Modulation of flagellum attachment zone protein FLAM3 and regulation of the cell shape in Trypanosoma brucei life cycle transitions

Jack D Sunter, Corinna Benz, Jane Andre, Sarah Whipple, Paul G. McKean, Keith Gull, Michael L Ginger, Julius Lukeš

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The cell shape of Trypanosoma brucei is influenced by flagellum-to-cell-body attachment through a specialised structure - the flagellum attachment zone (FAZ). T. brucei exhibits numerous morphological forms during its life cycle and, at each stage, the FAZ length varies. We have analysed FLAM3, a large protein that localises to the FAZ region within the old and new flagellum. Ablation of FLAM3 expression causes a reduction in FAZ length; however, this has remarkably different consequences in the tsetse procyclic form versus the mammalian bloodstream form. In procyclic form cells FLAM3 RNAi results in the transition to an epimastigote-like shape, whereas in bloodstream form cells a severe cytokinesis defect associated with flagellum detachment is observed. Moreover, we demonstrate that the amount of FLAM3 and its localisation is dependent on ClpGM6 expression and vice versa. This evidence demonstrates that FAZ is a key regulator of trypanosome shape, with experimental perturbations being life cycle form dependent. An evolutionary cell biology explanation suggests that these differences are a reflection of the division process, the cytoskeleton and intrinsic structural plasticity of particular life cycle forms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3117-30
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Volume128
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Trypanosoma brucei brucei
Flagella
Cell Shape
Life Cycle Stages
Proteins
Cytokinesis
Trypanosomiasis
RNA Interference
Cytoskeleton
Cell Biology

Cite this

Sunter, Jack D ; Benz, Corinna ; Andre, Jane ; Whipple, Sarah ; McKean, Paul G. ; Gull, Keith ; Ginger, Michael L ; Lukeš, Julius. / Modulation of flagellum attachment zone protein FLAM3 and regulation of the cell shape in Trypanosoma brucei life cycle transitions. In: Journal of Cell Science. 2015 ; Vol. 128, No. 16. pp. 3117-30.
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Modulation of flagellum attachment zone protein FLAM3 and regulation of the cell shape in Trypanosoma brucei life cycle transitions. / Sunter, Jack D; Benz, Corinna; Andre, Jane; Whipple, Sarah; McKean, Paul G.; Gull, Keith; Ginger, Michael L; Lukeš, Julius.

In: Journal of Cell Science, Vol. 128, No. 16, 15.08.2015, p. 3117-30.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Benz, Corinna

AU - Andre, Jane

AU - Whipple, Sarah

AU - McKean, Paul G.

AU - Gull, Keith

AU - Ginger, Michael L

AU - Lukeš, Julius

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KW - Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental

KW - Life Cycle Stages/genetics

KW - Microtubules/genetics

KW - Protozoan Proteins/genetics

KW - Trypanosoma brucei brucei/genetics

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