p166 links membrane and intramitochondrial modules of the trypanosomal tripartite attachment complex.

Schimanski, Bernd; Aeschlimann, Salome; Stettler, Philip; Käser, Sandro; Gomez-Fabra Gala, Maria; Bender, Julian; Warscheid, Bettina; Vögtle, F-Nora; Schneider, André (2022). p166 links membrane and intramitochondrial modules of the trypanosomal tripartite attachment complex. PLoS pathogens, 18(6), e1010207. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.ppat.1010207

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The protist parasite Trypanosoma brucei has a single mitochondrion with a single unit genome termed kinetoplast DNA (kDNA). Faithfull segregation of replicated kDNA is ensured by a complicated structure termed tripartite attachment complex (TAC). The TAC physically links the basal body of the flagellum with the kDNA spanning the two mitochondrial membranes. Here, we characterized p166 as the only known TAC subunit that is anchored in the inner membrane. Its C-terminal transmembrane domain separates the protein into a large N-terminal region that interacts with the kDNA-localized TAC102 and a 34 aa C-tail that binds to the intermembrane space-exposed loop of the integral outer membrane protein TAC60. Whereas the outer membrane region requires four essential subunits for proper TAC function, the inner membrane integral p166, via its interaction with TAC60 and TAC102, would theoretically suffice to bridge the distance between the OM and the kDNA. Surprisingly, non-functional p166 lacking the C-terminal 34 aa still localizes to the TAC region. This suggests the existence of additional TAC-associated proteins which loosely bind to non-functional p166 lacking the C-terminal 34 aa and keep it at the TAC. However, binding of full length p166 to these TAC-associated proteins alone would not be sufficient to withstand the mechanical load imposed by the segregating basal bodies.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Schimanski, Bernd, Aeschlimann, Salome Johanna, Stettler, Philip, Käser, Sandro, Schneider, André


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




Public Library of Science




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

22 Jun 2022 14:47

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:21

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:






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