Flagella have multiple functions that are associated with different axonemal structures. Motile flagella typically have a 9+2 arrangement of microtubules, whereas sensory flagella normally have a 9+0 arrangement. Leishmania exhibits both of these flagellum forms and differentiation between these two flagellum forms is associated with cytoskeletal and cell shape changes. We disrupted flagellum elongation in Leishmania by deleting the intraflagellar transport (IFT) protein IFT140, and examined the effects on cell morphogenesis. Δift140 cells have no external flagellum, having only a very short flagellum within the flagellar pocket. This short flagellum had a collapsed 9+0 (9v) axoneme configuration reminiscent of that in the amastigote, and was not attached to the pocket membrane. Although amastigote-like changes occurred in the flagellar cytoskeleton, the cytoskeletal structures of Δift140 cells retained their promastigote configurations, as examined by fluorescence microscopy of tagged proteins and serial electron tomography. Thus, Leishmania promastigote cell morphogenesis does not depend on the formation of a long flagellum attached at the neck. Furthermore, our data show that disruption of the IFT system is sufficient to produce a switch from the 9+2 to the collapsed 9+0 (9v) axonemal structure; echoing the process that occurs during the promastigote to amastigote differentiation.
Sunter, Jack DanielMoreira-Leite, FlaviaGull, Keith
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Biological and Medical Sciences
Year of publication: 2018Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-10-30