Diana Spitznagel, John F. O'Rourke, Neal Leddy, Orla Hanrahan, Derek P. Nolan, Identification and Characterization of an Unusual Class I Myosin Involved in Vesicle Traffic in Trypanosoma brucei, PLoS ONE, 5, 8, 2010, e12282
PLoS ONE; 5; 8;
Myosins are a multimember family of motor proteins with diverse functions in eukaryotic cells. African trypanosomes possess only two candidate myosins and thus represent a useful system for functional analysis of these motors. One of these candidates is an unusual class I myosin (TbMyo1) that is expressed at similar levels but organized differently during the life cycle of Trypanosoma brucei. This myosin localizes to the polarized endocytic pathway in bloodstream forms of the parasite. This organization is actin dependent. Knock down of TbMyo1 results in a significant reduction in endocytic activity, a cessation in cell division and eventually cell death. A striking morphological feature in these cells is an enlargement of the flagellar pocket, which is consistent with an imbalance in traffic to and from the surface. In contrast TbMyo1 is distributed throughout procyclic forms of the tsetse vector and a loss of ~90% of the protein has no obvious effects on growth or morphology. These results reveal a life cycle stage specific requirement for this myosin in essential endocytic traffic and represent the first description of the involvement of a motor protein in vesicle traffic in these parasites.
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