Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2012 Jun 29;287(27):22938-47. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.373639. Epub 2012 May 4.

The obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii secretes a soluble phosphatidylserine decarboxylase.

Author information

Department of Medicine, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado 80206, USA.


Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite capable of causing fatal infections in immunocompromised individuals and neonates. Examination of the phosphatidylserine (PtdSer) metabolism of T. gondii reveals that the parasite secretes a soluble form of PtdSer decarboxylase (TgPSD1), which preferentially decarboxylates liposomal PtdSer with an apparent K(m) of 67 μM. The specific enzyme activity increases by 3-fold during the replication of T. gondii, and soluble phosphatidylserine decarboxylase (PSD) accounts for ∼20% of the total PSD, prior to the parasite egress from the host cells. Extracellular T. gondii secreted ∼20% of its total PSD activity at 37 °C, and the intracellular Ca(2+) chelator 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid tetrakis (acetoxymethyl ester) inhibited the process by 50%. Cycloheximide, brefeldin A, ionic composition of the medium, and exogenous PtdSer did not modulate the enzyme secretion, which suggests a constitutive discharge of a presynthesized pool of PSD in axenic T. gondii. TgPSD1 consists of 968 amino acids with a 26-amino acid hydrophobic peptide at the N terminus and no predicted membrane domains. Parasites overexpressing TgPSD1-HA secreted 10-fold more activity compared with the parental strain. Exposure of apoptotic Jurkat cells to transgenic parasites demonstrated interfacial catalysis by secreted TgPSD1 that reduced host cell surface exposure of PtdSer. Immunolocalization experiments revealed that TgPSD1 resides in the dense granules of T. gondii and is also found in the parasitophorous vacuole of replicating parasites. Together, these findings demonstrate novel features of the parasite enzyme because a secreted, soluble, and interfacially active form of PSD has not been previously described for any organism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center