Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite that invades nucleated cells, causing toxoplasmosis in humans and animals worldwide. The extremely wide range of hosts susceptible to T. gondii is thought to be the result of interactions between T. gondii ligands and receptors on its target cells. In this study, a host cell-binding protein from T. gondii was characterized, and one of its receptors was identified. P104 (GenBank Access. No. CAJ20677) is 991 amino acids in length, containing a putative 26 amino acid signal peptide and 10 PAN/apple domains, and shows low homology to other identified PAN/apple domain-containing molecules. A 104-kDa host cell-binding protein was detected in the T. gondii lysate. Immunofluorescence assays detected P104 at the apical end of extracellular T. gondii. An Fc-fusion protein of the P104 N-terminus, which contains two PAN/apple domains, showed strong affinity for the mammalian and insect cells evaluated. This binding was not related to protein-protein or protein-lipid interactions, but to a protein-glycosaminoglycan (GAG) interaction. Chondroitin sulfate (CS), a kind of GAG, was shown to be involved in adhesion of the Fc-P104 N-terminus fusion protein to host cells. These results suggest that P104, expressed at the apical end of the extracellular parasite, may function as a ligand in the attachment of T. gondii to CS or other receptors on the host cell, facilitating invasion by the parasite. © 2012 Gong et al.
Gong, H., Kobayashi, K., Sugi, T., Takemae, H., Kurokawa, H., Horimoto, T., … Kato, K. (2012). A novel PAN/apple domain-containing protein from Toxoplasma gondii: Characterization and receptor identification. PLoS ONE, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0030169