Biochemistry and Pharmacology - Research Publications

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    Regulated degradation of an endoplasmic reticulum membrane protein in a tubular lysosome in Leishmania mexicana
    Mullin, KA ; Foth, BJ ; Ilgoutz, SC ; Callaghan, JM ; Zawadzki, JL ; McFadden, GI ; McConville, MJ ; Bonifacino, J (AMER SOC CELL BIOLOGY, 2001-08-01)
    The cell surface of the human parasite Leishmania mexicana is coated with glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored macromolecules and free GPI glycolipids. We have investigated the intracellular trafficking of green fluorescent protein- and hemagglutinin-tagged forms of dolichol-phosphate-mannose synthase (DPMS), a key enzyme in GPI biosynthesis in L. mexicana promastigotes. These functionally active chimeras are found in the same subcompartment of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) as endogenous DPMS but are degraded as logarithmically growing promastigotes reach stationary phase, coincident with the down-regulation of endogenous DPMS activity and GPI biosynthesis in these cells. We provide evidence that these chimeras are constitutively transported to and degraded in a novel multivesicular tubule (MVT) lysosome. This organelle is a terminal lysosome, which is labeled with the endocytic marker FM 4-64, contains lysosomal cysteine and serine proteases and is disrupted by lysomorphotropic agents. Electron microscopy and subcellular fractionation studies suggest that the DPMS chimeras are transported from the ER to the lumen of the MVT via the Golgi apparatus and a population of 200-nm multivesicular bodies. In contrast, soluble ER proteins are not detectably transported to the MVT lysosome in either log or stationary phase promastigotes. Finally, the increased degradation of the DPMS chimeras in stationary phase promastigotes coincides with an increase in the lytic capacity of the MVT lysosome and changes in the morphology of this organelle. We conclude that lysosomal degradation of DPMS may be important in regulating the cellular levels of this enzyme and the stage-dependent biosynthesis of the major surface glycolipids of these parasites.
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    Intracellular trafficking of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins and free GPIs in Leishmania mexicana
    Ralton, JE ; Mullin, KA ; McConville, MJ (PORTLAND PRESS, 2002-04-15)
    Free glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs) are an important class of membrane lipids in many pathogenic protozoa. In this study, we have investigated the subcellular distribution and intracellular trafficking of an abundant class of free GPIs [termed glycosylinositolphospholipids (GIPLs)] in Leishmania mexicana promastigotes. The intracellular transport of the GIPLs and the major GPI-anchored glycoprotein gp63 was measured by following the incorporation of these molecules into sphingolipid-rich, detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs) in the plasma membrane. In metabolic-labelling experiments, mature GIPLs and gp63 were transported to DRMs in the plasma membrane with a t(1/2) of 70 and 40 min, respectively. Probably, GIPL transport to the DRMs involves a vesicular mechanism, as transport of both the GIPLs and gp63 was inhibited similarly at 10 degrees C. All GIPL intermediates were quantitatively recovered in Triton X-100-soluble membranes and were largely orientated on the cytoplasmic face of the endoplasmic reticulum, as shown by their sensitivity to exogenous phosphatidylinositol-specific phospho-lipase C. On the contrary, a significant proportion of the mature GIPLs ( approximately 50% of iM4) were accessible to membrane-impermeable probes on the surface of live promastigotes. These results suggest that the GIPLs are flipped across intracellular or plasma membranes during surface transport and that a significant fraction may populate the cytoplasmic leaflet of the plasma membrane. Finally, treatment of L. mexicana promastigotes with myriocin, an inhibitor of sphingolipid biosynthesis, demonstrated that ongoing sphingolipid biosynthesis is not required for the plasma-membrane transport of either gp63 or the GIPLs and that DRMs persist even when cellular levels of the major sphingolipid are depleted by 70%.