Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb 14. [Epub ahead of print]
Toxoplasma gondii sequesters centromeres to a specific nuclear region throughout the cell cycle
Brooks CF, Francia ME, Gissot M, Croken MM, Kim K, Striepen B.
Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases and Department of Cellular Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
Members of the eukaryotic phylum Apicomplexa are the cause of important human diseases including malaria, toxoplasmosis, and cryptosporidiosis. These obligate intracellular parasites produce new invasive stages through a complex budding process. The budding cycle is remarkably flexible and can produce varied numbers of progeny to adapt to different host-cell niches. How this complex process is coordinated remains poorly understood. Using Toxoplasma gondii as a genetic model, we show that a key element to this coordination is the centrocone, a unique elaboration of the nuclear envelope that houses the mitotic spindle. Exploiting transgenic parasite lines expressing epitope-tagged centromeric H3 variant CenH3, we identify the centromeres of T. gondii chromosomes by hybridization of chromatin immunoprecipitations to genome-wide microarrays (ChIP-chip). We demonstrate that centromere attachment to the centrocone persists throughout the parasite cell cycle and that centromeres localize to a single apical region within the nucleus. Centromere sequestration provides a mechanism for the organization of the Toxoplasma nucleus and the maintenance of genome integrity.
PMID: 21321216 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]