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Characterization of the BspA and Pmp protein family of trichomonads

Authors
  • Handrich, Maria R.
  • Garg, Sriram G.
  • Sommerville, Ewen W.
  • Hirt, Robert P.
  • Gould, Sven B.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Parasites & Vectors
Publisher
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Aug 19, 2019
Volume
12
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s13071-019-3660-z
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

BackgroundTrichomonas vaginalis is a human-infecting trichomonad and as such the best studied and the only for which the full genome sequence is available considering its parasitic lifestyle, T. vaginalis encodes an unusually high number of proteins. Many gene families are massively expanded and some genes are speculated to have been acquired from prokaryotic sources. Among the latter are two gene families that harbour domains which share similarity with proteins of Bacteroidales/Spirochaetales and Chlamydiales: the BspA and the Pmp proteins, respectively.ResultsWe sequenced the transcriptomes of five trichomonad species and screened for the presence of BspA and Pmp domain-containing proteins and characterized individual candidate proteins from both families in T. vaginalis. Here, we demonstrate that (i) BspA and Pmp domain-containing proteins are universal to trichomonads, but specifically expanded in T. vaginalis; (ii) in line with a concurrent expansion of the endocytic machinery, there is a high number of BspA and Pmp proteins which carry C-terminal endocytic motifs; and (iii) both families traffic through the ER and have the ability to increase adhesion performance in a non-virulent T. vaginalis strain and Tetratrichomonas gallinarum by a so far unknown mechanism.ConclusionsOur results initiate the functional characterization of these two broadly distributed protein families and help to better understand the origin and evolution of BspA and Pmp domains in trichomonads.

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