Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 August 2014
Certain trypanosomatids co-evolve with an endosymbiotic bacterium in a mutualistic relationship that is characterized by intense metabolic exchanges. Symbionts were able to respire for up to 4 h after isolation from Angomonas deanei. FCCP (carbonyl cyanide-4-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone) similarly increased respiration in wild-type and aposymbiotic protozoa, though a higher maximal O2 consumption capacity was observed in the symbiont-containing cells. Rotenone, a complex I inhibitor, did not affect A. deanei respiration, whereas TTFA (thenoyltrifluoroacetone), a complex II activity inhibitor, completely blocked respiration in both strains. Antimycin A and cyanide, inhibitors of complexes III and IV, respectively, abolished O2 consumption, but the aposymbiotic protozoa were more sensitive to both compounds. Oligomycin did not affect cell respiration, whereas carboxyatractyloside (CAT), an inhibitor of the ADP-ATP translocator, slightly reduced O2 consumption. In the A. deanei genome, sequences encoding most proteins of the respiratory chain are present. The symbiont genome lost part of the electron transport system (ETS), but complex I, a cytochrome d oxidase, and FoF1-ATP synthase remain. In conclusion, this work suggests that the symbiont influences the mitochondrial respiration of the host protozoan.