The toxoplasma acto-myoA motor complex is important but not essential for gliding motility and host cell invasion

Saskia Egarter, Nicole Andenmatten, Allison J. Jackson, Jamie A. Whitelaw, Gurman Pall, Jennifer Ann Black, David J P Ferguson, Isabelle Tardieux, Alex Mogilner, Markus Meissner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

Apicomplexan parasites are thought to actively invade the host cell by gliding motility. This movement is powered by the parasite's own actomyosin system, and depends on the regulated polymerisation and depolymerisation of actin to generate the force for gliding and host cell penetration. Recent studies demonstrated that Toxoplasma gondii can invade the host cell in the absence of several core components of the invasion machinery, such as the motor protein myosin A (MyoA), the microneme proteins MIC2 and AMA1 and actin, indicating the presence of alternative invasion mechanisms. Here the roles of MyoA, MLC1, GAP45 and Act1, core components of the gliding machinery, are re-dissected in detail. Although important roles of these components for gliding motility and host cell invasion are verified, mutant parasites remain invasive and do not show a block of gliding motility, suggesting that other mechanisms must be in place to enable the parasite to move and invade the host cell. A novel, hypothetical model for parasite gliding motility and invasion is presented based on osmotic forces generated in the cytosol of the parasite that are converted into motility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere91819
JournalPLoS One
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 14 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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    Egarter, S., Andenmatten, N., Jackson, A. J., Whitelaw, J. A., Pall, G., Black, J. A., Ferguson, D. J. P., Tardieux, I., Mogilner, A., & Meissner, M. (2014). The toxoplasma acto-myoA motor complex is important but not essential for gliding motility and host cell invasion. PLoS One, 9(3), [e91819]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0091819