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Expansion microscopy of Plasmodium gametocytes reveals the molecular architecture of a bipartite microtubule organisation centre coordinating mitosis with axoneme assembly

Published inPLOS pathogens, vol. 18, no. 1, e1010223
Publication date2022-01
First online date2022-01-25
Abstract

Transmission of malaria-causing parasites to mosquitoes relies on the production of gametocyte stages and their development into gametes. These stages display various microtubule cytoskeletons and the architecture of the corresponding microtubule organisation centres (MTOC) remains elusive. Combining ultrastructure expansion microscopy (U-ExM) with bulk proteome labelling, we first reconstructed in 3D the subpellicular microtubule network which confers cell rigidity to Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes. Upon activation, as the microgametocyte undergoes three rounds of endomitosis, it also assembles axonemes to form eight flagellated microgametes. U-ExM combined with Pan-ExM further revealed the molecular architecture of the bipartite MTOC coordinating mitosis with axoneme formation. This MTOC spans the nuclear membrane linking cytoplasmic basal bodies to intranuclear bodies by proteinaceous filaments. In P. berghei, the eight basal bodies are concomitantly de novo assembled in a SAS6- and SAS4-dependent manner from a deuterosome-like structure, where centrin, γ-tubulin, SAS4 and SAS6 form distinct subdomains. Basal bodies display a fusion of the proximal and central cores where centrin and SAS6 are surrounded by a SAS4-toroid in the lumen of the microtubule wall. Sequential nucleation of axonemes and mitotic spindles is associated with a dynamic movement of γ-tubulin from the basal bodies to the intranuclear bodies. This dynamic architecture relies on two non-canonical regulators, the calcium-dependent protein kinase 4 and the serine/arginine-protein kinase 1. Altogether, these results provide insights into the molecular organisation of a bipartite MTOC that may reflect a functional transition of a basal body to coordinate axoneme assembly with mitosis.

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Citation (ISO format)
RASHPA, Ravish, BROCHET, Mathieu. Expansion microscopy of Plasmodium gametocytes reveals the molecular architecture of a bipartite microtubule organisation centre coordinating mitosis with axoneme assembly. In: PLOS pathogens, 2022, vol. 18, n° 1, p. e1010223. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1010223
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