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An Apicomplexan Actin-Binding Protein Serves as a Connector and Lipid Sensor to Coordinate Motility and Invasion
Damien Jacot, Nicolò Tosetti, Isa Pires, Jessica Stock, Arnault Graindorge, Yu-Fu Hung, Huijong Han, Rita Tewari, Inari Kursula, and Dominique Soldati-FavreCell Host Microbe 20, 731743 (2016)
Apicomplexa exhibit a unique form of substrate-dependent gliding motility central for host cell invasion and parasite dissemination. Gliding is powered by rearward translocation of apically secreted transmembrane adhesins via their interaction with the parasite actomyosin system. We report a conserved armadillo and pleckstrin homology (PH) domain-containing protein, termed glideosome-associated connector (GAC), that mediates apicomplexan gliding motility, invasion, and egress by connecting the micronemal adhesins with the actomyosin system. TgGAC binds to and stabilizes filamentous actin and specifically associates with the transmembrane adhesin TgMIC2. GAC localizes to the apical pole in invasive stages of Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium berghei, and apical positioning of TgGAC depends on an apical lysine methyltransferase, TgAKMT. GAC PH domain also binds to phosphatidic acid, a lipid mediator associated with microneme exocytosis. Collectively, these findings indicate a central role for GAC in spatially and temporally coordinating gliding motility and invasion.
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