Time-resolved proximity biotinylation implicates a porin protein in export of transmembrane malaria parasite effectors

Figure 1 Generation of SBP1TbID mutants.
Generation of SBP1TbID mutants.

The malaria-causing parasite, Plasmodium falciparum completely remodels its host red blood cell (RBC) through the export of several hundred parasite proteins, including transmembrane proteins, across multiple membranes to the RBC. However, the process by which these exported membrane proteins are extracted from the parasite plasma membrane for export remains unknown. To address this question, we fused the exported membrane protein, skeleton binding protein 1 (SBP1), with TurboID, a rapid, efficient, and promiscuous biotin ligase (SBP1TbID). Using time-resolved, proximity biotinylation, and label-free quantitative proteomics, we identified two groups of SBP1TbID interactors: early interactors (pre-export) and late interactors (post-export). Notably, two promising membrane-associated proteins were identified as pre-export interactors, one of which possesses a predicted translocon domain, that could facilitate the export of membrane proteins. Further investigation using conditional mutants of these candidate proteins showed that these proteins were essential for asexual growth and localize to the host-parasite interface during early stages of the intraerythrocytic cycle. These data suggest that they may play a role in ushering membrane proteins from the PPM for export to the host RBC.

David Anaguano, Watcharatip Dedkhad, Carrie F Brooks, David W Cobb, Vasant Muralidharan. J Cell Sci. 2023 Sep 29;jcs.260506. doi: 10.1242/jcs.260506