Author(s): Liu J, Qiao X, Du D, Lee MG
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Abstract In Trypanosomatids, endocytosis and exocytosis occur exclusively at the flagellar pocket, a deep invagination of the plasma membrane where the flagellum extends from the cell. Both bloodstream and procyclic trypanosomes are capable of internalizing macromolecules. However, structures resembling coated vesicles were only identified in bloodstream form and not in procyclic form trypanosomes. Due to the apparent absence of coated vesicles in procyclics, the significance of receptor-mediated endocytosis in procyclic trypanosomes has been considered of minimal importance. We show that the flagellar pocket associated cysteine-rich acidic transmembrane protein (CRAM) may function as an high density lipoprotein receptor in the procyclic form trypanosome. Using anti-CRAM IgG we have characterized the process of CRAM-mediated endocytosis in procyclic form trypanosomes. The wild type procyclic trypanosome binds and internalizes anti-CRAM IgG but not the non-immune IgG in a saturable and time-dependent manner; the binding and uptake of (125)I-labeled anti-CRAM IgG are inhibited by excess unlabeled anti-CRAM IgG. Uptake and degradation of anti-CRAM IgG do not occur at 4 degrees C. At 28 degrees C, the internalized anti-CRAM IgG were efficiently degraded through a process that is inhibited by incubation at 4 degrees C and sensitive to the presence of chloroquine. The uptake and degradation of anti-CRAM IgG does not occur in the CRAM null mutant cell line. These results suggested that the uptake of anti-CRAM IgG in the wild type procyclics occurs via receptor-mediated endocytosis of the CRAM protein. Deletion of the cytoplasmic extension of CRAM drastically reduced the degradation but not the binding of anti-CRAM IgG. This result indicated that potential internalization signals may be present in the cytoplasmic extension of CRAM. This is the first time that the importance of receptor-mediated endocytosis in procyclic form trypanosomes has been demonstrated.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy