Curr Opin Microbiol. 2011 Jul 25. [Epub ahead of print]
Enforcing host cell polarity: an apicomplexan parasite strategy towards dissemination
SourceUniversity of Bern, Vetsuisse Faculty, Molecular Pathobiology, Länggassstrasse 122, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland.
The propagation of apicomplexan parasites through transmitting vectors is dependent on effective dissemination of parasites inside the mammalian host. Intracellular Toxoplasma and Theileria parasites face the challenge that their spread inside the host depends in part on the motile capacities of their host cells. In response, these parasites influence the efficiency of dissemination by altering adhesive and/or motile properties of their host cells. Theileria parasites do so by targeting signalling pathways that control host cell actin dynamics. The resulting enforced polar host cell morphology facilitates motility and invasiveness, by establishing focal adhesion and invasion structures at the leading edge of the infected cell. This parasite strategy highlights mechanisms of motility regulation that are also likely relevant for immune or cancer cell motility.