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Identification of Novel Dense-Granule Proteins in Toxoplasma gondii by Two Proximity-Based Biotinylation Approaches

Pan, Ming, Li, Mingjun, Li, Longjiao, Song, Yongle, Hou, Lun, Zhao, Junlong, Shen, Bang
Journal of proteome research 2018 v.18 no.1 pp. 319-330
Toxoplasma gondii, animal diseases, biotinylation, genetically modified organisms, granules, host-parasite relationships, humans, labeling techniques, parasites, parasitism, proteins, proteome, secondary infection
Toxoplasma gondii is an opportunistic pathogen infecting humans and a variety of vertebrate animals. Secretory dense-granule proteins (GRAs) play diverse roles in the mediation of host–parasite interactions and facilitate parasitism, but many of them still remain to be identified. Here, we used two proximity-based protein labeling techniques to identify novel GRA proteins. Taking GRA1 as bait, transgenic strains expressing GRA1-BirA* or GRA1-APEX were constructed to biotinylate GRAs. Using these methods, a total of 46 proteins were identified, 20 of which were known GRA proteins. Among these 46, 17 were identified by both strategies, and 14 out of the 17 were known GRAs. The other three were all confirmed to localize to dense granules. Nonetheless a significant portion of the proteins were only identified by either APEX or BirA*, indicating that there are differences between these methods. Of the 26 novel GRAs, 5 were validated as bona fide GRAs by localization studies. The majority of these novel GRAs are only present in coccidian parasites and are likely dispensable for parasite growth in vitro; they may play roles during animal infections. The identification of novel GRAs laid the foundation for further studies investigating the mechanisms underlying parasite–host interactions.