The Francis Crick Institute
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Analysis of CDPK1 targets identifies a trafficking adaptor complex that regulates microneme exocytosis in Toxoplasma.

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-13, 10:50 authored by Alex W Chan, Malgorzata Broncel, Eden Yifrach, Nicole R Haseley, Sundeep Chakladar, Elena Andree, Alice L Herneisen, Emily Shortt, Moritz Treeck, Sebastian Lourido
Apicomplexan parasites use Ca2+-regulated exocytosis to secrete essential virulence factors from specialized organelles called micronemes. Ca2+-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are required for microneme exocytosis; however, the molecular events that regulate trafficking and fusion of micronemes with the plasma membrane remain unresolved. Here, we combine sub-minute resolution phosphoproteomics and bio-orthogonal labeling of kinase substrates in Toxoplasma gondii to identify 163 proteins phosphorylated in a CDPK1-dependent manner. In addition to known regulators of secretion, we identify uncharacterized targets with predicted functions across signaling, gene expression, trafficking, metabolism, and ion homeostasis. One of the CDPK1 targets is a putative HOOK activating adaptor. In other eukaryotes, HOOK homologs form the FHF complex with FTS and FHIP to activate dynein-mediated trafficking of endosomes along microtubules. We show the FHF complex is partially conserved in T. gondii, consisting of HOOK, an FTS homolog, and two parasite-specific proteins (TGGT1_306920 and TGGT1_316650). CDPK1 kinase activity and HOOK are required for the rapid apical trafficking of micronemes as parasites initiate motility. Moreover, parasites lacking HOOK or FTS display impaired microneme protein secretion, leading to a block in the invasion of host cells. Taken together, our work provides a comprehensive catalog of CDPK1 targets and reveals how vesicular trafficking has been tuned to support a parasitic lifestyle.


Crick (Grant ID: CC2132, Grant title: Treeck CC2132)