Membrane targeting of the small myristoylated protein 2 (SMP-2) in Leishmania major

Joanne Heng, Eleanor C Saunders, Paul R Gooley, Malcolm J McConville, Thomas Naderer, Dedreia Tull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Leishmania parasites express three highly conserved small myristoylated proteins (SMPs) that are tar-geted to distinct membranes. SMP-1 is exclusively found in the flagellum, depending on myristoylationand palmitoylation. In contrast, monoacylated SMP-2 and SMP-4 are localized to the flagellar pocket andplasma membrane, respectively. Here, we demonstrate that unlike SMP-4, SMP-2 resides in detergentresistant membranes, but can be readily solubilized in the presence of high concentrations of salt. Weprovide evidence that in detergent resistant membranes, SMP-2 forms high molecular weight complexesin vivo. Association with detergent resistant membranes was abrogated in the presence of a C-terminal tagsuggesting acylation independent targeting signals. In addition, the N-terminal region of SMP-2 containssufficient information for membrane targeting, as a GFP-chimera localizes to the flagellar pocket. Thuswhile the core sequences of the SMPs are highly conserved, individual members have evolved differentmechanisms for their diverse membrane localization.Crown

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • Acylation
  • Detergent resistant membranes
  • Flagellar pocket
  • Parasites

Cite this