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Identification of host factor used by Toxoplasma as a scaffold during host cell invasion

Important clue to fully understand host-parasite interactions

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Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences / Faculty of Agriculture
2013/12/02

© Kentaro Kato,
(Left) A diagram of a partially invaded parasite with moving junction proteins at the interface of the host and invading parasite. Parasite RON complex (RON2/4/5/8) is exported to the host cell membrane.(Central) Scheme of binding experiment of Fc-RON4 recombinant proteins with membrane proteins prepared from human cells. (Right) Fc- or Fc-RON4-binding proteins in membrane proteins prepared from human cells. The arrowhead indicates a 50-kDa band (host cellular β-tubulin) that is specific for incubation with TgRON4-linked beads.

Infections by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii are caused by eating infected meats and by ingestion of cat feces. Toxoplasma causes the opportunistic disease, Toxoplasmosis, in neonates with congenital infections and immunocompromised individuals. Toxoplasma can invade and replicate in almost all of the nucleated cells of warm-blooded animals. Host cell invasion by Toxoplasma and other apicomplexan parasites is crucial to their pathogenesis and survival. Many key parasite proteins involved in Toxoplasma invasion have been characterized and contribution of host cytoskeleton proteins for parasite entry has been proposed. However, their molecular interactions remain unclear.

Associate Professor Kentaro Kato and his group at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences and Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine have demonstrated that Toxoplasma gondii RON4 (TgRON4), a component of moving junction complex that plays a central role in host cell invasion, interacts with host cellular β-tubulin. This finding reveals one of the molecular interactions between Toxoplasma and host proteins at the invasion step and provides an important clue towards fully understanding the mechanism of cell invasion.

Press release (Japanese)

Paper

Hitoshi Takemae, Tatsuki Sugi, Kyousuke Kobayashi, Haiyan Gong, Akiko Ishiwa, Frances C. Recuenco, Fumi Murakoshi, Tatsuya Iwanaga, Atsuko Inomata, Taisuke Horimoto, Hiroomi Akashi, and Kentaro Kato,
“Characterization of the interaction between Toxoplasma gondii rhoptry neck protein 4 and host cellular β-tubulin”,
Scientific Reports Online Edition: 2013/11/13 (Japan time), doi: 10.1038/srep03199.
Article link

Links

Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Department of Veterinary Medicine, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Laboratory of Veterinary Microbiology, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences (Japanese)

Kentaro Kato’s Laboratory, Research Unit for Global Infection Control, National Research Center for Protozoan Diseases, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (Japanese)

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