2020-12-10Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1038/s42003-020-01480-5
Phosphatidylinositol synthesis, its selective salvage, and inter-regulation of anionic phospholipids in Toxoplasma gondii
Phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns) serves as an integral component of eukaryotic membranes; however, its biosynthesis in apicomplexan parasites remains poorly understood. Here we show that Toxoplasma gondii—a common intracellular pathogen of humans and animals—can import and co-utilize myo-inositol with the endogenous CDP-diacylglycerol to synthesize PtdIns. Equally, the parasite harbors a functional PtdIns synthase (PIS) containing a catalytically-vital CDP-diacylglycerol phosphotransferase motif in the Golgi apparatus. Auxin-induced depletion of PIS abrogated the lytic cycle of T. gondii in human cells due to defects in cell division, gliding motility, invasion, and egress. Isotope labeling of the PIS mutant in conjunction with lipidomics demonstrated de novo synthesis of specific PtdIns species, while revealing the salvage of other lipid species from the host cell. Not least, the mutant showed decline in phosphatidylthreonine, and elevation of selected phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylglycerol species, indicating a rerouting of CDP-diacylglycerol and homeostatic inter-regulation of anionic phospholipids upon knockdown of PIS. In conclusion, strategic allocation of own and host-derived PtdIns species to gratify its metabolic demand features as a notable adaptive trait of T. gondii. Conceivably, the dependence of T. gondii on de novo lipid synthesis and scavenging can be exploited to develop new anti-infectives.Ren et al. investigated how the obligate intracellular pathogen Toxoplasma gondii satisfies its requirement of phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns). They show that this parasite can synthesize certain PtdIns species de novo and salvages others from human host cells. Endogenous production of PtdIns in the Golgi complex is critical for the acute infection, and its loss perturbs homeostasis of selected anionic phospholipids.
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