Malaria parasites use the RhopH complex for erythrocyte invasion and channel-mediated nutrient uptake. As the member proteins are unique to Plasmodium spp., how they interact and traffic through subcellular sites to serve these essential functions is unknown. We show that RhopH is synthesized as a soluble complex of CLAG3, RhopH2, and RhopH3 with 1:1:1 stoichiometry. After transfer to a new host cell, the complex crosses a vacuolar membrane surrounding the intracellular parasite and becomes integral to the erythrocyte membrane through a PTEX translocon-dependent process. We present a 2.9 Å single-particle cryo-electron microscopy structure of the trafficking complex, revealing that CLAG3 interacts with the other subunits over large surface areas. This soluble complex is tightly assembled with extensive disulfide bonding and predicted transmembrane helices shielded. We propose a large protein complex stabilized for trafficking but poised for host membrane insertion through large-scale rearrangements, paralleling smaller two-state pore-forming proteins in other organisms.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Cryo-EM maps have been deposited in EMDB and PDB.
- Sanjay A Desai
- Sriram Subramaniam
- Brian T Chait
- Michael P Rout
- Brian T Chait
- Sriram Subramaniam
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Olivier Silvie, Sorbonne Université, UPMC Univ Paris 06, INSERM, CNRS, France
This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.
The dynamic interplay between guanine-quadruplex (G4) structures and pathogenicity islands (PAIs) represents a captivating area of research with implications for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying pathogenicity. This study conducted a comprehensive analysis of a large-scale dataset from reported 89 pathogenic strains of bacteria to investigate the potential interactions between G4 structures and PAIs. G4 structures exhibited an uneven and non-random distribution within the PAIs and were consistently conserved within the same pathogenic strains. Additionally, this investigation identified positive correlations between the number and frequency of G4 structures and the GC content across different genomic features, including the genome, promoters, genes, tRNA, and rRNA regions, indicating a potential relationship between G4 structures and the GC-associated regions of the genome. The observed differences in GC content between PAIs and the core genome further highlight the unique nature of PAIs and underlying factors, such as DNA topology. High-confidence G4 structures within regulatory regions of Escherichia coli were identified, modulating the efficiency or specificity of DNA integration events within PAIs. Collectively, these findings pave the way for future research to unravel the intricate molecular mechanisms and functional implications of G4-PAI interactions, thereby advancing our understanding of bacterial pathogenicity and the role of G4 structures in pathogenic diseases.
Microsporidia are eukaryotic, obligate intracellular parasites that infect a wide range of hosts, leading to health and economic burdens worldwide. Microsporidia use an unusual invasion organelle called the polar tube (PT), which is ejected from a dormant spore at ultra-fast speeds, to infect host cells. The mechanics of PT ejection are impressive. Anncaliia algerae microsporidia spores (3–4 μm in size) shoot out a 100-nm-wide PT at a speed of 300 μm/s, creating a shear rate of 3000 s-1. The infectious cargo, which contains two nuclei, is shot through this narrow tube for a distance of ∼60–140 μm (Jaroenlak et al, 2020) and into the host cell. Considering the large hydraulic resistance in an extremely thin tube and the low-Reynolds-number nature of the process, it is not known how microsporidia can achieve this ultrafast event. In this study, we use Serial Block-Face Scanning Electron Microscopy to capture 3-dimensional snapshots of A. algerae spores in different states of the PT ejection process. Grounded in these data, we propose a theoretical framework starting with a systematic exploration of possible topological connectivity amongst organelles, and assess the energy requirements of the resulting models. We perform PT firing experiments in media of varying viscosity, and use the results to rank our proposed hypotheses based on their predicted energy requirement. We also present a possible mechanism for cargo translocation, and quantitatively compare our predictions to experimental observations. Our study provides a comprehensive biophysical analysis of the energy dissipation of microsporidian infection process and demonstrates the extreme limits of cellular hydraulics.