Navigation Links
Scientists uncover process enabling toxoplasmosis parasite to survive homelessness
Date:9/20/2010

INDIANAPOLIS The parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis requires a stress response system that helps it survive the move to infect new cells, Indiana University School of Medicine scientists have reported, a discovery that could lead to new treatments to control the disease.

Parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii invade host cells, replicate and then must exit to find new host cells to invade. Traveling outside their host cell exposes the parasites to environmental stresses that limit how long they can remain viable while searching for new host cells.

The researchers found that the parasite triggers a stress response mechanism that alters protein production through phosphorylation of a factor called eIF2, which the Toxoplasma parasite uses to survive periods when it finds itself without a host cell. Phosphorylation is a cellular process in which a phosphate compound is added to a protein to alter its activity.

"Toxoplasma does not like to be homeless," said William J. Sullivan Jr., Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology. "Being deprived of the nutrients and shelter provided by the host cell is a serious stress on the parasite. Our research uncovered a critical pathway the parasite uses to survive the journey from one host cell to another."

The report is being published this week in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In addition to Sullivan, the researcher team included Ronald C. Wek, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology; lead author and postdoctoral fellow Bradley Joyce, Ph.D., and Sherry F. Queener, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and toxicology.

Based on earlier research, the group previously reported that the same response system is employed by the parasite when its host cell is stressed, which enables Toxoplasma to transform into a cyst surrounded by a protective barrier that can resist drugs and the body's immune system. Later, however, the parasite can emerge from its dormant state to strike when a patient's immune system is weakened.

"Our latest findings indicate that if we design new drugs that target this stress response pathway, these drugs may be effective against both acute and chronic Toxoplasma infection," says Dr. Sullivan.

An estimated 60 million people in the United States are infected with the toxoplasmosis parasite, but for most infection produces flu-like symptoms or no symptoms at all. However, for people with an impaired immune system such as those undergoing chemotherapy, heart transplants, or people with AIDS the disease can cause life-threatening complications including cardiopulmonary problems, blurred vision and seizures. Also, if a woman becomes infected for the first time shortly before or during pregnancy, there is risk of miscarriage or congenital birth defects.


'/>"/>

Contact: Eric Schoch
eschoch@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Scientists show Six3 gene essential for retinal development
2. Warrior worms discovered in snails; UCSB scientists see possible biomedical applications
3. Watch your seas: Marine scientists call for European marine observatory network
4. UCI scientists decode genomes of sexually precocious fruit flies
5. Scripps scientists develop test providing new pathway for identifying obesity, diabetes drugs
6. Scientists find gene for high cholesterol in blood
7. Scientists glimpse dance of skeletons inside neurons
8. Scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen and TU Muenchen elucidate structure details of protein Sam68
9. CRISPR critters: Scientists identify key enzyme in microbial immune system
10. Storm Surges Congress 2010 -- scientists from 30 countries meet in Hamburg
11. Transition metal catalysts could be key to origin of life, scientists report
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scientists uncover process enabling toxoplasmosis parasite to survive homelessness
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has ... CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to ... the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software ... the company. Dr. Bready served as CEO ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... March 22, 2016 Unique ... passcodes for superior security   ... provider of secure digital communications services, today announced it ... and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in the Financial ... and voice authentication within a mobile app, alongside, and ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... -- NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a ... airing of a new series of commercials on Time Warner ... st .  The commercials will air on Bloomberg TV, Fox ... Street show. --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the ... announces the airing of a new series of commercials on ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... Boston, MA (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2016 ... ... (EDT), Asymmetrex will deliver a talk on its first-in-class technologies for ... the 2016 Meeting on RNAiMicroRNA Biology to Reprogramming & CRISPR-based Genome ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... ... Cambridge Semantics, the leading provider of Smart Data analytic and ... named to The Silicon Review’s “20 Fastest Growing Big Data Companies of 2016.” ... needs of end users facing some of the most complex data challenges in the ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Most consumers engage ... fingerprint recognition for secure access, voice recognition for hands-free communication, and facial recognition ... interacting with biometrics technology today. But if they asked Joey Pritikin, Vice ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... British Virgin Islands (PRWEB) , ... April 27, ... ... Holding Company Ltd. (d/b/a Biohaven) is pleased to announce the appointment of John Tilton ... he was an Executive Director and one of the founding commercial leaders responsible ...
Breaking Biology Technology: