Endoplasmic Reticulum PI(3)P Lipid Binding Targets Malaria Proteins to the Host Cell

Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA.
Cell (Impact Factor: 32.24). 01/2012; 148(1-2):201-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2011.10.051
Source: PubMed


Hundreds of effector proteins of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum constitute a "secretome" carrying a host-targeting (HT) signal, which predicts their export from the intracellular pathogen into the surrounding erythrocyte. Cleavage of the HT signal by a parasite endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protease, plasmepsin V, is the proposed export mechanism. Here, we show that the HT signal facilitates export by recognition of the lipid phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PI(3)P) in the ER, prior to and independent of protease action. Secretome HT signals, including those of major virulence determinants, bind PI(3)P with nanomolar affinity and amino acid specificities displayed by HT-mediated export. PI(3)P-enriched regions are detected within the parasite's ER and colocalize with endogenous HT signal on ER precursors, which also display high-affinity binding to PI(3)P. A related pathogenic oomycete's HT signal export is dependent on PI(3)P binding, without cleavage by plasmepsin V. Thus, PI(3)P in the ER functions in mechanisms of secretion and pathogenesis.

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Available from: Kasturi Haldar, Dec 24, 2014
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    • "Based on the P. falciparum parasite genome, 463 proteins are predicted as PEXEL exportomes[17]. The malaria parasite employs the PEXEL motif to export proteins into the host erythrocyte by binding to phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PI3P) in the inner leaflet of the ER membrane[18]and the PEXEL motif is subsequently cleaved by the ER-resident aspartic protease plasmepsin V (PMV)[19,20]. This enzyme recognizes the PEXEL motif and cleaves it after Leu, generating a –X-E/Q/D which is then acetylated by an unidentified enzyme, leading to the formation of Ac-X-E/Q/D19202122. "
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    ABSTRACT: Plasmepsin V (PMV) is a Plasmodium aspartic protease responsible for the cleavage of the Plasmodium export element (PEXEL) motif, which is an essential step for export of PEXEL containing proteins and crucial for parasite viability. Here we describe the genetic polymorphism of Plasmodium vivax PMV (PvPMV) Thailand isolates, followed by cloning, expression, purification and characterization of PvPMV-Thai, presenting the pro- and mature-form of PvPMV-Thai. With our refolding and purification method, approximately 1 mg of PvPMV-Thai was obtained from 1 g of washed inclusion bodies. Unlike PvPMV-Ind and PvPMV-Sal-1, PvPMV-Thai contains a four-amino acid insertion (SVSE) at residues 246–249. We have confirmed that this insertion did not interfere with the catalytic activity as it is located in the long loop (R241-E272) pointing away from the substrate-binding pocket. PvPMV-Thai exhibited similar activity to PfPMV counterparts in which PfEMP2 could be hydrolyzed more efficiently than HRPII. Substrate specificity studies at P1′ showed that replacing Ser by Val or Glu of the PfEMP2 peptide markedly reduced the enzyme activity of PvPMV similar to that of PfPMV whereas replacing His by Val or Ser of the HRPII peptide increased the cleavage activity. However, the substitution of amino acids at the P2 position with Glu dramatically reduced the cleavage efficiency by 80% in PvPMV in contrast to 30% in PfPMV, indicating subtle differences around the S2 binding pocket of both PfPMV and PvPMV. Four inhibitors were also evaluated for PvPMV-Thai activity including PMSF, pepstatin A, nelfinavir, and menisporopsin A − a macrocylic polylactone. We are the first to show that menisporopsin A partially inhibits the PvPMV-Thai activity at high concentration. Taken together, these findings provide insights into recombinant production, substrate specificity and inhibition of PvPMV-Thai.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
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    • "We investigated for host-cell targeting motifs RXLXE/D/Q (where X is a neutral or a hydrophobic amino acid residue) that were previously reported for their activity to export Plasmodium falciparum proteins from the intracellular parasites (Bhattacharjee et al., 2012) to the surrounding erythrocytes. We also searched for the presence of consensus sequences XBBXBX, XBBBXXBX and XBBBXXBBBXXBBX (where X is a neutral or hydrophobic amino acid residue and B is a basic amino acid residue ) which were implicated in hairpin binding (de Castro Cortes et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Orphan genes are protein coding genes that lack recognizable homologs in other organisms. These genes were reported to comprise a considerable fraction of coding regions in all sequenced genomes and thought to be allied with organism's lineage-specific traits. However, their evolutionary persistence and functional significance still remain elusive. Due to lack of homologs with the host genome and for their probable lineage-specific functional roles, orphan gene product of pathogenic protozoan might be considered as the possible therapeutic targets. L. major is an important parasitic protozoan of the genus Leishmania that is associated with the disease cutaneous leishmaniasis. Therefore, evolutionary and functional characterization of orphan genes in this organism may help in understanding the factors prevailing pathogen evolution and parasitic adaptation. In this study, we systematically identified orphan genes of L. major and employed several in-silico analyses for understanding their evolutionary and functional attributes. To trace the signatures of molecular evolution, we compared their evolutionary rate with non-orphan genes. In agreement with prior observations, here we noticed that orphan genes evolve at a higher rate as compared to non-orphan genes. Lower sequence conservation of orphan genes was previously attributed solely due to their younger gene age. However, here we observed that together with gene age, a number of genomic (like expression level, GC content, variation in codon usage) and proteomic factors (like protein length, intrinsic disorder content, hydropathicity) could independently modulate their evolutionary rate. We considered the interplay of all these factors and analyzed their relative contribution on protein evolutionary rate by regression analysis. On the functional level, we observed that orphan genes are associated with regulatory, growth factor and transport related processes. Moreover, these genes were found to be enriched with various types of interaction and trafficking motifs, implying their possible involvement in host-parasite interactions. Thus, our comprehensive analysis of L. major orphan genes provided evidence for their extensive roles in host-pathogen interactions and virulence. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases
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    • "It is not clear whether the early endosome, which in mammalian cells is decorated with the lipid PI3P and Rab5, exists as a discrete compartment in P. falciparum. PI3P has been localized to the food vacuole, the apicoplast and the luminal face of the ER [68], [69], none of which appears to represent a canonical early endosome. "
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    ABSTRACT: During the asexual intraerythrocytic stage, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum must traffic newly-synthesized proteins to a broad array of destinations within and beyond the parasite's plasma membrane. In this study, we have localized two well-conserved protein components of eukaryotic endosomes, the retromer complex and the small GTPase Rab7, to define a previously-undescribed endosomal compartment in P. falciparum. Retromer and Rab7 co-localized to a small number of punctate structures within parasites. These structures, which we refer to as endosomes, lie in close proximity to the Golgi apparatus and, like the Golgi apparatus, are inherited by daughter merozoites. However, the endosome is clearly distinct from the Golgi apparatus as neither retromer nor Rab7 redistributed to the endoplasmic reticulum upon brefeldin A treatment. Nascent rhoptries (specialized secretory organelles required for invasion) developed adjacent to endosomes, an observation that suggests a role for the endosome in rhoptry biogenesis. A P. falciparum homolog of the sortilin family of protein sorting receptors (PfSortilin) was localized to the Golgi apparatus. Together, these results elaborate a putative Golgi-to-endosome protein sorting pathway in asexual blood stage parasites and suggest that one role of retromer is to mediate the retrograde transport of PfSortilin from the endosome to the Golgi apparatus.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · PLoS ONE
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