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Title: The Toxoplasma gondii cyst wall protein CST1 is critical for cyst wall integrity and promotes bradyzoite persistence

Toxoplasma gondii infects up to one third of the world’s population. A key to the success of T.gondii is its ability to persist for the life of its host as bradyzoites within tissue cysts. The glycosylated cyst wall is the key structural feature that facilitates persistence and oral transmission of this parasite. We have identified CST1 (TGME49_064660) as a 250 kDa SRS (SAG1 related sequence) domain protein with a large mucin-like domain. CST1 is responsible for the Dolichos biflorus Agglutinin (DBA) lectin binding characteristic of T. gondii cysts. Deletion of CST1 results in a fragile brain cyst phenotype revealed by a thinning and disruption of the underlying region of the cyst wall. These defects are reversed by complementation of CST1. Additional complementation experiments demonstrate that the CST1-mucin domain is necessary for the formation of a normal cyst wall structure, the ability of the cyst to resist mechanical stress and binding of DBA to the cyst wall. RNA-seq transcriptome analysis demonstrated dysregulation of bradyzoite genes within the various cst1 mutants. These results indicate that CST1 functions as a key structural component that reinforces the cyst wall structure and confers essential sturdiness to the T. gondii tissue cyst.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
40070; KP1704020
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: PLoS Pathogens, 9(12):e1003823
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Toxoplasma gondii; bradyzoite; cyst wall; differentiation; glycoprotein; lectin binding; mucin; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory