December 2010

[MCP] Gondii’s Membrane Revealed

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Biobits - gondii

A Venn diagram showing the membrane proteins in Toxoplasma gondii identified using three different proteomic approaches.

Toxoplasma gondii, an obligate intracellular parasitic protozoan that normally causes self-limiting infections in cats, also can infect humans. Toxoplasmosis, the acute illness caused by this intracellular parasite, often manifests itself as encephalitis, causing miscarriages in pregnant women and death in immunocompromised patients. In this study, the researchers employed three proteomic techniques to generate a comprehensive catalogue of the membrane proteins in T. gondii. Two of the techniques— 1D gel liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and TLSGE MudPIT— targeted the entire membrane proteome, whereas the third— BDAP LC-MS/MS— specifically targeted integral plasma membrane proteins. When the researchers combined the results from each technique, they identified 2,241 membrane protein sequences with at least one predicted transmembrane motif— a number that translates to 841 nonredundant proteins or protein clusters. Based on annotation of the T. gondii genome, a large portion of the proteins identified are membrane proteins; however, 42 percent are hypothetical proteins, half of which appear unique to T. gondii. The unique and novel membrane proteins identified in this study likely represent new drug targets and will inform the pathophysiology of T. gondii.

Comprehensive Proteomic Analysis of Membrane Proteins in Toxoplasma gondii

Fa-Yun Che, Carlos Madrid-Aliste, Berta Burd, Hongshan Zhang, Edward Nieves, Kami Kim, Andras Fiser, Ruth Hogue Angeletti and Louis M. Weiss

Mol. Cell. Proteomics, published online Oct. 10, 2010

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