Author(s): Denny PW, Gokool S, Russell DG, Field MC, Smith DF
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Abstract The surface of the protozoan parasite Leishmania is unusual in that it consists predominantly of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored glycoconjugates and proteins. Additionally, a family of hydrophilic acylated surface proteins (HASPs) has been localized to the extracellular face of the plasma membrane in infective parasite stages. These surface polypeptides lack a recognizable endoplasmic reticulum secretory signal sequence, transmembrane spanning domain, or glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchor consensus sequence, indicating that novel mechanisms are involved in their transport and localization. Here, we show that the N-terminal domain of HASPB contains primary structural information that directs both N-myristoylation and palmitoylation and is essential for correct localization of the protein to the plasma membrane. Furthermore, the N-terminal 18 amino acids of HASPB, encoding the dual acylation site, are sufficient to target the heterologous Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein to the cell surface of Leishmania. Mutagenesis of the predicted acylated residues confirms that modification by both myristate and palmitate is required for correct trafficking. These data suggest that HASPB is a representative of a novel class of proteins whose translocation onto the surface of eukaryotic cells is dependent upon a "non-classical" pathway involving N-myristoylation/palmitoylation. Significantly, HASPB is also translocated on to the extracellular face of the plasma membrane of transfected mammalian cells, indicating that the export signal for HASPB is recognized by a higher eukaryotic export mechanism.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics