Toxoplasma gondii salvages sphingolipids from the host Golgi through the rerouting of selected Rab vesicles to the parasitophorous vacuole

Julia D. Romano, Sabrina Sonda, Emily Bergbower, Maria Elisa Smith, Isabelle Coppens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The obligate intracellular protozoan Toxoplasma gondii actively invades mammalian cells and, upon entry, forms its own membrane-bound compartment, named the parasitophorous vacuole (PV). Within the PV, the parasite replicates and scavenges nutrients, including lipids, from host organelles. Although T. gondii can synthesize sphingolipids de novo, it also scavenges these lipids from the host Golgi. How the parasite obtains sphingolipids from the Golgi remains unclear, as the PV avoids fusion with host organelles. In this study, we explore the host Golgi-PV interaction and evaluate the importance of host-derived sphingolipids for parasite growth. We demonstrate that the PV preferentially localizes near the host Golgi early during infection and remains closely associated with this organelle throughout infection. The parasite subverts the structure of the host Golgi, resulting in its fragmentation into numerous ministacks, which surround the PV, and hijacks host Golgi-derived vesicles within the PV. These vesicles, marked with Rab14, Rab30, or Rab43, colocalize with host-derived sphingolipids in the vacuolar space. Scavenged sphingolipids contribute to parasite replication since alterations in host sphingolipid metabolism are detrimental for the parasite's growth. Thus our results reveal that T. gondii relies on host-derived sphingolipids for its development and scavenges these lipids via Golgi-derived vesicles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1974-1995
Number of pages22
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Volume24
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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