An X-Domain Phosphoinositide Phospholipase C (PI-PLC-like) of Trypanosoma brucei Has a Surface Localization and Is Essential for Proliferation

Trypanosoma brucei is the causative agent of African trypanosomiasis, a deadly disease that affects humans and cattle. There are very few drugs to treat it, and there is evidence of mounting resistance, raising the need for new drug development. Here, we report the presence of a phosphoinositide phospholipase C (TbPI-PLC-like), containing an X and a PDZ domain, that is similar to the previously characterized TbPI-PLC1. TbPI-PLC-like only possesses the X catalytic domain and does not have the EF-hand, Y, and C2 domains, having instead a PDZ domain. Recombinant TbPI-PLC-like does not hydrolyze phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) and does not modulate TbPI-PLC1 activity in vitro. TbPI-PLC-like shows a plasma membrane and intracellular localization in permeabilized cells and a surface localization in non-permeabilized cells. Surprisingly, knockdown of TbPI-PLC-like expression by RNAi significantly affected proliferation of both procyclic and bloodstream trypomastigotes. This is in contrast with the lack of effect of downregulation of expression of TbPI-PLC1.

Núria W Negrão, Logan P Crowe, Brian S Mantilla, Rodrigo P Baptista, Sharon King-Keller, Guozhong Huang, Roberto Docampo. Pathogens. 2023 Feb 28;12(3):386. doi: 10.3390/pathogens12030386.