Miller, Christopher N. and Jossé, Lyne and Tsaousis, Anastasios D. (2018) Localization of a Fe-S biosynthesis in Cryptosporidium mitosome. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, .
Cryptosporidium is a protozoan, apicomplexan, parasite that poses significant risk to humans and animals, as a common cause of potentially fatal diarrhea in immunodeficient hosts. The parasites have evolved a number of unique biological features that allow them to thrive in a highly specialized parasitic lifestyle. For example, the genome of Cryptosporidium parvum is highly reduced, encoding only 3,805 proteins, which is also reflected in its reduced cellular and organellar content and functions. As such, its remnant mitochondrion, dubbed a mitosome, is one of the smallest mitochondria yet found. While numerous studies have attempted to discover the function(s) of the C. parvum mitosome, most of them have been focused on in silico predictions. Here, we have localized components of a biochemical pathway in the C. parvum mitosome, in our investigations into the functions of this peculiar mitochondrial organelle. We have shown that three proteins involved in the mitochondrial iron-sulfur cluster biosynthetic pathway are localized in the organelle, and one of them can functionally replace its yeast homolog. Thus, it seems that the C. parvum mitosome is involved in iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis, supporting the organellar and cytosolic apoproteins. These results spearhead further research on elucidating the functions of the mitosome and broaden our understanding in the minimalistic adaptations of these organelles.
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