A functional connection of Dictyostelium paracaspase with the contractile vacuole and a possible partner of the vacuolar proton ATPase
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- Saheb, E., Biton, I., Maringer, K. et al. J Biosci (2013) 38: 509. doi:10.1007/s12038-013-9338-3
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Dictyostelium discoideum possesses only one caspase family member, paracaspase (pcp). Two separate mutant cell lines were first analysed: one cell line was an over-expressed GFP-tagged Pcp (GFP-Pcp), while the other cell line was a pcp-null (pcp-). Microscopic analysis of cells expressing GFP-Pcp revealed that Pcp was associated with the contractile vacuole membrane consisting of bladder-like vacuoles. This association was disrupted when cells were exposed to osmotic stress conditions. Compared with wild-type cells, the GFP-Pcp-over-expressing cells were susceptible to osmotic stress and were seen to be very rounded in hypo-osmotic conditions and contained more abnormally swollen contractile vacuole. Cells with pcp- were also rounded but had few, if any, contractile vacuoles. These observations suggest that Pcp is essential for Dictyostelium osmotic regulation via its functioning in the contractile vacuole system. Subjecting these cells to selected contractile vacuole inhibitor provided additional support for these findings. Furthermore, yeast two-hybrid system identified vacuolar proton ATPase (VatM) as the protein interacting with Pcp. Taken together, this work gives evidence for an eukaryotic paracaspase to be associated with both localization in and regulation of the contractile vacuolar system, an organelle critical for maintaining the normal morphology of the cell.