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Molecular Biology of the Cell Vol. 14, 38043820, September 2003

Summary: Molecular Biology of the Cell
Vol. 14, 38043820, September 2003
Host but Not Parasite Cholesterol Controls Toxoplasma
Cell Entry by Modulating Organelle Discharge
Isabelle Coppens,*
and Keith A. Joiner
Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
Submitted December 17, 2002; Revised March 24, 2003; Accepted April 25, 2003
Monitoring Editor: Keith Mostov
Host cell cholesterol is implicated in the entry and replication of an increasing number of
intracellular microbial pathogens. Although uptake of viral particles via cholesterol-enriched
caveolae is increasingly well described, the requirement of cholesterol for internalization of
eukaryotic pathogens is poorly understood and is likely to be partly organism specific. We
examined the role of cholesterol in active host cell invasion by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma
gondii. The parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) surrounding T. gondii contains cholesterol
at the time of invasion. Although cholesterol-enriched parasite apical organelles termed rhoptries
discharge at the time of cell entry and contribute to PVM formation, surprisingly, rhoptry
cholesterol is not necessary for this process. In contrast, host plasma membrane cholesterol is
incorporated into the forming PVM during invasion, through a caveolae-independent mechanism.


Source: Arnold, Jonathan - Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center & Department of Genetics, University of Georgia


Collections: Biotechnology