Toxoplasma gondii, microsporidiosis, stage differentiation, polar tube structure and function
Toxoplasmosis: Toxoplasma gondii is a well described ubiquitous Apicomplexan protozoan parasite of mammals and birds. Despite recent progress in understanding the biology and antigenic structure of the rapidly replicating form (tachyzoite), very little is known about the cyst form (bradyzoite). The bradyzoite stage of Toxoplasma gondii plays a critical role in maintenance of latent infection. The identification of cyst wall specific protiens as well as stress related proteins and their effects on bradyzoite development is proceeding in the laboratory.
Microsporidiosis: The phylum Microspora consists of organisms collectively known as microsporidia, that are "emerging" human and veterinary pathogens. A microsporidian-specific organelle, the polar tube, is involved in invasion. While the description of the polar tube as a unique microsporidian structure occurred over 100 years ago, the biochemical components of this structure and the mechanism of its formation during invasion remain to be definitively determined. The laboratory is focused on projects invovling the: (1) characterization of the structure and composition of the polar tube and spore wall, and (2) the identificiation of therapeutic targets for the treatment of microsporidiosis.
Alvarado JJ, Nemkal A, Sauder JM, Russell M, Akiyoshi DE, Shi W, Almo SC, Weiss LM.
Structure of a microsporidian methionine aminopeptidase type 2 complexed with fumagillin and TNP-470.
Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2009 Aug 4. PMID: 19660503
Bouzahzah B, Nagajyothi F, Ghosh K, Takvorian PM, Cali A, Tanowitz HB, Weiss LM.
Interactions of Encephalitozoon cuniculi polar tube proteins.
Infect Immun. 2010 Jun;78(6):2745-53. Epub 2010 Mar 22. PMID: 20308291
Keeling PJ, Corradi N, Morrison HG, Haag KL, Ebert D, Weiss LM, Akiyoshi DE, Tzipori S.
The Reduced Genome of the Parasitic Microsporidian Enterocytozoon bieneusi Lacks Genes for Core Carbon Metabolism.
Genome Biol Evol. 2010 Jul 12;2:304-9. PMID: 20624735
Xiao H, El Bissati K, Verdier-Pinard P, Burd B, Zhang H, Kim K, Fiser A, Angeletti RH, Weiss LM.
Post-translational modifications to Toxoplasma gondii alpha- and beta-tubulins include novel C-terminal methylation.
J Proteome Res. 2010 Jan;9(1):359-72 PMID: 19886702
Che FY, Madrid-Aliste C, Burd B, Zhang H, Nieves E, Kim K, Fiser A, Angeletti RH, Weiss LM.
Comprehensive proteomic analysis of membrane proteins in Toxoplasma gondii.
Mol Cell Proteomics. 2011 Jan;10(1):M110.000745. Epub 2010 Oct 10. PMID: 20935347
Ghosh K, Nieves E, Keeling P, Pombert JF, Cali A, Weiss LM.
A branching network of proteinaceous filaments within the parasitophorous vacuole of Encephalitozoon cuniculi a
nd Encephalitozoon hellem. Infect Immun. 2011 Jan 10. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 21220485
Upadhya R, Kim K, Hogue-Angeletti R, Weiss LM. Improved Techniques for Endogenous Epitope Tagging
and Gene Deletion in Toxoplasma gondii. J Microbiol Methods. 2011 Feb 22. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:21352857
Fox BA, Falla A, Rommereim LM, Tomita T, Gigley JP, Mercier C, Cesbron-Delauw MF, Weiss LM, Bzik DJ.
Type II Toxoplasma gondii KU80 Knockout Strains Enable Functional Analysis of Genes Required for Cyst
Development and Latent Infection. Eukaryot Cell. 2011 Apr 29. PMID:21531875
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CBSNews.com interviews Dr. Lou Weiss about a new blood test that determines whether a person's respiratory illness is caused by virus or bacteria.
Reuters reports that a common parasite is linked to self-harm and suicide in women, although Dr. Lou Weiss notes that the overall risk remains low.