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      The Protozoan Parasite Toxoplasma gondii Targets Proteins to Dense Granules and the Vacuolar Space Using Both Conserved and Unusual Mechanisms

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          Abstract

          All known proteins that accumulate in the vacuolar space surrounding the obligate intracellular protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii are derived from parasite dense granules. To determine if constitutive secretory vesicles could also mediate delivery to the vacuolar space, T. gondii was stably transfected with soluble Escherichia coli alkaline phosphatase and E. coli β-lactamase. Surprisingly, both foreign secretory reporters were delivered quantitatively into parasite dense granules and efficiently secreted into the vacuolar space. Addition of a glycosylphosphatidylinositol membrane anchor rerouted alkaline phosphatase to the parasite surface. Alkaline phosphatase fused to the transmembrane domain and cytoplasmic tail from the endogenous dense granule protein GRA4 localized to dense granules. The protein was secreted into a tuboreticular network in the vacuolar space, in a fashion dependent upon the cytoplasmic tail, but not upon a tyrosine-based motif within the tail. Alkaline phosphatase fused to the vesicular stomatitis virus G protein transmembrane domain and cytoplasmic tail localized primarily to the Golgi, although staining of dense granules and the intravacuolar network was also detected; truncating the cytoplasmic tail decreased Golgi staining and increased delivery to dense granules but blocked delivery to the intravacuolar network. Targeting of secreted proteins to T. gondii dense granules and the plasma membrane uses general mechanisms identified in higher eukaryotic cells but is simplified and exaggerated in scope, while targeting of secreted proteins beyond the boundaries of the parasite involves unusual sorting events.

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          Sequential protein secretion from three distinct organelles of Toxoplasma gondii accompanies invasion of human fibroblasts.

          Invasion of vertebrate cells by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii is accompanied by regulated protein secretion from three distinct parasite organelles called micronemes, rhoptries, and dense granules. We have compared the kinetics of secretion from these different compartments during host cell invasion using immunofluorescence, immunoelectron microscopy, and quantitative immunoassays. Binding to the host cell triggered apical release of the micronemal protein MIC2 at the tight attachment zone that forms between the parasite and the host cell. In a second step, invagination of the host cell plasma membrane was initiated by discharge of the rhoptry protein ROP1 to form a nascent parasitophorous vacuole (PV). ROP1 was fully discharged into the vacuole by the time invasion was complete. In contrast to these very rapid early events, release of the dense granule markers GRA1 and NTPase was delayed until after the parasite was fully within the PV, eventually peaking at 20 min post-invasion. The sequential triggering of secretion from different organelles implies that their release is governed by separate signals and that their contents mediate distinct phases of intracellular parasitism.
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            Molecular tools for genetic dissection of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

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              Insertional tagging, cloning, and expression of the Toxoplasma gondii hypoxanthine-xanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase gene. Use as a selectable marker for stable transformation.

              A nonhomologous integration vector was used to identify the Toxoplasma gondii hypoxanthine-xanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HXGPRT) gene by insertional mutagenesis. Parasite mutants resistant to 6-thioxanthine arose at a frequency of approximately3 x 10(-7). Genomic DNA flanking the insertion sites was retrieved by marker rescue and used to identify molecular clones exhibiting unambiguous homology to H(X)GPRT genes from other species. Sequence analysis of vector/genome junction sites reveals that integration of the linearized vector occurred with minimal rearrangement of either vector or target sequences, although the addition of filler DNA and small duplications or deletions of genomic sequences at the transgene termini was observed. Two differentially spliced classes of cDNA clones were identified, both of which complement hpt and gpt mutations in Escherichia coli. Kinetic analysis of purified recombinant enzyme revealed no significant differences between the two isoforms. Internally deleted clones spanning the genomic locus were used to create "knock-out" parasites, which lack all detectable HXGPRT activity. Complete activity could be restored to these knock-out mutants by transient transformation with either genomic DNA or cDNA-derived minigenes encoding both enzyme isoforms. Stable HXGPRT+ transformants were isolated under selection with mycophenolic acid, demonstrating the feasibility of HXGPRT as both a positive and negative selectable marker for stable transformation of T. gondii.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Cell Biol
                The Journal of Cell Biology
                The Rockefeller University Press
                0021-9525
                1540-8140
                15 June 1998
                : 141
                : 6
                : 1323-1333
                Affiliations
                [* ]Section of Infectious Diseases, []Center for Cell Imaging, Department of Cell Biology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8022; and [§ ]Inserm U42, F-59650 Villenueve d'Ascq, France
                Article
                2132784
                9628889
                Categories
                Articles

                Cell biology

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