[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The requirement of complex I (NADH:ubiquionone oxidoreductase) for respiration in Trypanosoma brucei is controversial. Recent identification of homologues of its subunits in mitochondrial proteome resolved a question of its presence or absence. However, with one exception, no data have been available concerning the function(s) of complex I or its subunits. Here we present a functional RNAi study of three (NUBM, NUKM, NUEM) putative subunits of this complex. Although no changes were detected in growth, mitochondrial membrane potential or reactive oxygen species production in cell lines depleted for target transcript, the NUBM and NUKM RNAi knock-downs showed decreased specific NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase activity. Moreover, glycerol gradients of all cell lines revealed the presence of two distinct peaks of NADH dehydrogenase activity, with shifted sensitivity to inhibitors of complex I upon RNAi induction. Thus complex I is not only present in the procyclic stage of T. brucei 29-13 strain, but it does participate in electron transport chain.
Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 11/2010; 175(2):196-200. · 2.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prohibitins (PHBs) 1 and 2 are small conserved proteins implicated in a number of functions in the mitochondrion, as well as in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells. The current understanding of PHB functions comes from studies of model organisms such as yeast, worm and mouse, but considerable debate remains with regard to the primary functions of these ubiquitous proteins. We exploit the tractable reverse genetics of Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of African sleeping sickness, in order to specifically analyse the function of PHB in this highly divergent eukaryote. Using inducible RNA interference (RNAi) we show that PHB1 is essential in T. brucei, where it is confined to the cell's single mitochondrion forming a high molecular weight complex. PHB1 and PHB2 appear to be indispensible for mitochondrial translation. Their ablation leads to a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential, however no effect on the level of reactive oxygen species was observed. Flagellates lacking either PHB1 or both PHB1 and PHB2 exhibit significant morphological changes of their organelle, most notably its inflation. Even long after the loss of the PHB proteins, mtDNA was unaltered and mitochondrial cristae remained present, albeit displaced to the periphery of the mitochondrion, which is in contrast to other eukaryotes.
International journal for parasitology 09/2009; 40(1):73-83. · 3.39 Impact Factor