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Exposing Toxoplasma gondii hiding inside the vacuole: a role for GBPs, autophagy and host cell death

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journal contribution
posted on 17.08.2021, 11:31 by Jeroen P Saeij, Eva Maria Frickel
The intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii resides inside a vacuole, which shields it from the host's intracellular defense mechanisms. The cytokine interferon gamma (IFNγ) upregulates host cell effector pathways that are able to destroy the vacuole, restrict parasite growth and induce host cell death. Interferon-inducible GTPases such as the Guanylate Binding Proteins (GBPs), autophagy proteins and ubiquitin-driven mechanisms play important roles in Toxoplasma control in mice and partly also in humans. The host inflammasome is regulated by GBPs in response to bacterial infection in murine cells and may also respond to Toxoplasma infection. Elucidation of murine Toxoplasma defense mechanisms are guiding studies on human cells, while inevitably leading to the discovery of human-specific pathways that often function in a cell type-dependent manner.

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