The distinctive flagellar proteome of Euglena gracilis illuminates the complexities of protistan flagella adaptation

Michael Hammond, Martin Zoltner, Jack Garrigan, Erin Butterfield, Vladimir Varga, Julius Lukeš, Mark C. Field (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Abstract

The eukaryotic flagellum/cilium is a prominent organelle with conserved structure and diverse functions. Euglena gracilis, a photosynthetic and highly adaptable protist, employs its flagella for both locomotion and environmental sensing.

Using proteomics of isolated E. gracilis flagella we identify nearly 1700 protein groups, which challenges previous estimates of the protein complexity of motile eukaryotic flagella.

We identified several unexpected similarities shared with mammalian flagella, including an entire glycolytic pathway and proteasome but also document a vast array of flagella-based signal transduction components that coordinate gravitaxis and phototactic motility. By contrast the pellicle was found to consist of over 900 protein groups, containing additional structural and signaling components.

Our data identify significant adaptations within the E. gracilis flagellum, many of which are clearly linked to the highly flexible lifestyle.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalNew Phytologist
Early online date22 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • cilia
  • Euglena
  • evolution
  • flagella
  • pellicle
  • proteomics

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