Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS Pathog. 2013;9(6):e1003426. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003426. Epub 2013 Jun 13.

An apicoplast localized ubiquitylation system is required for the import of nuclear-encoded plastid proteins.

Author information

  • 1Department of Cellular Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, United States of America.


Apicomplexan parasites are responsible for numerous important human diseases including toxoplasmosis, cryptosporidiosis, and most importantly malaria. There is a constant need for new antimalarials, and one of most keenly pursued drug targets is an ancient algal endosymbiont, the apicoplast. The apicoplast is essential for parasite survival, and several aspects of its metabolism and maintenance have been validated as targets of anti-parasitic drug treatment. Most apicoplast proteins are nuclear encoded and have to be imported into the organelle. Recently, a protein translocon typically required for endoplasmic reticulum associated protein degradation (ERAD) has been proposed to act in apicoplast protein import. Here, we show ubiquitylation to be a conserved and essential component of this process. We identify apicoplast localized ubiquitin activating, conjugating and ligating enzymes in Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum and observe biochemical activity by in vitro reconstitution. Using conditional gene ablation and complementation analysis we link this activity to apicoplast protein import and parasite survival. Our studies suggest ubiquitylation to be a mechanistic requirement of apicoplast protein import independent to the proteasomal degradation pathway.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (5)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk