Trypanosoma brucei is the causative agent of African sleeping sickness, a devastating disease endemic to sub-Saharan Africa with few effective treatment options. The parasite is highly polarized, including a single flagellum that is nucleated at the posterior of the cell and adhered along the cell surface. These features are essential and must be transmitted to the daughter cells during division. Recently we identified the T. brucei homologue of pololike kinase (TbPLK) as an essential morphogenic regulator. In the present work, we conduct proteomic screens to identify potential TbPLK binding partners and substrates to better understand the molecular mechanisms of kinase function. These screens identify a cohort of proteins, most of which are completely uncharacterized, which localize to key cytoskeletal organelles involved in establishing cell morphology, including the flagella connector, flagellum attachment zone, and bilobe structure. Depletion of these proteins causes substantial changes in cell division, including mispositioning of the kinetoplast, loss of flagellar connection, and prevention of cytokinesis. The proteins identified in these screens provide the foundation for establishing the molecular networks through which TbPLK directs cell morphogenesis in T. brucei.
McAllaster, MIkeda, KLozano-Nuñez, AAnrather, DUnterwurzacher, VGossenreiter, TPerry, JCrikley, RMercadante, CVaughan, Sue
de Graffenried, C
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Biological and Medical Sciences
Year of publication: 2015Date of RADAR deposit: 2016-09-15