Phosphatidylinositol 3-monophosphate is involved in Toxoplasma apicoplast biogenesis

Tawk, L. et al. (2011) Phosphatidylinositol 3-monophosphate is involved in Toxoplasma apicoplast biogenesis. PLoS Pathogens, 7(2), e1001286. (doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1001286)

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Apicomplexan parasites cause devastating diseases including malaria and toxoplasmosis. They harbour a plastid-like, non-photosynthetic organelle of algal origin, the apicoplast, which fulfils critical functions for parasite survival. Because of its essential and original metabolic pathways, the apicoplast has become a target for the development of new anti-apicomplexan drugs. Here we show that the lipid phosphatidylinositol 3-monophosphate (PI3P) is involved in apicoplast biogenesis in <i>Toxoplasma gondii</i>. In yeast and mammalian cells, PI3P is concentrated on early endosomes and regulates trafficking of endosomal compartments. Imaging of PI3P in <i>T. gondii</i> showed that the lipid was associated with the apicoplast and apicoplast protein-shuttling vesicles. Interference with regular PI3P function by over-expression of a PI3P specific binding module in the parasite led to the accumulation of vesicles containing apicoplast peripheral membrane proteins around the apicoplast and, ultimately, to the loss of the organelle. Accordingly, inhibition of the PI3P-synthesising kinase interfered with apicoplast biogenesis. These findings point to an unexpected implication for this ubiquitous lipid and open new perspectives on how nuclear encoded proteins traffic to the apicoplast. This study also highlights the possibility of developing specific pharmacological inhibitors of the parasite PI3-kinase as novel anti-apicomplexan drugs.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Meissner, Professor Markus
Authors: Tawk, L., Dubremetz, J.-F., Montcourrier, P., Chicanne, G., Merezegue, F., Richard, V., Payrastre, B., Meissner, M., Vial, H.J., Roy, C., Wengelnik, K., and Lebrun, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
Journal Name:PLoS Pathogens
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1553-7374
Published Online:17 February 2011
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2011 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS Pathogens 7(2): e1001286.
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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