Biological Systems: Open Access

ISSN - 2329-6577


Integrative approaches to investigate the architecture and assembly of BILBO1, a multidomain cytoskeletal protein from Trypanosoma brucei

3rd International Conference on Integrative Biology

August 04-06, 2015 Valencia, Spain

Gang Dong

Posters-Accepted Abstracts: Biol Syst Open Access

Abstract :

Trypanosoma brucei is a protozoan parasite causing sleeping sickness in Africa. At the base of its single flagellum is a bulb-like structure called the flagellar pocket (FP). The FP is responsible for all endo-/exocytosis and thus essential for the survival of the parasite. At the neck of the FP is an electron-dense structure termed the flagellar pocket collar (FPC), which currently has only one known protein component, BILBO1. Bioinformatic analysis indicates that there are four structural domains in the 67-kDa protein, including a globular N-terminal domain, two central EF-hand motifs followed by a long coiled-coil domain, and a C-terminal leucine zipper. BILBO1 forms enormously large oligomers in vitro, which makes it intractable by any single conventional structural study method. We recently carried out structural dissection of T. brucei BILBO1 using integrative structural biology approaches including NMR, crystallography, EM, and various biophysical methods. The highresolution structure of its N-terminal domain reveals a variant ubiquitin-like fold with a conserved surface patch; mutagenesis of this patch causes cell death in vivo. We further found that the EF-hand motifs change their conformation upon calcium binding, the coiled-coil domain forms an antiparallel dimer, and intermolecular interactions between adjacent leucine zippers allow BILBO1 to form extended filaments in vitro. These filaments were additionally shown to condense into fibrous bundles through lateral interactions as demonstrated by our EM studies. Based on all these experimental data, we propose a mechanism for BILBO1 assembly into the flagellar pocket collar.