All Publications

  • Proximity-Labeling Reveals Novel Host and Parasite Proteins at the Toxoplasma Parasitophorous Vacuole Membrane. mBio Cygan, A. M., Jean Beltran, P. M., Mendoza, A. G., Branon, T. C., Ting, A. Y., Carr, S. A., Boothroyd, J. C. 2021: e0026021


    Toxoplasma gondii is a ubiquitous, intracellular parasite that envelops its parasitophorous vacuole with a protein-laden membrane (PVM). The PVM is critical for interactions with the infected host cell, such as nutrient transport and immune defense. Only a few parasite and host proteins have so far been identified on the host-cytosolic side of the Toxoplasma PVM. We report here the use of human foreskin fibroblasts expressing the proximity-labeling enzyme miniTurbo, fused to a domain that targets it to this face of the PVM, in combination with quantitative proteomics to specifically identify proteins present at this interface. Out of numerous human and parasite proteins with candidate PVM localization, we validate three parasite proteins (TGGT1_269950 [GRA61], TGGT1_215360 [GRA62], and TGGT1_217530 [GRA63]) and four new host proteins (PDCD6IP/ALIX, PDCD6, CC2D1A, and MOSPD2) as localized to the PVM in infected human cells through immunofluorescence microscopy. These results significantly expand our knowledge of proteins present at the Toxoplasma PVM and, given that three of the validated host proteins are components of the ESCRT (endosomal sorting complexes required for transport) machinery, they further suggest that novel biology is operating at this crucial host-pathogen interface. IMPORTANCE Toxoplasma is an intracellular pathogen which resides and replicates inside a membrane-bound vacuole in infected cells. This vacuole is modified by both parasite and host proteins which participate in a variety of host-parasite interactions at this interface, including nutrient exchange, effector transport, and immune modulation. Only a small number of parasite and host proteins present at the vacuolar membrane and exposed to the host cytosol have thus far been identified. Here, we report the identification of several novel parasite and host proteins present at the vacuolar membrane using enzyme-catalyzed proximity-labeling, significantly increasing our knowledge of the molecular players present and novel biology occurring at this crucial interface.

    View details for DOI 10.1128/mBio.00260-21

    View details for PubMedID 34749525

  • Coimmunoprecipitation with MYR1 Identifies Three Additional Proteins within the Toxoplasma gondii Parasitophorous Vacuole Required for Translocation of Dense Granule Effectors into Host Cells. mSphere Cygan, A. M., Theisen, T. C., Mendoza, A. G., Marino, N. D., Panas, M. W., Boothroyd, J. C. 2020; 5 (1)


    Toxoplasma gondii is a ubiquitous, intracellular protozoan that extensively modifies infected host cells through secreted effector proteins. Many such effectors must be translocated across the parasitophorous vacuole (PV), in which the parasites replicate, ultimately ending up in the host cytosol or nucleus. This translocation has previously been shown to be dependent on five parasite proteins: MYR1, MYR2, MYR3, ROP17, and ASP5. We report here the identification of several MYR1-interacting and novel PV-localized proteins via affinity purification of MYR1, including TGGT1_211460 (dubbed MYR4), TGGT1_204340 (dubbed GRA54), and TGGT1_270320 (PPM3C). Further, we show that three of the MYR1-interacting proteins, GRA44, GRA45, and MYR4, are essential for the translocation of the Toxoplasma effector protein GRA16 and for the upregulation of human c-Myc and cyclin E1 in infected cells. GRA44 and GRA45 contain ASP5 processing motifs, but like MYR1, processing at these sites appears to be nonessential for their role in protein translocation. These results expand our understanding of the mechanism of effector translocation in Toxoplasma and indicate that the process is highly complex and dependent on at least eight discrete proteins.IMPORTANCE Toxoplasma is an extremely successful intracellular parasite and important human pathogen. Upon infection of a new cell, Toxoplasma establishes a replicative vacuole and translocates parasite effectors across this vacuole to function from the host cytosol and nucleus. These effectors play a key role in parasite virulence. The work reported here newly identifies three parasite proteins that are necessary for protein translocation into the host cell. These results significantly increase our knowledge of the molecular players involved in protein translocation in Toxoplasma-infected cells and provide additional potential drug targets.

    View details for DOI 10.1128/mSphere.00858-19

    View details for PubMedID 32075880