Toxoplasma gondii F-actin forms an extensive filamentous network required for material exchange and parasite maturation

Periz, J. et al. (2017) Toxoplasma gondii F-actin forms an extensive filamentous network required for material exchange and parasite maturation. eLife, 6, e24119. (doi: 10.7554/eLife.24119) (PMID:28322189) (PMCID:PMC5375643)

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Apicomplexan actin is important during the parasite's life cycle. Its polymerization kinetics are unusual, permitting only short, unstable F-actin filaments. It has not been possible to study actin in vivo and so its physiological roles have remained obscure, leading to models distinct from conventional actin behaviour. Here a modified version of the commercially available actin-chromobody was tested as a novel tool for visualising F-actin dynamics in Toxoplasma gondii. Cb labels filamentous actin structures within the parasite cytosol and labels an extensive F-actin network that connects parasites within the parasitophorous vacuole and allows vesicles to be exchanged between parasites. In the absence of actin, parasites lack a residual body and inter-parasite connections and grow in an asynchronous and disorganized manner. Collectively, these data identify new roles for actin in the intracellular phase of the parasites lytic cycle and provide a robust new tool for imaging parasitic F-actin dynamics.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Apicomplexa, Toxoplasma, actin, cell biology, infectious disease, microbiology, nanobodies, replication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Del Rosario Minina, Mr Mario and Periz, Dr Javier and Reimer, Ms Madita and Harding, Dr Clare and Whitelaw, Mr Jamie and Gras, Dr Simon and Insall, Professor Robert and Lemgruber Soares, Dr Leandro
Authors: Periz, J., Whitelaw, J., Harding, C., Gras, S., Del Rosario Minina, M., Latorre-Barragan, F., Lemgruber Soares, L., Reimer, M. A., Insall, R., Heaslip, A., and Meissner, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cancer Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
Journal Name:eLife
Publisher:eLife Sciences Publications
ISSN (Online):2050-084X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Periz et al.
First Published:First published in eLife 6:e24119
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
501601Systematic analysis of essential parasite genes linked to invasion of the host cell in Toxoplasma gondiiMarkus MeissnerWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)087582/Z/08/ZIII - PARASITOLOGY