How Toxoplasma gondii gets noticed

Jan 19, 2009

Researchers provide insight into how Toxoplasma gondii, a common parasite of people and other animals, triggers an immune response in its host. The report will appear online on January 19th in The Journal of Experimental Medicine.

A strong immune response spares T. gondii-infected hosts from deadly infection—an event that may also benefit the parasite, which relies on survival of the host to ensure its own transmission. But how the infected host elicits an immune response isn't completely understood. Like many other parasites, T. gondii resides within specialized vesicles inside infected host cells, but the process by which peptides from the trapped bugs are processed by infected cells and presented to killer T cells is mysterious.

Here, Romina Goldszmid and her colleagues at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda use T. gondii infections in mice to study how portions of the parasitic proteins escape the vesicle in a process known as cross-presentation. They find that the parasite gets noticed by the immune system when the membrane of the bug-containing vesicle fuses to the endoplasmic reticulum—an organelle normally involved in presenting pathogens to T cells—allowing a swap of parasitic peptides.

Source: Rockefeller University

Explore further: Medicinal GPS: DNA nanotechnology-based approach allows injected drugs to find tumor sites

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Airlines on alert as eruption begins in Iceland

9 hours ago

Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano burst forth with a small eruption Saturday under the ice of Europe's largest glacier, scientists said, prompting the country to close airspace over the area.

Two Galileo satellites lose their way

12 hours ago

Two European Galileo satellites launched as part of a navigation system designed to rival GPS have failed to locate their intended orbit, launch firm Arianespace said Saturday.

Volcanic eruption begins under Iceland glacier

12 hours ago

Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano began erupting Saturday under the country's largest glacier after a week of seismic activity rattled the area with thousands of earthquakes, the country's Meteorological Office ...

Recommended for you

How Alzheimer's peptides shut down cellular powerhouses

Aug 29, 2014

The failing in the work of nerve cells: An international team of researchers led by Prof. Dr. Chris Meisinger from the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Freiburg has discovered ...

User comments : 0