Novel kinetoplastid-specific cAMP binding proteins identified by RNAi screening for cAMP resistance in Trypanosoma brucei

Bachmaier, Sabine, Gould, Matthew K., Polatoglou, Eleni, Omelianczyk, Radoslaw, Brennand, Ana E., Aloraini, Maha A., Munday, Jane C., Horn, David, Boshart, Michael.

Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol., 05 July 2023
Sec. Parasite and Host
Volume 13 – 2023 


Cyclic AMP signalling in trypanosomes differs from most eukaryotes due to absence of known cAMP effectors and cAMP independence of PKA. We have previously identified four genes from a genome-wide RNAi screen for resistance to the cAMP phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor NPD-001. The genes were named cAMP Response Protein (CARP) 1 through 4. Here, we report an additional six CARP candidate genes from the original sample, after deep sequencing of the RNA interference target pool retrieved after NPD-001 selection (RIT-seq). The resistance phenotypes were confirmed by individual RNAi knockdown. Highest level of resistance to NPD-001, approximately 17-fold, was seen for knockdown of CARP7 (Tb927.7.4510). CARP1 and CARP11 contain predicted cyclic AMP binding domains and bind cAMP as evidenced by capture and competition on immobilised cAMP. CARP orthologues are strongly enriched in kinetoplastid species, and CARP3 and CARP11 are unique to Trypanosoma. Localization data and/or domain architecture of all CARPs predict association with the T. brucei flagellum. This suggests a crucial role of cAMP in flagellar function, in line with the cell division phenotype caused by high cAMP and the known role of the flagellum for cytokinesis. The CARP collection is a resource for discovery of unusual cAMP pathways and flagellar biology.