Malaria IMC1 membrane skeleton proteins operate autonomously and participate in motility independently of cell shape.


Tremp, AZ; Dessens, JT; (2011) Malaria IMC1 membrane skeleton proteins operate autonomously and participate in motility independently of cell shape. The Journal of biological chemistry, 286 (7). pp. 5383-91. ISSN 0021-9258 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M110.187195

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Abstract

Plasmodium IMC1 (inner membrane complex 1) proteins comprise components of the subpellicular network, a lattice of intermediate filaments that form a structural part of the pellicle in the zoite stages of malaria parasites. Family members IMC1a and IMC1b are differentially expressed in sporozoites and ookinetes, respectively, but have functionally equivalent roles affecting cell morphology, strength, motility, and infectivity. Because of the coincident effects of previous imc1 gene disruptions on both zoite shape and locomotion, it has been impossible to ascribe a direct involvement in motility to these proteins. We show here that a third family member, IMC1h, has a distinct differential expression pattern and localizes to the pellicle of both ookinetes and sporozoites. Knock-out of IMC1h mimics the loss-of-function phenotypes of IMC1a and IMC1b in their respective life stages, indicating that IMC1 proteins could be operating co-dependently. By generating double null mutant parasites for IMC1h and IMC1b, we tested this hypothesis: double knock-out exacerbated the phenotypes of the single knock-outs in terms of ookinete strength, motility, and infectivity but did not further affect ookinete morphology. These findings provide the first genetic evidence that IMC1 proteins can function independently of each other and contribute to gliding motility independently of cell shape.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Pathogen Molecular Biology
Research Centre: Malaria Centre
PubMed ID: 21098480
Web of Science ID: 287230600047
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2045

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