Microsporidia are eukaryotic, obligate intracellular organisms defined by small spores that contain a single invasion organelle, the polar tube, which coils around the interior of the spore. When these parasites infect host cells, the polar tube is discharged from the anterior pole of the spore, pierces the cell, and transfers sporoplasm into the cytoplasm of the host. Three polar tube proteins (PTP1, PTP2, and PTP3) have been identified in this structure. The interactions of these proteins in the assembly and function of the polar tube are not known. This study was undertaken to examine the protein interactions of the Encephalitozoon cuniculi polar tube proteins (EcPTPs). Immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy confirmed the colocalization of EcPTP1, EcPTP2, and EcPTP3 to the polar tube. Experiments using cross-linkers indicated that EcPTP1, EcPTP2, and EcPTP3 form a complex in the polar tube, which was confirmed by immunoprecipitation using EcPTP1 antiserum. Yeast two-hybrid analysis revealed that full-length EcPTP1, EcPTP2, and EcPTP3 interact with each other in vivo. Both the N and C termini of EcPTP1 were involved in these interactions, but the central region of this protein, which contains a repetitive motif, was not. Further studies of polar tube proteins and their structural interactions may help elucidate the formation of the polar tube during the invasion process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases