Phosphoinositide (PtdInsP) lipids recruit effector proteins to membranes to mediate a variety of functions including signal transduction and membrane trafficking. Each PtdInsP binds to a specific set of effectors through characteristic protein domains such as the PH, FYVE and PX domains. Domains with high affinity for a single PtdInsP species are useful as probes to visualize the distribution and dynamics of that PtdInsP. The endolysosomal system is governed by two primary PtdInsPs: phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate [PtdIns(3)P] and phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate [PtdIns(3,5)P2], which are thought to localize and control early endosomes and lysosomes/late endosomes, respectively. While PtdIns(3)P has been analysed with mammalian-derived PX and FYVE domains, PtdIns(3,5)P2 indicators remain controversial. Thus, complementary probes against these PtdInsPs are needed, including those originating from non-mammalian proteins. Here, we characterized in mammalian cells the dynamics of the PH domain from PH-containing protein-1 from the parasite Toxoplasma gondii (TgPH1), which was previously shown to bind PtdIns(3,5)P2 in vitro. However, we show that TgPH1 retains membrane-binding in PIKfyve-inhibited cells, suggesting that TgPH1 is not a viable PtdIns(3,5)P2 marker in mammalian cells. Instead, PtdIns (3)P depletion using pharmacological and enzyme-based assays dissociated TgPH1 from membranes. Indeed, TgPH1 co-localized with Rab5-positive early endosomes. In addition, TgPH1 co-localized and behaved similarly to the PX domain of p40phox and FYVE domain of EEA1, which are commonly used as PtdIns(3)P indicators. Collectively, TgPH1 offers a complementary reporter for PtdIns(3)P derived from a non-mammalian protein and that is distinct from commonly employed PX and FYVE domain-based probes.
Chintaluri, K., Goulden, B. D., Celmenza, C., Saffi, G., Miraglia, E., Hammond, G. R. V., & Botelho, R. J. (2018). The PH domain from the Toxoplasma gondii PH-containing protein-1 (TgPH1) serves as an ectopic reporter of phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate in mammalian cells. PLoS ONE, 13(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0198454