Characterization of the novel mitochondrial genome segregation factor TAP110 in Trypanosoma brucei

J Cell Sci. 2021 Mar 8;134(5):jcs254300. doi: 10.1242/jcs.254300.


Proper mitochondrial genome inheritance is important for eukaryotic cell survival. Trypanosoma brucei, a protozoan parasite, contains a singular mitochondrial genome, the kinetoplast (k)DNA. The kDNA is anchored to the basal body via the tripartite attachment complex (TAC) to ensure proper segregation. Several components of the TAC have been described; however, the connection of the TAC to the kDNA remains elusive. Here, we characterize the TAC-associated protein TAP110. We find that both depletion and overexpression of TAP110 leads to a delay in the separation of the replicated kDNA networks. Proteome analysis after TAP110 overexpression identified several kDNA-associated proteins that changed in abundance, including a TEX-like protein that dually localizes to the nucleus and the kDNA, potentially linking replication and segregation in the two compartments. The assembly of TAP110 into the TAC region seems to require the TAC but not the kDNA itself; however, once TAP110 has been assembled, it also interacts with the kDNA. Finally, we use ultrastructure expansion microscopy in trypanosomes for the first time, and reveal the precise position of TAP110 between TAC102 and the kDNA, showcasing the potential of this approach.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.

Keywords: Kinetoplast DNA; Mitochondrial genome segregation machinery; TAC; Tripartite attachment complex; Trypanosoma brucei; U-ExM; Ultrastructure expansion microscopy; kDNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Kinetoplast / genetics
  • Genome, Mitochondrial* / genetics
  • Mitochondria
  • Protozoan Proteins / genetics
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei* / genetics


  • DNA, Kinetoplast
  • Protozoan Proteins