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:2/9/2016)... Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ), a leading supplier of biometrics ... and year ended December 31, 2015.  --> ... was $6.9 million, an increase of 61% compared to $4.3 million ... quarter of 2015 was $2.6 million compared to $0.2 million in ... --> Higher revenue and operating income in the fourth ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Republic , February 8, 2016 ... global payment platform which presents innovation for clients, ... Authentication feature called VoiceKey. --> Worldcore ... which presents innovation for clients, comfort and unbeatable ... VoiceKey. --> Worldcore is ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016 The ... apparently one of the most popular hubs of ... MetaHIT and other huge studies of human microbiota, ... past few years, the microbiome space has literally ... biomedical research. This report focuses on biomedical ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... Feb. 10, 2016 NX Prenatal Inc., a ... NeXosome® technology for early warning of adverse pregnancy ... recent study by Dr. Thomas McElrath ... Maternal Fetal Medicine,s (SMFM) annual meeting held in ... , 2016.  The presentation reported initial positive top-line ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... plc (NYSE: AGN ) a leading global pharmaceutical ... CEO and President, will be featured as the keynote ... Capital Markets Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 ... Hotel in New York, NY . ... accessed on Allergan,s Investor Relations web site at ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... , ... LATHAM, NEW YORK... Marktech Optoelectronics will feature their new ... San Francisco’s Moscone Center from February 16-18, 2016, and at the healthcare-focused BiOS Expo ... PIN diode standard packages feature a TO-46 metal can with active areas of 1.0mm ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... in regenerative medicine, has announced a new agreement with Singapore-based Global Stem Cells ... physicians from the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore in the latest adipose and bone ...
Breaking Biology Technology: