Innovative High-Throughput Method May Revolutionize Understanding of Disease and Immune Evasion Mechanisms; Method-Enabled Findings on Toxoplasma gondii Have Potential Implications for Future Therapies

The parasiteToxoplasma gondii infects a large portion of the human population and animals. While most infections are harmless, the parasite poses a severe threat to the immunocompromised and during pregnancy. And still, there is so much to uncover. Toxoplasma is predicted to secrete over 200 proteins into the host cell, and most of these proteins' functions are unknown. Research, led by Moritz Treeck, PhD, IGC Principal Investigator and Group Leader at the Signalling in Apicomplexan Parasites Laboratory, The Francis Crick Institute, has allowed description of a function for each protein in changing host cell transcription in human cells in a single experiment. Applying the new method, Dual Perturb-Seq, to Toxoplasma gondii, the research team identified and characterized novel effector proteins secreted by the parasite into the human host cells to change their behavior. The work was published on October 11, 2023 in Cell Host & Microbe. The open-access article is titledHigh-Throughput Identification of Toxoplasma gondii Effector Proteins That Target Host Cell Transcription.”
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