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Eukaryot Cell. 2008 Jun;7(6):1019-28. doi: 10.1128/EC.00413-07. Epub 2008 Apr 4.

Molecular signals in the trafficking of Toxoplasma gondii protein MIC3 to the micronemes.

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UMR 5235 CNRS, Université de Montpellier 2, CP 107, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34090 Montpellier, France.


The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is equipped with a sophisticated secretory apparatus, including three distinct exocytic organelles, named micronemes, rhoptries, and dense granules. We have dissected the requirements for targeting the microneme protein MIC3, a key component of T. gondii infection. We have shown that MIC3 is processed in a post-Golgi compartment and that the MIC3 propeptide and epidermal growth factor (EGF) modules contain microneme-targeting information. The minimal requirement for microneme delivery is defined by the propeptide plus any one of the three EGF domains. We have demonstrated that the cleavage of the propeptide, the dimerization of MIC3, and the chitin binding-like sequence, which are crucial for host cell binding and virulence, are dispensable for proper targeting. Finally, we have shown that part of MIC3 is withheld in the secretory pathway in a cell cycle-dependent manner.

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