Navigation Links
Protein helps parasite survive in host cells
Date:12/28/2010

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have learned why changes in a single gene, ROP18, contribute substantially to dangerous forms of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The answer has likely moved science a step closer to new ways to beat Toxoplasma and many other parasites.

In a study published in Cell Host & Microbe, scientists show that the ROP18 protein disables host cell proteins that would otherwise pop a protective bubble the parasite makes for itself. The parasite puts the bubble on like a spacesuit by forming a membrane around itself when it enters host cells. This protects it from the hostile environment inside the cell, which would otherwise kill it.

"If we can find therapies that block ROP18 and other parasite proteins like it, that could give the host the upper hand in the battle against infection," says first author Sarah Fentress, a graduate student in the laboratory of L. David Sibley, PhD, professor of molecular microbiology.

Infection with Toxoplasma, or toxoplasmosis, is most familiar to the general public from the recommendation that pregnant women avoid changing cat litter. Cats are commonly infected with the parasite, as are some livestock and wildlife.

"The exact role of ROP18 and related proteins in human disease remains to be studied," says Sibley. "But mice are natural hosts of Toxoplasma, so studies in laboratory mice are relevant to the spread of infection."

Epidemiologists estimate that as many as one in every four humans is infected with Toxoplasma. Infections typically cause serious disease only in patients with weakened immune systems. In some rare cases, though, infection in patients with healthy immune systems leads to serious eye or central nervous system disease, or congenital defects or death in the fetuses of pregnant women.

In the new study, Fentress showed that the ROP18 protein binds to a class of host proteins known as immunity-related GTPases. Tests in cell cultures and animal models showed that this binding leads to a reaction that disables the GTPases, which normally would rupture the parasite's protective membrane.

"With one exception, humans don't have the same family of immunity-related GTPases," Fentress notes. "But we do have a similar group of immune recognition proteins called guanylate-binding proteins, and we are currently testing to see if ROP18 deactivates these proteins in human cells in a similar manner."

The findings could be applicable to other parasites and pathogens. Toxoplasmosis belongs to a family of parasites that includes the parasite Plasmodium, which causes malaria. All surround themselves with protective membranes when they enter host cells.

"Plasmodium doesn't make ROP18, but it does secrete related proteins called FIKK," says Fentress. "It's possible they also act to thwart host defense mechanisms like GTPases and guanylate-binding proteins."


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael C. Purdy
purdym@wustl.edu
314-286-0122
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Human protein improves muscle function of muscular dystrophy mice
2. UCLA researchers uncover new cell biological mechanism that regulates protein stability in cells
3. Protein disables p53, drives breast cells toward cancer transition
4. Protein offers new clue to cause and treatment for kidney disease
5. Protein targeted to stop melanoma tumor growth
6. New Test Links Blood Protein to Heart Disease, Diabetes Risk
7. Scientists Find Protein That May Help Control Prostate Cancer
8. Neurological protein may hold the key to new treatments for depression
9. More Protein, Fewer Refined Carbs May Keep Weight Off
10. Protein found to predict brain injury in children on ECMO life support
11. Protein in the urine: A warning sign for cognitive decline
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Protein helps parasite survive in host cells
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... ... Texas Physical Therapy Specialists (TexPTS) is pleased to announce the opening ... is the group’s 7th location in San Antonio and 23rd in Texas. Dr. ... from the clinic, which opened March 22, 2017. , The team of ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... MI (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... assistance, financial planning, and related services to families and business owners across eastern ... aimed at feeding regional families struggling with financial difficulties. , The Oxford/Orion FISH ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... In ... innovative EcoQube Frame vertical micro-veggies garden on Kickstarter . Surpassing the $100,000 ... – with nearly 2,000 consumers (and counting) already backing the campaign. , ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Northridge, CA (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 ... ... Dr. Ramin Assili, announce that they are now offering treatments for sleep apnea ... treated at dental offices. Sleep apnea , specifically the obstructive type, is ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... The ... and White Plains, N.Y., is pleased to announce Westchester resident Lauren C. Enea has ... law clerk for the firm, will concentrate her practice in elder law, Medicaid planning ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017  Transportation Insight, a ... an end-to-end supply chain management firm with expertise serving ... Product Solutions Rick Zaffarano was named a ... the Supply Chain by the only publication exclusively dedicated ... food supply chain. "Rick has brought to ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 As ... years along with the prevalence of allergic diseases, ... measures are currently revolutionising the ways in which ... Allergies 2017 promises to be both a ... amongst the allergy interest groups, immunologists, research scholars ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 2017   BioSpace , the leading biotechnology and ... Indiana Biosciences Research Institute and over 20 ... institutions to bring the state,s life sciences industry to ... an artistic representation of the region,s booming biotechnology and ... President Mike Pence , a long-time advocate of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: