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  • 1
    Keywords: PROTEIN FAMILY ; PLASMODIUM-FALCIPARUM ; MULTIPLE SEQUENCE ALIGNMENT ; HOST-CELLS ; EUKARYOTIC MEMBRANE-TRAFFICKING ; APICOMPLEXAN PARASITES ; ENDOMEMBRANE SYSTEM ; SELECTABLE MARKER ; ENDOCYTIC PATHWAY ; ESCRT MACHINERY
    Abstract: The basic organisation of the endomembrane system is conserved in all eukaryotes and comparative genome analyses provides compelling evidence that the endomembrane system of the last common eukaryotic ancestor (LCEA) is complex with many genes required for regulated traffic being present. Although apicomplexan parasites, causative agents of severe human and animal diseases, appear to have only a basic set of trafficking factors such as Rab-GTPases, they evolved unique secretory organelles (micronemes, rhoptries and dense granules) that are sequentially secreted during invasion of the host cell. In order to define the secretory pathway of apicomplexans, we performed an overexpression screen of Rabs in Toxoplasma gondii and identified Rab5A and Rab5C as important regulators of traffic to micronemes and rhoptries. Intriguingly, we found that not all microneme proteins traffic depends on functional Rab5A and Rab5C, indicating the existence of redundant microneme targeting pathways. Using two-colour super-resolution stimulated emission depletion (STED) we verified distinct localisations of independent microneme proteins and demonstrate that micronemal organelles are organised in distinct subsets or subcompartments. Our results suggest that apicomplexan parasites modify classical regulators of the endocytic system to carryout essential parasite-specific roles in the biogenesis of their unique secretory organelles.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23505371
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  • 2
    Keywords: CELLS ; IDENTIFICATION ; MEMBRANE ; BINDING PROTEIN ; CYTOKINESIS ; DYNAMIN ; BIOGENESIS ; host ; RECEPTOR-MEDIATED ENDOCYTOSIS ; VACUOLAR SPACE
    Abstract: Apicomplexan parasites are single eukaryotic cells with a highly polarised secretory system that contains unique secretory organelles (micronemes and rhoptries) that are required for host cell invasion. In contrast, the role of the endosomal system is poorly understood in these parasites. With many typical endocytic factors missing, we speculated that endocytosis depends exclusively on a clathrin-mediated mechanism. Intriguingly, in Toxoplasma gondii we were only able to observe the endogenous clathrin heavy chain 1 (CHC1) at the Golgi, but not at the parasite surface. For the functional characterisation of Toxoplasma gondii CHC1 we generated parasite mutants conditionally expressing the dominant negative clathrin Hub fragment and demonstrate that CHC1 is essential for vesicle formation at the trans-Golgi network. Consequently, the functional ablation of CHC1 results in Golgi aberrations, a block in the biogenesis of the unique secretory microneme and rhoptry organelles, and of the pellicle. However, we found no morphological evidence for clathrin mediating endocytosis in these parasites and speculate that they remodelled their vesicular trafficking system to adapt to an intracellular lifestyle.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24147036
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