Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Towards a molecular architecture of the centrosome in Toxoplasma gondii

 2016 Dec 27. doi: 10.1002/cm.21353. [Epub ahead of print]


Toxoplasma gondii is the causative agent of toxoplasmosis. The pathogenicity of this unicellular parasite is tightly linked to its ability to efficiently proliferate within its host. Tachyzoites, the fast dividing form of the parasite, divide by endodyogeny. This process involves a single round of DNA replication, closed nuclear mitosis, and assembly of two daughter cells within a mother. The successful completion of endodyogeny relies on the temporal and spatial coordination of a plethora of simultaneous events. It has been shown that the Toxoplasma centrosome serves as signaling hub which nucleates spindle microtubules during mitosis and organizes the scaffolding of daughter cells components during cytokinesis. In addition, the centrosome is essential for inheriting both the apicoplast (a chloroplast-like organelle) and the Golgi apparatus. A growing body of evidence supports the notion that the T. gondii centrosome diverges in protein composition, structure and organization from its counterparts in higher eukaryotes making it an attractive source of potentially druggable targets. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on T. gondii centrosomal proteins and extend the putative centrosomal protein repertoire by in silico identification of mammalian centrosomal protein orthologs. We propose a working model for the organization and architecture of the centrosome in Toxoplasma parasites. Experimental validation of our proposed model will uncover how each predicted protein translates into the biology of centrosome, cytokinesis, karyokinesis, and organelle inheritance in Toxoplasma parasites. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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