Targeting to rhoptry organelles of Toxoplasma gondii involves evolutionarily conserved mechanisms

H. C. Hoppe, H. M. Ngo, M. Yang, K. A. Joiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Intracellular parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa contain specialized rhoptry secretory organelles that have a crucial function in host-cell invasion and establishment of the parasitophorous vacuole. Here we show that localization of the Toxoplasma gondii rhoptry protein ROP2 is dependent on a YEQL sequence in the cytoplasmic tail that binds to μ-chain subunits of T. gondii and mammalian adaptors, and conforms to the YXXΦ mammalian sorting motif. Chimaeric reporters, containing the transmembrane domains and cytoplasmic tails of the low-density lipoprotein receptor and of Lamp-1, are sorted to the Golgi or the trans-Golgi network (TGN), and partially to apical microneme organelles of the parasite, respectively. Targeting of these reporters is mediated by YXXΦ- and NPXY-type signals. This is the first demonstration of tyrosine-dependent sorting in protozoan parasites, indicating that T. gondii proteins may be targeted to, and involved in biogenesis of, morphologically unique organelles through the use of evolutionarily conserved signals and machinery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-456
Number of pages8
JournalNature Cell Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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