Identification of host factor used by Toxoplasma as a scaffold during host cell invasion
Important clue to fully understand host-parasite interactions
Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences / Faculty of Agriculture
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)
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.