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Eukaryot Cell. 2008 Nov;7(11):1941-50. doi: 10.1128/EC.00249-08. Epub 2008 Sep 26.

KMP-11, a basal body and flagellar protein, is required for cell division in Trypanosoma brucei.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158-2280, USA.


Kinetoplastid membrane protein 11 (KMP-11) has been identified as a flagellar protein and is conserved among kinetoplastid parasites, but its potential function remains unknown. In a recent study, we identified KMP-11 as a microtubule-bound protein localizing to the flagellum as well as the basal body in both procyclic and bloodstream forms of Trypanosoma brucei (Z. Li, J. H. Lee, F. Chu, A. L. Burlingame, A. Gunzl, and C. C. Wang, PLoS One 3:e2354, 2008). Silencing of KMP-11 by RNA interference inhibited basal body segregation and cytokinesis in both forms and resulted in multiple nuclei of various sizes, indicating a continuous, albeit somewhat defective, nuclear division while cell division was blocked. KMP-11 knockdown in the procyclic form led to severely compromised formation of the new flagellum attachment zone (FAZ) and detachment of the newly synthesized flagellum. However, a similar phenotype was not observed in the bloodstream form depleted of KMP-11. Thus, KMP-11 is a flagellar protein playing critical roles in regulating cytokinesis in both forms of the trypanosomes. Its distinct roles in regulating FAZ formation in the two forms may provide a clue to the different mechanisms of cytokinetic initiation in procyclic and bloodstream trypanosomes.

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