Publication Date



Journal of Biological Chemistry


The unicellular protozoan Trypanosoma brucei has a single flagellum that is involved in cell motility, cell morphogenesis, and cell division. Inheritance of the newly assembled flagellum during the cell cycle requires its correct positioning, which depends on the faithful duplication or segregation of multiple flagellum-associated cytoskeletal structures, including the basal body, the flagellum attachment zone, and the hook complex. Along the flagellum attachment zone sites a set of four microtubules termed the microtubule quartet (MtQ), whose molecular function remains enigmatic. We recently reported that the MtQ-localized protein NHL1 interacts with the microtubule-binding protein TbSpef1 and regulates flagellum inheritance by promoting basal body rotation and segregation. Here, we identified a TbSpef1- and NHL1-associated protein named SNAP1, which co-localizes with NHL1 and TbSpef1 at the proximal portion of the MtQ, depends on TbSpef1 for localization and is required for NHL1 localization to the MtQ. Knockdown of SNAP1 impairs the rotation and segregation of the basal body, the elongation of the flagellum attachment zone filament, and the positioning of the newly assembled flagellum, thereby causing mis-placement of the cell division plane, a halt in cleavage furrow ingression, and an inhibition of cytokinesis completion. Together, these findings uncover a coordinating role of SNAP1 with TbSpef1 and NHL1 in facilitating flagellum positioning and cell division plane placement for the completion of cytokinesis.


Trypanosoma brucei, microtubule quartet, hook complex, flagellum inheritance, cytokinesis



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