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Trends Parasitol. 2002 Jun;18(6):251-5.

Is Toxoplasma egress the first step in invasion?

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W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe St, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii maintains an intracellular lifestyle that requires careful timing and coordination when exiting one cell (egress) and entering another (invasion). Here it is argued that T. gondii uses similar molecular mechanisms for egress and invasion, based on common morphology, dependence on motility, and regulation by a calcium-dependent signal transduction pathway. In our view, this strategy is highly advantageous because it allows the parasite to egress rapidly from one cell and immediately invade an adjacent cell, thereby minimizing exposure to the extracellular environment where it could be destroyed by host immune mediators.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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