WCB Is a C2 Domain Protein Defining the Plasma Membrane - Sub-Pellicular Microtubule Corset of Kinetoplastid Parasites

Protist. 2008 Jan;159(1):115-25. doi: 10.1016/j.protis.2007.09.001. Epub 2007 Oct 22.


WCB is a protein that locates between the inner face of the plasma membrane and the sub-pellicular corset of microtubules in Trypanosoma brucei. We provide the molecular identity of WCB and bioinformatic analysis suggests that it possesses a C2 domain implicated in membrane/protein interactions and a highly charged region possessing characteristics of a putative tubulin-binding domain. Functional analyses via RNA interference (RNAi) depletion show that WCB is essential for cell morphogenesis. Depletion results in gross abnormalities in cell shape, mainly at the cytoskeletal/plasma membrane dynamic posterior end of the trypanosome. Failures in cytokinesis and zoid production are also evident. Furthermore, electron microscopy reveals that RNAi-induced trypanosomes lose local plasma membrane to microtubule corset integrity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protozoan Proteins / ultrastructure
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / metabolism*
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / ultrastructure


  • Protozoan Proteins