The apicoplast of Plasmodium falciparum parasites is believed to rely on the import of three-carbon phosphate compounds for use in organelle anabolic pathways, in addition to the generation of energy and reducing power within the organelle. We generated a series of genetic deletions in an apicoplast metabolic bypass line to determine which genes involved in apicoplast carbon metabolism are required for blood-stage parasite survival and organelle maintenance. We found that pyruvate kinase II (PyrKII) is essential for organelle maintenance, but that production of pyruvate by PyrKII is not responsible for this phenomenon. Enzymatic characterization of PyrKII revealed activity against all NDPs and dNDPs tested, suggesting that it may be capable of generating a broad range of nucleotide triphosphates. Conditional mislocalization of PyrKII resulted in decreased transcript levels within the apicoplast that preceded organelle disruption, suggesting that PyrKII is required for organelle maintenance due to its role in nucleotide triphosphate generation.
- Sean T Prigge
- Sean T Prigge
- Cyrianne Keutcha
- Krithika Rajaram
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Dominique Soldati-Favre, University of Geneva, Switzerland
© 2020, Swift et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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Feedback control is a universal feature of cell signaling pathways. Naked/NKD is a widely conserved feedback regulator of Wnt signaling which controls animal development and tissue homeostasis. Naked/NKD destabilizes Dishevelled, which assembles Wnt signalosomes to inhibit the β-catenin destruction complex via recruitment of Axin. Here, we discover that the molecular mechanism underlying Naked/NKD function relies on its assembly into ultra-stable decameric core aggregates via its conserved C-terminal histidine cluster (HisC). HisC aggregation is facilitated by Dishevelled and depends on accumulation of Naked/NKD during prolonged Wnt stimulation. Naked/NKD HisC cores co-aggregate with a conserved histidine cluster within Axin, to destabilize it along with Dishevelled, possibly via the autophagy receptor p62, which binds to HisC aggregates. Consistent with this, attenuated Wnt responses are observed in CRISPR-engineered flies and human epithelial cells whose Naked/NKD HisC has been deleted. Thus, HisC aggregation by Naked/NKD provides context-dependent feedback control of prolonged Wnt responses.
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