMC membranes is dependent on residues predicted for palmitoylation but not myristoylation, setting its trafficking apart from the other ISP proteins and demonstrating distinct mechanisms of protein localization to the IMC membranes, even within a family of highly related proteins.

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