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Inner membrane complex 1l protein of Plasmodium falciparum links membrane lipids with cytoskeletal element ‘actin’ and its associated motor ‘myosin’

Kumar, Vikash, Behl, Ankita, Kapoor, Payal, Nayak, Bandita, Singh, Gurbir, Singh, Amrit Pal, Mishra, Satish, Kang, Tejwant Singh, Mishra, Prakash Chandra, Hora, Rachna
International journal of biological macromolecules 2019 v.126 pp. 673-684
Plasmodium falciparum, actin, calcium, cholesterol, cytoskeleton, host cell invasion, ions, locomotion, myosin, parasites, plasma membrane
The inner membrane complex (IMC) is a defining feature of apicomplexans comprising of lipid and protein components involved in gliding motility and host cell invasion. Motility of Plasmodium parasites is accomplished by an actin and myosin based glideosome machinery situated between the parasite plasma membrane (PPM) and IMC. Here, we have studied in vivo expression and localization of a Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) IMC protein ‘PfIMC1l’ and characterized it functionally by using biochemical assays. We have identified cytoskeletal protein ‘actin’ and motor protein ‘myosin’ as novel binding partners of PfIMC1l, alongside its interaction with the lipids ‘cholesterol’ and ‘phosphatidyl-inositol 4, 5 bisphosphate’ (PIP2). While actin and myosin compete for interaction with PfIMC1l, actin and either of the lipids (cholesterol or PIP2) simultaneously bind PfIMC1l. Interestingly, PfIMC1l showed enhanced binding with actin in the presence of calcium ions, and displayed direct binding with calcium. Based on our in silico analysis and experimental data showing PfIMC1l-actin/myosin and PfIMC1l-lipid interactions, we propose that this protein may anchor the IMC membrane with the parasite gliding apparatus. Considering its binding with key proteins involved in motility viz. myosin and actin (with calcium dependence), we suggest that PfIMC1l may have a role in the locomotion of Plasmodium.