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© Research
Publication : The Journal of eukaryotic microbiology

Localization and Functional Characterization of the Alternative Oxidase in Naegleria.

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in The Journal of eukaryotic microbiology - 24 Mar 2022

Cantoni D, Osborne A, Taib N, Thompson G, Martín-Escolano R, Kazana E, Edrich E, Brown IR, Gribaldo S, Gourlay CW, Tsaousis AD,

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 35322502

Link to DOI – 10.1111/jeu.12908

J Eukaryot Microbiol 2022 Mar; (): e12908

The alternative oxidase (AOX) is a protein involved in supporting enzymatic reactions of the Krebs cycle in instances when the canonical (cytochrome-mediated) respiratory chain has been inhibited, while allowing for the maintenance of cell growth and necessary metabolic processes for survival. Among eukaryotes, alternative oxidases have dispersed distribution and are found in plants, fungi, and protists, including Naegleria ssp. Naegleria species are free-living unicellular amoeboflagellates, and include the pathogenic species of N. fowleri, the so-called brain eating amoeba. Using a multidisciplinary approach, we aimed to understand the evolution, localization and function of AOX and the role that plays in Naegleria’s biology. Our analyses suggest that AOX was present in last common ancestor of the genus and structure prediction showed that all functional residues are also present in Naegleria species. Using cellular and biochemical techniques, we also functionally characterize N. gruberi’s AOX in its mitochondria and we demonstrate that its inactivation affects its proliferation. Consequently, we discuss the benefits of the presence of this protein in Naegleria species, along with its potential pathogenicity role in N. fowleri. We predict that our findings will spearhead new explorations to understand the cell biology, metabolism and evolution of Naegleria and other free-living relatives.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35322502