Jun 18, 2015

Toxoplasma Actin Is Required for Efficient Host Cell Invasion

Lisa L Drewry, L David Sibley


Apicomplexan parasites actively invade host cells using a mechanism predicted to be powered by a parasite actin-dependent myosin motor. In the model apicomplexan Toxoplasma gondii, inducible knockout of the actin gene, ACT1, was recently demonstrated to limit but not completely abolish invasion. This observation has led to the provocative suggestion that T. gondii possesses alternative, ACT1-independent invasion pathways. Here, we dissected the residual invasive ability of Δact1 parasites. Surprisingly, we were able to detect residual ACT1 protein in inducible Δact1 parasites as long as 5 days after ACT1 deletion. We further found that the longer Δact1 parasites were propagated after ACT1 deletion, the more severe an invasion defect was observed. Both findings are consistent with the quantity of residual ACT1 retained in Δact1 parasites being responsible for their invasive ability. Furthermore, invasion by the Δact1 parasites was also sensitive to the actin polymerization inhibitor cytochalasin D. Finally, there was no clear defect in attachment to host cells or moving junction formation by Δact1 parasites. However, Δact1 parasites often exhibited delayed entry into host cells, suggesting a defect specific to the penetration st...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Biochemical Pathway
Component of myosin
Gene Deletion Abnormality
Gene Deletion
Thyroid Hormone Plasma Membrane Transport Defect
Actin-Binding Protein

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