Characterization of a novel GDP-mannose:Serine-protein mannose-1-phosphotransferase from Leishmania mexicana. (1/463)

Protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania secrete a number of glycoproteins and mucin-like proteoglycans that appear to be important parasite virulence factors. We have previously proposed that the polypeptide backbones of these molecules are extensively modified with a complex array of phosphoglycan chains that are linked to Ser/Thr-rich domains via a common Manalpha1-PO4-Ser linkage (Ilg, T., Overath, P., Ferguson, M. A. J., Rutherford, T., Campbell, D. G., and McConville, M. J. (1994) J. Biol. Chem. 269, 24073-24081). In this study, we show that Leishmania mexicana promastigotes contain a peptide-specific mannose-1-phosphotransferase (pep-MPT) activity that adds Manalpha1-P to serine residues in a range of defined peptides. The presence and location of the Manalpha1-PO4-Ser linkage in these peptides were determined by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and chemical and enzymatic treatments. The pep-MPT activity was solubilized in non-ionic detergents, was dependent on Mn2+, utilized GDP-Man as the mannose donor, and was expressed in all developmental stages of the parasite. The pep-MPT activity was maximal against peptides containing Ser/Thr-rich domains of the endogenous acceptors and, based on competition assays with oligosaccharide acceptors, was distinct from other leishmanial MPTs involved in the initiation and elongation of lipid-linked phosphoglycan chains. In subcellular fractionation experiments, pep-MPT was resolved from the endoplasmic reticulum marker BiP, but had an overlapping distribution with the cis-Golgi marker Rab1. Although Man-PO4 residues in the mature secreted glycoproteins are extensively modified with mannose oligosaccharides and phosphoglycan chains, similar modifications were not added to peptide-linked Man-PO4 residues in the in vitro assays. Similarly, Man-PO4 residues on endogenous polypeptide acceptors were also poorly extended, although the elongating enzymes were still active, suggesting that the pep-MPT activity and elongating enzymes may be present in separate subcellular compartments.  (+info)

Structure-based design of submicromolar, biologically active inhibitors of trypanosomatid glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. (2/463)

The bloodstream stage of Trypanosoma brucei and probably the intracellular (amastigote) stage of Trypanosoma cruzi derive all of their energy from glycolysis. Inhibiting glycolytic enzymes may be a novel approach for the development of antitrypanosomatid drugs provided that sufficient parasite versus host selectivity can be obtained. Guided by the crystal structures of human, T. brucei, and Leishmania mexicana glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, we designed adenosine analogs as tight binding inhibitors that occupy the pocket on the enzyme that accommodates the adenosyl moiety of the NAD+ cosubstrate. Although adenosine is a very poor inhibitor, IC50 approximately 50 mM, addition of substituents to the 2' position of ribose and the N6-position of adenosine led to disubstituted nucleosides with micromolar to submicromolar potency in glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase assays, an improvement of 5 orders of magnitude over the lead. The designed compounds do not inhibit the human glycolytic enzyme when tested up to their solubility limit (approximately 40 microM). When tested against cultured bloodstream T. brucei and intracellular T. cruzi, N6-(1-naphthalenemethyl)-2'-(3-chlorobenzamido)adenosine inhibited growth in the low micromolar range. Within minutes after adding this compound to bloodstream T. brucei, production of glucose-derived pyruvate ceased, parasite motility was lost, and a mixture of grossly deformed and lysed parasites was observed. These studies underscore the feasibility of using structure-based drug design to transform a mediocre lead compound into a potent enzyme inhibitor. They also suggest that energy production can be blocked in trypanosomatids with a tight binding competitive inhibitor of an enzyme in the glycolytic pathway.  (+info)

Structural and mutagenesis studies of leishmania triosephosphate isomerase: a point mutation can convert a mesophilic enzyme into a superstable enzyme without losing catalytic power. (3/463)

The dimeric enzyme triosephosphate isomerase (TIM) has a very tight and rigid dimer interface. At this interface a critical hydrogen bond is formed between the main chain oxygen atom of the catalytic residue Lys13 and the completely buried side chain of Gln65 (of the same subunit). The sequence of Leishmania mexicana TIM, closely related to Trypanosoma brucei TIM (68% sequence identity), shows that this highly conserved glutamine has been replaced by a glutamate. Therefore, the 1.8 A crystal structure of leishmania TIM (at pH 5.9) was determined. The comparison with the structure of trypanosomal TIM shows no rearrangements in the vicinity of Glu65, suggesting that its side chain is protonated and is hydrogen bonded to the main chain oxygen of Lys13. Ionization of this glutamic acid side chain causes a pH-dependent decrease in the thermal stability of leishmania TIM. The presence of this glutamate, also in its protonated state, disrupts to some extent the conserved hydrogen bond network, as seen in all other TIMs. Restoration of the hydrogen bonding network by its mutation to glutamine in the E65Q variant of leishmania TIM results in much higher stability; for example, at pH 7, the apparent melting temperature increases by 26 degrees C (57 degrees C for leishmania TIM to 83 degrees C for the E65Q variant). This mutation does not affect the kinetic properties, showing that even point mutations can convert a mesophilic enzyme into a superstable enzyme without losing catalytic power at the mesophilic temperature.  (+info)

Evidence that free GPI glycolipids are essential for growth of Leishmania mexicana. (4/463)

The cell surface of the parasitic protozoan Leishmania mexicana is coated by glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored glycoproteins, a GPI-anchored lipophosphoglycan and a class of free GPI glycolipids. To investigate whether the anchor or free GPIs are required for parasite growth we cloned the L.mexicana gene for dolichol-phosphate-mannose synthase (DPMS) and attempted to create DPMS knockout mutants by targeted gene deletion. DPMS catalyzes the formation of dolichol-phosphate mannose, the sugar donor for all mannose additions in the biosynthesis of both the anchor and free GPIs, except for a alpha1-3-linked mannose residue that is added exclusively to the free GPIs and lipophosphoglycan anchor precursors. The requirement for dolichol-phosphate-mannose in other glycosylation pathways in L.mexicana is minimal. Deletion of both alleles of the DPMS gene (lmdpms) consistently resulted in amplification of the lmdpms chromosomal locus unless the promastigotes were first transfected with an episomal copy of lmdpms, indicating that lmdpms, and possibly GPI biosynthesis, is essential for parasite growth. As evidence presented in this and previous studies indicates that neither GPI-anchored glycoproteins nor lipophosphoglycan are required for growth of cultured parasites, it is possible that the abundant and functionally uncharacterized free GPIs are essential membrane components.  (+info)

Protease trafficking in two primitive eukaryotes is mediated by a prodomain protein motif. (5/463)

Trypanosome protozoa, an early lineage of eukaryotic cells, have proteases homologous to mammalian lysosomal cathepsins, but the precursor proteins lack mannose 6-phosphate. Utilizing green fluorescent protein as a reporter, we demonstrate that the carbohydrate-free prodomain of a trypanosome cathepsin L is necessary and sufficient for directing green fluorescent protein to the lysosome/endosome compartment. A proper prodomain/catalytic domain processing site sequence is also required to free the mature protease for delivery to the lysosome/endosome compartment. A nine-amino acid prodomain loop motif, implicated in prodomain-receptor interactions in mammalian cells, is conserved in the protozoa. Site-directed mutagenesis now confirms the importance of this loop to protease trafficking and suggests that a protein motif targeting signal for lysosomal proteases arose early in eukaryotic cell evolution.  (+info)

Down-regulation of MARCKS-related protein (MRP) in macrophages infected with Leishmania. (6/463)

Leishmania, a protozoan parasite of macrophages, has been shown to interfere with host cell signal transduction pathways including protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent signaling. Myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS) and MARCKS-related protein (MRP, MacMARCKS) are PKC substrates in diverse cell types. MARCKS and MRP are thought to regulate the actin network and thereby participate in cellular responses involving cytoskeletal rearrangement. Because MRP is a major PKC substrate in macrophages, we examined its expression in response to infection by Leishmania. Activation of murine macrophages by cytokines increased MRP expression as determined by Western blot analysis. Infection with Leishmania promastigotes at the time of activation or up to 48 h postactivation strongly decreased MRP levels. Leishmania-dependent MRP depletion was confirmed by [3H]myristate labeling and by immunofluorescence microscopy. All species or strains of Leishmania parasites tested, including lipophosphoglycan-deficient Leishmania major L119, decreased MRP levels. MRP depletion was not obtained with other phagocytic stimuli including zymosan, latex beads, or heat-killed Streptococcus mitis, a Gram-positive bacterium. Experiments with [3H]myristate labeled proteins revealed the appearance of lower molecular weight fragments in Leishmania-infected cells suggesting that MRP depletion may be due to proteolytic degradation.  (+info)

Glycosylphosphatidylinositol biosynthetic enzymes are localized to a stable tubular subcompartment of the endoplasmic reticulum in Leishmania mexicana. (7/463)

Glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPI) are essential components in the plasma membrane of the protozoan parasite Leishmania mexicana, both as membrane anchors for the major surface macromolecules and as the sole class of free glycolipids. We provide evidence that L.mexicana dolichol-phosphate-mannose synthase (DPMS), a key enzyme in GPI biosynthesis, is localized to a distinct tubular subdomain of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), based on the localization of a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-DPMS chimera and subcellular fractionation experiments. This tubular membrane (termed the DPMS tubule) is also enriched in other enzymes involved in GPI biosynthesis, can be specifically stained with the fluorescent lipid, BODIPY-C5-ceramide, and appears to be connected to specific subpellicular microtubules that underlie the plasma membrane. Perturbation of microtubules and DPMS tubule structure in vivo results in the selective accumulation of GPI anchor precursors, but not free GPIs. The DPMS tubule is closely associated morphologically with the single Golgi apparatus in non-dividing and dividing cells, appears to exclude luminal ER resident proteins and is labeled, together with the Golgi apparatus, with another GFP chimera containing the heterologous human Golgi marker beta1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-I. The possibility that the DPMS-tubule is a stable transitional ER is discussed.  (+info)

H-2M molecules, like MHC class II molecules, are targeted to parasitophorous vacuoles of Leishmania-infected macrophages and internalized by amastigotes of L. amazonensis and L. mexicana. (8/463)

In their amastigote stage, Leishmania are obligatory intracellular parasites of mammalian macrophages, residing and multiplying within phagolysosomal compartments called parasitophorous vacuoles (PV). These organelles have properties similar to those described for the MHC class II compartments of antigen-presenting cells, sites where peptide-class II molecule complexes are formed before their expression at the cell surface. After infection with Leishmania amazonensis or L. mexicana, endocytosis and degradation of class II molecules by intracellular amastigotes have also been described, suggesting that these parasites have evolved mechanisms to escape the potentially hazardous antigen-presentation process. To determine whether these events extend to other molecules of the antigen-presentation machinery, we have now studied the fate of the MHC molecule H-2M in mouse macrophages infected with Leishmania amastigotes. At least for certain class II alleles, H-2M is an essential cofactor, which catalyses the release of the invariant chain-derived CLIP peptide from the peptide-binding groove of class II molecules and facilitates the binding of antigenic peptides. H-2M was detected in PV of mouse macrophages infected with various Leishmania species including L. amazonensis, L. mexicana, L. major and L. donovani. PV thus contain all the molecules required for the formation of peptide-class II molecule complexes and especially of complexes with parasite peptides. The present data indicate, however, that if this process occurs, it does not lead to a clear increase of SDS-stable compact (alpha)(beta) dimers of class II. In PV that contained L. amazonensis or L. mexicana, both class II and H-2M molecules often colocalized at the level where amastigotes bind to the PV membrane, suggesting that these molecules are physically associated, directly or indirectly, and possibly interact with parasite components. Furthermore, as class II molecules, H-2M molecules were internalized by amastigotes of these Leishmania species and reached parasite compartments that also contained class II molecules. Immunostaining of H-2M within parasites was increased by treatment of infected macrophages with the cysteine protease inhibitors Z-Phe-AlaCHN2 or Z-Phe-PheCHN2 or by incubation of the parasites with the same inhibitors before infection. These data thus support the idea that amastigotes of certain Leishmania species capture and degrade some of the molecules required for antigen presentation. To examine whether endocytosis of class II molecules by the parasites occurs through interactions with parasite components involving their peptide-binding groove, we made use of the fact that a large fraction of the class II molecules of H-2M(alpha) knock-out H-2(b) mice are occupied by the peptide CLIP and are unable to bind other peptides. We found that, in Leishmania-infected macrophages of these mutant mice, class II-CLIP complexes reached PV and were internalized by amastigotes. These results thus prove that endocytosis of class II molecules by amastigotes (1) is H-2M-independent and (2) does not necessarily involve the peptide-binding pocket of these molecules. Altogether, these data are compatible with an endocytic mechanism based on general properties shared by classical and non-classical class II molecules.  (+info)