H+-dependent inorganic phosphate uptake in Trypanosoma brucei is influenced by myo-inositol transporter.

Russo-Abrahão, Thais; Koeller, Carolina Macedo; Steinmann, Michael Eduard; Silva-Rito, Stephanie; Marins-Lucena, Thaissa; Alves-Bezerra, Michele; Lima-Giarola, Naira Ligia; de-Paula, Iron Francisco; González Salgado, Amaia; Sigel, Erwin; Bütikofer, Peter; Gondim, Katia Calp; Heise, Norton; Meyer-Fernandes, José Roberto (2017). H+-dependent inorganic phosphate uptake in Trypanosoma brucei is influenced by myo-inositol transporter. Journal of bioenergetics and biomembranes, 49(2), pp. 183-194. Springer 10.1007/s10863-017-9695-y

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Trypanosoma brucei is an extracellular protozoan parasite that causes human African trypanosomiasis or "sleeping sickness". During the different phases of its life cycle, T. brucei depends on exogenous inorganic phosphate (Pi), but little is known about the transport of Pi in this organism. In the present study, we showed that the transport of 32Pi across the plasma membrane follows Michaelis-Menten kinetics and is modulated by pH variation, with higher activity at acidic pH. Bloodstream forms presented lower Pi transport in comparison to procyclic forms, that displayed an apparent K0.5 = 0.093 ± 0.008 mM. Additionally, FCCP (H+-ionophore), valinomycin (K+-ionophore) and SCH28080 (H+, K+-ATPase inhibitor) inhibited the Pi transport. Gene Tb11.02.3020, previously described to encode the parasite H+:myo-inositol transporter (TbHMIT), was hypothesized to be potentially involved in the H+:Pi cotransport because of its similarity with the Pho84 transporter described in S. cerevisiae and other trypanosomatids. Indeed, the RNAi mediated knockdown remarkably reduced TbHMIT gene expression, compromised cell growth and decreased Pi transport by half. In addition, Pi transport was inhibited when parasites were incubated in the presence of concentrations of myo-inositol that are above 300 μM. However, when expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, two-electrode voltage clamp experiments provided direct electrophysiological evidence that the protein encoded by TbHMIT is definitely a myo-inositol transporter that may be only marginally affected by the presence of Pi. These results confirmed the presence of a Pi carrier in T. brucei, similar to the H+-dependent inorganic phosphate system described in S. cerevisiae and other trypanosomatids. This transport system contributes to the acquisition of Pi and may be involved in the growth and survival of procyclic forms. In summary, this work presents the first description of a Pi transport system in T. brucei.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Steinmann, Michael Eduard, González Salgado, Amaia, Sigel, Erwin, Bütikofer, Peter


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Barbara Franziska Järmann-Bangerter

Date Deposited:

15 Mar 2018 16:11

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:10

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Inorganic phosphate Pi transporter system Trypanosoma brucei





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