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Metabolic selection of a homologous recombination-mediated gene loss protects Trypanosoma brucei from ROS production by glycosomal fumarate reductase

Abstract : The genome of trypanosomatids rearranges by using repeated sequences as platforms for amplification or deletion of genomic segments. These stochastic recombination events have a direct impact on gene dosage and foster the selection of adaptive traits in response to environmental pressure. We provide here such an example by showing that the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) gene knockout (Δpepck) leads to the selection of a deletion event between two tandemly arranged fumarate reductase (FRDg and FRDm2) genes to produce a chimeric FRDg-m2 gene in the Δpepck∗ cell line. FRDg is expressed in peroxisome-related organelles, named glycosomes, expression of FRDm2 has not been detected to date, and FRDg-m2 is nonfunctional and cytosolic. Re-expression of FRDg significantly impaired growth of the Δpepck∗ cells, but FRD enzyme activity was not required for this negative effect. Instead, glycosomal localization as well as the covalent flavinylation motif of FRD is required to confer growth retardation and intracellular accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The data suggest that FRDg, similar to Escherichia coli FRD, can generate ROS in a flavin-dependent process by transfer of electrons from NADH to molecular oxygen instead of fumarate when the latter is unavailable, as in the Δpepck background. Hence, growth retardation is interpreted as a consequence of increased production of ROS, and rearrangement of the FRD locus liberates Δpepck∗ cells from this obstacle. Interestingly, intracellular production of ROS has been shown to be required to complete the parasitic cycle in the insect vector, suggesting that FRDg may play a role in this process
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - 5:43:58 PM
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Marion Wargnies, Nicolas Plazolles, Robin Schenk, Oriana Villafraz, Jean-William Dupuy, et al.. Metabolic selection of a homologous recombination-mediated gene loss protects Trypanosoma brucei from ROS production by glycosomal fumarate reductase. Journal of Biological Chemistry, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2021, 296, pp.100548. ⟨10.1016/j.jbc.2021.100548⟩. ⟨hal-03366694⟩

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