Publications (2)0 Total impact
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ABSTRACT: Giardia lamblia is a flagellated protozoan parasite and a major cause of diarrhoea in humans. Its microtubular cytoskeleton mediates trophozoite motility, attachment and cytokinesis, and is characterised by an attachment disk and eight flagella that are each nucleated in a basal body. To date, only 10 giardial basal body proteins have been identified, including universal signalling proteins that are important for regulating mitosis or differentiation. In this study, we have exploited bioinformatics and proteomic approaches to identify new Giardia basal body proteins and confocal microscopy to confirm their localisation in interphase trophozoites. This approach identified 75 homologs of conserved basal body proteins in the genome including 65 not previously known to be associated with Giardia basal bodies. Thirteen proteins were confirmed to co-localise with centrin to the Giardia basal bodies. We also demonstrate that most basal body proteins localise to additional cytoskeletal structures in interphase trophozoites. This might help to explain the roles of the four pairs of flagella and Giardia-specific organelles in motility and differentiation. A deeper understanding of the composition of the Giardia basal bodies will contribute insights into the complex signalling pathways that regulate its unique cytoskeleton and the biological divergence of these conserved organelles.International journal for parasitology. 01/2011; 41(10):1079-92.
Article: The minimal kinome of Giardia lamblia illuminates early kinase evolution and unique parasite biology[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The major human intestinal pathogen, Giardia lamblia is a very early-branching eukaryote with a minimal genome of broad evolutionary and biological interest. RESULTS: To explore early kinase evolution and regulation of Giardia biology, we cataloged the kinomes of three sequenced strains. Comparison with published kinomes and those of the excavates Trichomonas vaginalis and Leishmania major shows that Giardia's 80 core kinases constitute the smallest known core kinome of any eukaryote that can be grown in pure culture, reflecting both its early origin and secondary gene loss. Kinase losses in DNA repair, mitochondrial function, transcription, splicing, and stress response reflect this reduced genome, while the presence of other kinases helps define the kinome of the last common eukaryotic ancestor. Immunofluorescence analysis shows abundant phospho-staining in trophozoites, with phosphotyrosine abundant in the nuclei and phosphothreonine and phosphoserine in distinct cytoskeletal organelles. The Nek kinase family has been massively expanded, accounting for 198 of the 278 protein kinases in Giardia. Most Neks are catalytically inactive, have very divergent sequences and undergo extensive duplication and loss between strains. Many Neks are highly induced during development. We localized four catalytically active Neks to distinct parts of the cytoskeleton and one inactive Nek to the cytoplasm. CONCLUSION: The reduced kinome of Giardia sheds new light on early kinase evolution, and its highly divergent sequences add to the definition of individual kinase families as well as offering specific drug targets. Giardia's massive Nek expansion may reflect its distinctive lifestyle, biphasic life cycle and complex cytoskeleton.Genome biology. 01/2011; 12(7):R66.