Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Targeting Toxoplasma Tubules: Tubulin, Microtubules and Associated Proteins in a Human Pathogen

2014 Nov 7. pii: EC.00225-14. [Epub ahead of print]
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that causes serious opportunistic infections, birth defects and blindness in humans. Microtubules are critically important components of diverse structures that are used throughout the Toxoplasma life cycle. As in other eukaryotes, spindle microtubules are required for chromosome segregation during replication. Additionally, a set of membrane-associated microtubules is essential for the elongated shape of invasive zoites and motility follows a spiral trajectory that reflects the path of these microtubules. Toxoplasma zoites also construct an intricate, tubulin-based apical structure termed the conoid which is important for host cell invasion and associates with proteins typically found in the flagellar apparatus. Lastly, microgametes specifically construct a microtubule-containing flagellar axoneme in order to fertilize macrogametes, permitting genetic recombination. The specialized roles of these microtubule populations are mediated by distinct sets of associated proteins. This review summarizes our current understanding of the role of tubulin, microtubule populations, and associated proteins in Toxoplasma; these components are used for both novel and broadly conserved processes that are essential for parasite survival.
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

No comments: