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Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most successful intracellular parasites in the world. The dynamic, adhesion, invasion, and even replication capabilities of Toxoplasma are based on dynamic machinery located in the pellicle, a three membrane complex that surrounds the parasite. Among the proteins that carry out these processes are inner membrane complex (IMC) proteins, gliding-associated proteins (GAP), diverse myosins, actin, tubulin, and SRS proteins. Despite the importance of the pellicle, the knowledge of its composition is limited. Broad protein identification from an enriched pellicle fraction was obtained by independent digestion with trypsin and chymotrypsin and quantified by mass spectrometry. By trypsin digestion, 548 proteins were identified, while by chymotrypsin digestion, additional 22 proteins were identified. Besides, a group of "sequences related to SAG1" proteins (SRS) were detected together with unidentified new proteins. From identified SRS proteins, SRS51 was chosen for analysis and modeling as its similarities with crystallized adhesion proteins, exhibiting the presence of a spatial groove that is apparently involved in adhesion and cell invasion. As SRS proteins have been reported to be involved in the activation of the host's immune response, further studies could consider them as targets in the design of vaccines or of drugs against Toxoplasma. SIGNIFICANCE: To date, the proteomic composition of the pellicle of Toxoplasma is unknown. Most proteins reported in Toxoplasma pellicle have been poorly studied, and many others remain unidentified. Herein, a group of new SRS proteins is described. Some SRS proteins previously described from pellicle fraction have adhesion properties to the host cell membrane, so their study would provide data related to invasion mechanism and to open possibilities for considering them as targets in the design of immunoprotective strategies or the design of new pharmacological treatments. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Rosalba Cruz-Mirón, Carlos J Ramírez-Flores, Noé Lagunas-Cortés, Mónica Mondragón-Castelán, Emmanuel Ríos-Castro, Sirenia González-Pozos, M Magdalena Aguirre-García, Ricardo Mondragón-Flores. Proteomic characterization of the pellicle of Toxoplasma gondii. Journal of proteomics. 2021 Apr 15;237:104146

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PMID: 33588107

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