[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protein tyrosine kinases and phosphatases play important roles in the regulation of cell growth, development, and differentiation. We report here the identification in Trypanosoma cruzi of a gene (TcPRL-1) encoding a protein tyrosine phosphatase. The predicted protein (TcPRL-1) shares ca. 35% identity with the mammalian protein tyrosine phosphatase known as phosphatase of regenerating liver 1 (PRL-1). Four copies of this protein tyrosine phosphatase are present in the T. cruzi genome, and Northern blot assays showed a transcript of approximately 750 bases. TcPRL-1 was detected by Western blot analysis only in amastigote extracts as a 21-kDa protein. TcPRL-1 was expressed in Escherichia coli, and its phosphatase activity was determined by using p-nitrophenylphosphate and a phosphorylated protein as substrates. In contrast to other PRLs, TcPRL-1 activity was not affected by pentamidine, and it was inhibited by very low concentrations of o-vanadate. TcPRL-1 has a C-terminal CAAX motif (CAVM) and is farnesylated in vitro by T. cruzi epimastigote extracts and in vivo according to the transfection results. After transfection of T. cruzi with a vector that expresses TcPRL-1 as a C-terminal fusion to green fluorescent protein, GFP-TcPRL-1 was detected in the endocytic pathway of epimastigotes, amastigotes, and trypomastigotes by colocalization with cruzipain and concanavalin A. Interestingly, a mutant form without the CAAX motif localized to the cytoplasm, in contrast to its mammalian counterparts that localize to the nucleus. The results of these studies on TcPRL-1 reveal that, even though the animal and parasite PRLs share similar kinetic properties, their susceptibilities to inhibitors, as well as their localization, are distinct, implying that they may be involved in different cellular processes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: gp63 is a highly abundant glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored membrane protein expressed predominantly in the promastigote but also in the amastigote stage of Leishmania species. In Leishmania spp., gp63 has been implicated in a number of steps in establishment of infection. Here we demonstrate that Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas' disease, has a family of gp63 genes composed of multiple groups. Two of these groups, Tcgp63-I and -II, are present as high-copy-number genes. The genomic organization and mRNA expression pattern were specific for each group. Tcgp63-I was widely expressed, while the Tcgp63-II group was scarcely detected in Northern blots, even though it is well represented in the T. cruzi genome. Western blots using sera directed against a synthetic peptide indicated that the Tcgp63-I group produced proteins of approximately 78 kDa, differentially expressed during the life cycle. Immunofluorescence staining and phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C digestion confirmed that Tcgp63-I group members are surface proteins bound to the membrane by a GPI anchor. We also demonstrate the presence of metalloprotease activity which is attributable, at least in part, to Tcgp63-I group. Since antibodies against Tcgp63-I partially blocked infection of Vero cells by trypomastigotes, a possible role for this group in infection is suggested.
Infection and Immunity 11/2003; 71(10):5739-49. · 4.07 Impact Factor