Convergent Aedes and Drosophila CidB interactomes suggest cytoplasmic incompatibility targets are conserved

S. O. Oladipupo, J. D. Carroll and J. F. Beckmann,  Insect Biochem Mol Biol,  103931. 2023.

Wolbachia-mediated cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) is a conditional embryonic lethality induced when Wolbachia-modified sperm fertilizes an uninfected egg. The Wolbachia proteins, CidA and CidB control CI. CidA is a rescue factor that reverses lethality. CidA binds to CidB. CidB contains a deubiquitinating enzyme and induces CI. Precisely how CidB induces CI and what it targets are unknown. Likewise, how CidA prevents sterilization by CidB is not clear. To identify CidB substrates in mosquitos we conducted pull-down assays using recombinant CidA and CidB mixed with Aedes aegypti lysates to identify the protein interactomes of CidB and the CidB/CidA protein complex. Our data allow us to cross compare CidB interactomes across taxa for Aedes and Drosophila. Our data replicate several convergent interactions, suggesting that CI targets conserved substrates across insects. Our data support a hypothesis that CidA rescues CI by tethering CidB away from its substrates. Specifically, we identify ten convergent candidate substrates including P32 (protamine-histone exchange factor), karyopherin alpha, ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, and bicoid stabilizing factor. Future analysis on how these candidates contribute to CI will clarify mechanisms.

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