Independent analysis of the flagellum surface and matrix proteomes provides insight into flagellum signaling in mammalian-infectious Trypanosoma brucei

Michael Oberholzer, Gerasimos Langousis, Hoang Kim T. Nguyen, Edwin A. Saada, Michelle M. Shimogawa, Zophonias O. Jonsson, Steven M. Nguyen, James A. Wohlschlegel*, Kent L. Hill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The flagellum of African trypanosomes is an essential and multifunctional organelle that functions in motility, cell morphogenesis, and host-parasite interaction. Previous studies of the trypanosome flagellum have been limited by the inability to purify flagella without first removing the flagellar membrane. This limitation is particularly relevant in the context of studying flagellum signaling, as signaling requires surface-exposed proteins in the flagellar membrane and soluble signaling proteins in the flagellar matrix. Here we employ a combination of genetic and mechanical approaches to purify intact flagella from the African trypanosome, Trypanosoma brucei, in its mammalian-infectious stage. We combined flagellum purification with affinity-purification of surface-exposed proteins to conduct independent proteomic analyses of the flagellum surface and matrix fractions. The proteins identified encompass a broad range of molecular functionalities, including many predicted to function in signaling. Immunofluorescence and RNA interference studies demonstrate flagellum localization and function for proteins identified and provide insight into mechanisms of flagellum attachment and motility. The flagellum surface proteome includes many T. brucei-specific proteins and is enriched for proteins up-regulated in the mammalian-infectious stage of the parasite life-cycle. The combined results indicate that the flagellum surface presents a diverse and dynamic host-parasite interface that is well-suited for hostparasite signaling.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Volume10
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

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