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Identification and characterization of a novel secretory granule calcium-binding protein from the early branching eukaryote Giardia lamblia

, : Identification and characterization of a novel secretory granule calcium-binding protein from the early branching eukaryote Giardia lamblia. Journal of Biological Chemistry 277(52): 50557-50563

Giardia lamblia is a flagellate protozoan that infects humans and other mammals and the most frequently isolated intestinal parasite worldwide. Giardia trophozoites undergo essential biological changes to survive outside the intestine of their host by differentiating into infective cysts. Cyst formation, or encystation, is considered one of the most primitive adaptive responses developed by eukaryotes early in evolution and crucial for the transmission of the parasite among susceptible hosts. During this process, proteins that will assemble into the extracellular cyst wall (CWP1 and CWP2) are transported to the cell surface within encystation-specific secretory vesicles (ESVs) by a developmentally regulated secretory pathway. Cyst wall proteins (CWPs) are maintained as a dense material inside the ESVs, but after exocytosis, they form the fibrillar matrix of the cyst wall. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms involved in granule biogenesis and discharge in Giardia, as well as the assembly of the extracellular wall. In this work, we provide evidences that a novel 54-kDa protein that exclusively localizes to the ESVs is induced during encystation similar to CWPs, proteolytically processed during granule maturation, and able to bind calcium in vitro. The gene encoding this molecule predicts a novel protein (called gGSP for G. lamblia Granule-specific Protein) without homology to any other protein reported in public databases. Nevertheless, it possesses characteristics of calcium-sequestering molecules of higher eukaryotes. Inhibition of gGSP expression abolishes cyst wall formation, suggesting that this secretory granule protein regulates Ca(2+)-dependent degranulation of ESVs during cyst wall formation.


PMID: 12354777

DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M202558200

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