Role of PIP39 in oxidative stress response appears conserved in kinetoplastids

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Kinetoplastids, a group of flagellated protists that are often insect intestinal parasites, encounter various sources of oxidative stress. Such stressors include reactive oxygen species, both internally produced within the protist, and induced externally by host immune responses. This investigation focuses on the role of a highly conserved aspartate-based protein phosphatase, PTP-Interacting protein (PIP39) in managing oxidative stress. In addition to its well accepted role in a Trypanosoma brucei life stage transition, there is evidence of PIP39 participation in the T. brucei oxidative stress response. To examine whether this latter PIP39 role may exist more broadly, we aimed to elucidate PIP39’s contribution to redox homeostasis in the monoxenous parasite Leptomonas seymouri. Utilizing CRISPR-Cas9-mediated elimination of PIP39 in conjunction with oxidative stress assays, we demonstrate that PIP39 is required for cellular tolerance to oxidative stress in L. seymouri, positing it as a putative regulatory node for adaptive stress responses. We propose that future analysis of L. seymouri PIP39 enzymatic activity, regulation, and potential localization to a specialized organelle termed a glycosome will contribute to a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which protozoan parasites adapt to oxidative environments. Our study also demonstrates success at using gene editing tools developed for Leishmania for the related L. seymouri.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111620
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
StatePublished - Sep 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier B.V.


  • Gene editing
  • Glycosome
  • Leptomonas seymouri
  • Menadione
  • Monoxenous
  • Oxidative stress response
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Redox homeostasis
  • TbPIP39


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