Mitochondrial Associated Ubiquitin Fold Modifier-1 Mediated Protein Conjugation in Leishmania donovani

Louisiana State University, United States of America
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 01/2011; 6(1):e16156. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016156
Source: PubMed


In this report, we demonstrate the existence of the ubiquitin fold modifier-1 (Ufm1) and its conjugation pathway in trypanosomatid parasite Leishmania donovani. LdUfm1 is activated by E1-like enzyme LdUba5. LdUfc1 (E2) specifically interacted with LdUfm1 and LdUba5 to conjugate LdUfm1 to proteinaceous targets. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed that LdUfm1 is conjugated to Leishmania protein targets that are associated with mitochondria. Immunofluorescence experiments showed that Leishmania Ufm1, Uba5 and Ufc1 are associated with the mitochondria. The demonstration that all the components of this system as well as the substrates are associated with mitochondrion suggests it may have physiological roles not yet described in any other organism. Overexpression of a non-conjugatable form of LdUfm1 and an active site mutant of LdUba5 resulted in reduced survival of Leishmania in the macrophage. Since mitochondrial activities are developmentally regulated in the life cycle of trypanosomatids, Ufm1 mediated modifications of mitochondrial proteins may be important in such regulation. Thus, Ufm1 conjugation pathway in Leishmania could be explored as a potential drug target in the control of Leishmaniasis.

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Available from: Hira L Nakhasi
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    • "Human elutriated monocytes were resuspended at 1.8 ¥ 10 5 cells ml -1 in RPMI medium containing 10% FBS and macrophage colony-stimulating factor (20 ng ml -1 , ProSpec, Israel), plated at 0.5 ml per well on eight-chamber Lab-Tek tissue-culture slides (Miles Laboratories) and incubated for 9 days for differentiation into macrophages. The macrophage infection experiments were performed essentially as described earlier (Gannavaram et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, we described the existence of the ubiquitin fold modifier 1 (Ufm1) and its conjugation pathway in Leishmania donovani. We demonstrated the conjugation of Ufm1 to proteins such as mitochondrial trifunctional protein (MTP) that catalyses β-oxidation of fatty acids in L. donovani. To elucidate the biological roles of the Ufm1-mediated modifications, we made an L. donovani Ufm1 null mutant (Ufm1(-/-) ). Loss of Ufm1 and consequently absence of Ufm1 conjugation with MTP resulted in diminished acetyl-CoA, the end-product of the β-oxidation in the Ufm1(-/-) amastigote stage. The Ufm1(-/-) mutants showed reduced survival in the amastigote stage in vitro and ex vivo in human macrophages. This survival was restored by re-expression of wild-type Ufm1 with concomitant induction of acetyl-CoA but not by re-expressing the non-conjugatable Ufm1, indicating the essential nature of Ufm1 conjugation and β-oxidation. Both cell cycle analysis and ultrastructural studies of Ufm1(-/-) parasites confirmed the role of Ufm1 in amastigote growth. The defect in vitro growth of amastigotes in human macrophages was further substantiated by reduced survival. Therefore, these studies suggest the importance of Ufm1 in Leishmania pathogenesis with larger impact on other organisms and further provide an opportunity to test Ufm1(-/-) parasites as drug and vaccine targets.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Molecular Microbiology
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    • "Studies in our laboratory with Leishmania Ufm1, a mitochondrial associated Ubl, revealed ways in which Ubl conjugation in these human parasites could represent novel protein drug targets [61]. The description of a Ubl (Ufm1), E1 enzyme (Uba5), and E2 enzyme (Ufc1) shows remarkable similarity of the Leishmania conjugation system to mammalian systems. "
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    ABSTRACT: Identifying and characterizing Leishmania donovani genes and the proteins they encode for their role in pathogenesis can reveal the value of this approach for finding new drug targets. Effective drug targets are likely to be proteins differentially expressed or required in the amastigote life cycle stage found in the patient. Several examples and their potential for chemotherapeutic disruption are presented. A pathway nearly ubiquitous in living cells targeted by anticancer drugs, the ubiquitin system, is examined. New findings in ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like modifiers in Leishmania show how disruption of those pathways could point to additional drug targets. The programmed cell death pathway, now recognized among protozoan parasites, is reviewed for some of its components and evidence that suggests they could be targeted for antiparasitic drug therapy. Finally, the endoplasmic reticulum quality control system is involved in secretion of many virulence factors. How disruptions in this pathway reduce virulence as evidence for potential drug targets is presented.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011
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