Toxoplasma gondii: molecular cloning and characterization of a novel 18-kDa secretory antigen, TgMIC10.
Hoff EF., Cook SH., Sherman GD., Harper JM., Ferguson DJ., Dubremetz JF., Carruthers VB.
Hoff, E. F., Cook, S. H., Sherman, G. D., Harper, J. M., Ferguson, D. J. P., Dubremetz, J. F., and Carruthers, V. B. 2001. Toxoplasma gondii: Molecular cloning and characterization of a novel 18-kDa secretory antigen, TgMIC10. Experimental Parasitology, 97, 77-88. During host cell invasion, Toxoplasma gondii secretes proteins from specialized organelles (micronemes and rhoptries) located at the apical end of the parasite. The contents of the micronemes appear to be crucial to T. gondii invasion, as inhibition of microneme secretion prevents parasite entry into host cells. Here we describe a new T. gondii microneme protein, TgMIC10. Molecular characterization of a full-length TgMIC10 cDNA revealed that TgMIC10 lacks homology to any previously characterized proteins, although a homologue, NcMIC10, was identified in a closely related parasite, Neospora caninum. TgMIC10 has an unusually long secretory leader sequence of 58 amino acids; the mature TgMIC10 is 18 kDa, possesses nine diglutamic acid repeats and an imperfect repeat sequence (RK(R/Y)HEEL), and is entirely devoid of cysteines. Antibodies raised against recombinant TgMIC10 recognized the native TgMIC10 and localized the protein to the micronemes in indirect immunofluorescence and immunoEM experiments. Comparison of immunofluorescence images indicates that TgMIC10 expression is higher in T. gondii tachyzoites, which are responsible for active infection, than in bradyzoites, which are responsible for latent infection.