Structural insights into microneme protein assembly reveal a new mode of EGF domain recognition.

Sawmynaden, K; Saouros, S; Friedrich, N; Marchant, J; Simpson, P; Bleijlevens, B; Blackman, MJ; Soldati-Favre, D; Matthews, S; (2008) Structural insights into microneme protein assembly reveal a new mode of EGF domain recognition. EMBO reports, 9 (11). pp. 1149-55. ISSN 1469-221X DOI:

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The obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii, a member of the phylum Apicomplexa that includes Plasmodium spp., is one of the most widespread parasites and the causative agent of toxoplasmosis. Adhesive complexes composed of microneme proteins (MICs) are secreted onto the parasite surface from intracellular stores and fulfil crucial roles in host-cell recognition, attachment and penetration. Here, we report the high-resolution solution structure of a complex between two crucial MICs, TgMIC6 and TgMIC1. Furthermore, we identify two analogous interaction sites within separate epidermal growth factor-like (EGF) domains of TgMIC6-EGF2 and EGF3-and confirm that both interactions are functional for the recognition of host cell receptor in the parasite, using immunofluorescence and invasion assays. The nature of this new mode of recognition of the EGF domain and its abundance in apicomplexan surface proteins suggest a more generalized means of constructing functional assemblies by using EGF domains with highly specific receptor-binding properties.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Pathogen Molecular Biology
PubMed ID: 18818666
Web of Science ID: 260586800018


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