Thursday, November 13, 2008

Intracellular survival of apicomplexan parasites and host cell modification

Int J Parasitol. 2008 Oct 25. [Epub ahead of print]

Intracellular survival of apicomplexan parasites and host cell modification

Lüder CG, Stanway RR, Chaussepied M, Langsley G, Heussler VT.

Institute for Medical Microbiology, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Kreuzbergring 57, 37075 Göttingen, Germany.

The intracellular stages of apicomplexan parasites are known to extensively modify their host cells to ensure their own survival. Recently, considerable progress has been made in understanding the molecular details of these parasite-dependent effects for Plasmodium-, Toxoplasma- and Theileria-infected cells. We have begun to understand how Plasmodium liver stage parasites protect their host hepatocytes from apoptosis during parasite development and how they induce an ordered cell death at the end of the liver stage. Toxoplasma parasites are also known to regulate host cell survival pathways and it has been convincingly demonstrated that they block host cell major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-dependent antigen presentation of parasite epitopes to avoid cell-mediated immune responses. Theileria parasites are the masters of host cell modulation because their presence 'immortalises' the infected cell. It is now accepted that multiple pathways are activated to induce Theileria-dependent host cell transformation. Although it is now known that similar host cell pathways are affected by the different parasites, the outcome for the infected cell varies considerably. Improved imaging techniques and new methods to control expression of parasite and host cell proteins will help us to analyse the molecular details of parasite-dependent host cell modifications.

PMID: 19000910 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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