Polymorphic secreted kinases are key virulence factors in toxoplasmosis

Jeroen Saeij, J. P. Boyle, S. Coller, S. Taylor, L. D. Sibley, E. T. Brooke-Powell, J. W. Ajioka, J. C. Boothroyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

374 Scopus citations

Abstract

The majority of known Toxoplasma gondii isolates from Europe and North America belong to three clonal lines that differ dramatically in their virulence, depending on the host. To identify the responsible genes, we mapped virulence in F1 progeny derived from crosses between type II and type III strains, which we introduced into mice. Five virulence (VIR) loci were thus identified, and for two of these, genetic complementation showed that a predicted protein kinase (ROP18 and ROP16, respectively) is the key molecule. Both are hypervariable rhoptry proteins that are secreted into the host cell upon invasion. These results suggest that secreted kinases unique to the Apicomplexa are crucial in the host-pathogen interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1780-1783
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume314
Issue number5806
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2006
Externally publishedYes

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    Saeij, J., Boyle, J. P., Coller, S., Taylor, S., Sibley, L. D., Brooke-Powell, E. T., Ajioka, J. W., & Boothroyd, J. C. (2006). Polymorphic secreted kinases are key virulence factors in toxoplasmosis. Science, 314(5806), 1780-1783. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1133690