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Periz, Javier; Del Rosario, Mario; McStea, Alexandra; Gras, Simon; Loney, Colin; Wang, Lin; Martin-Fernandez, Marisa L. and Meissner, Markus (2019): A highly dynamic F-actin network regulates transport and recycling of micronemes in Toxoplasma gondii vacuoles. In: Nature Communications, Vol. 10, 4183 [PDF, 10MB]


The obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii replicates in an unusual process, described as internal budding. Multiple dausghter parasites are formed sequentially within a single mother cell, requiring replication and distribution of essential organelles such as micronemes. These organelles are thought to be formed de novo in the developing daughter cells. Using dual labelling of a microneme protein MIC2 and super-resolution microscopy, we show that micronemes are recycled from the mother to the forming daughter parasites using a highly dynamic F-actin network. While this recycling pathway is F-actin dependent, de novo synthesis of micronemes appears to be F-actin independent. The F-actin network connects individual parasites, supports long, multidirectional vesicular transport, and regulates transport, density and localisation of micronemal vesicles. The residual body acts as a storage and sorting station for these organelles. Our data describe an F-actin dependent mechanism in apicomplexans for transport and recycling of maternal organelles during intracellular development.

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