All microsporidia possess a unique, highly specialized invasion mechanism that involves the polar tube and spore wall. The interaction between spore wall proteins (SWPs) and polar tube proteins (PTPs) in the formation, arrangement, orderly orientation, and function of the polar tube and spore wall remains to be determined. This study was undertaken to examine the protein interactions of Nosema bombycis SWP7 (NbSWP7), NbSWP9, and PTPs. Coimmunoprecipitation, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), and yeast two-hybrid data demonstrated that NbSWP9, but not NbSWP7, interacts with NbPTP1 and NbPTP2. Furthermore, immunoelectron microscopy (IEM) showed that NbSWP9 was localized mainly in the developing polar tube of sporoblasts, while NbSWP7 was found randomly in the cytoplasm. However, both NbSWP9 and NbSWP7 were located in the polar tube and spore wall of N. bombycis mature spores. The reason why NbSWP7 was localized to the polar tube may be due to the interaction between NbSWP9 and NbSWP7. Interestingly, the majority of NbSWP9, but not NbSWP7, accumulated in the beginning part of the extruded polar tube and the ruptured spore wall called the anchoring disk (AD) when the mature spores germinated under weak-alkaline environmental stimulation. Additionally, anti-NbSWP9 antibody reduced spore germination in a dose-dependent manner. In conclusion, our study further confirmed that NbSWP9 is a scaffolding protein that not only anchors and holds the polar tube but also tethers the polar tube to the spore wall.
Keywords: germination; interaction; microsporidia; polar tube protein; spore wall protein.
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