Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Upon infection, apicomplexan parasites quickly invade host cells and begin a replicative cycle rapidly increasing in number over a short period of time, leading to tissue lysis and disease. The secretory pathway of these highly polarized protozoan parasites tightly controls, in time and space, the biogenesis of specialized structures and organelles required for invasion and intracellular survival. In other systems, regulation of protein trafficking can occur by phosphorylation of vesicle fusion machinery. Previously, we have shown that Toxoplasma gondii αSNAP - a protein that controls the disassembly of cis-SNARE complexes--is phosphorylated. Here, we show that this post-translational modification is required for the correct function of αSNAP in controlling secretory traffic. We demonstrate that during intracellular development conditional expression of a non-phosphorylatable form of αSNAP results in Golgi fragmentation and vesiculation of all downstream secretory organelles. In addition, we show that the vestigial plastid (termed apicoplast), although reported not to be reliant on Golgi trafficking for biogenesis, is also affected upon overexpression of αSNAP and is much more sensitive to the levels of this protein than targeting to other organelles. This work highlights the importance of αSNAP and its phosphorylation in Toxoplasma organelle biogenesis and exposes a hereto fore-unexplored mechanism of regulation of vesicle fusion during secretory pathway trafficking in apicomplexan parasites.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/tra.12348

Type

Journal article

Journal

Traffic

Publication Date

02/2016

Volume

17

Pages

102 - 116

Keywords

organelle biogenesis, phosphorylation, trafficking, αSNAP, Golgi Apparatus, Organelle Biogenesis, Organelles, Phosphorylation, Protein Processing, Post-Translational, Protein Transport, Protozoan Proteins, Secretory Pathway, Soluble N-Ethylmaleimide-Sensitive Factor Attachment Proteins, Toxoplasma