The parasite Toxoplasma sequesters diverse Rab host vesicles within an intravacuolar network

Julia D. Romano, Sabrina J. Nolan, Corey Porter, Karen Ehrenman, Eric J. Hartman, Ru ching Hsia, Isabelle Coppens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Many intracellular pathogens subvert host membrane trafficking pathways to promote their replication. Toxoplasma multiplies in a membrane-bound parasitophorous vacuole (PV) that interacts with mammalian host organelles and intercepts Golgi Rab vesicles to acquire sphingolipids. The mechanisms of host vesicle internalization and processing within the PV remain undefined. We demonstrate that Toxoplasma sequesters a broad range of Rab vesicles into the PV. Correlative light and electron microscopy analysis of infected cells illustrates that intravacuolar Rab1A vesicles are surrounded by the PV membrane, suggesting a phagocytic-like process for vesicle engulfment. Rab11A vesicles concentrate to an intravacuolar network (IVN), but this is reduced in Δgra2 and Δgra2Δgra6 parasites, suggesting that tubules stabilized by the TgGRA2 and TgGRA6 proteins secreted by the parasite within the PV contribute to host vesicle sequestration. Overexpression of a phospholipase TgLCAT, which is localized to the IVN, results in a decrease in the number of intravacuolar GFP-Rab11A vesicles, suggesting that TgLCAT controls lipolytic degradation of Rab vesicles for cargo release.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4235-4254
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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