Comprehensive proteomic analysis of membrane proteins in Toxoplasma gondii

Mol Cell Proteomics. 2011 Jan;10(1):M110.000745. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M110.000745. Epub 2010 Oct 10.


Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite that is an important human and animal pathogen. Experimental information on T. gondii membrane proteins is limited, and the majority of gene predictions with predicted transmembrane motifs are of unknown function. A systematic analysis of the membrane proteome of T. gondii is important not only for understanding this parasite's invasion mechanism(s), but also for the discovery of potential drug targets and new preventative and therapeutic strategies. Here we report a comprehensive analysis of the membrane proteome of T. gondii, employing three proteomics strategies: one-dimensional gel liquid chromatography-tandem MS analysis (one-dimensional gel electrophoresis LC-MS/MS), biotin labeling in conjunction with one-dimensional gel LC-MS/MS analysis, and a novel strategy that combines three-layer "sandwich" gel electrophoresis with multidimensional protein identification technology. A total of 2241 T. gondii proteins with at least one predicted transmembrane segment were identified and grouped into 841 sequentially nonredundant protein clusters, which account for 21.8% of the predicted transmembrane protein clusters in the T. gondii genome. A large portion (42%) of the identified T. gondii membrane proteins are hypothetical proteins. Furthermore, many of the membrane proteins validated by mass spectrometry are unique to T. gondii or to the Apicomplexa, providing a set of gene predictions ripe for experimental investigation, and potentially suitable targets for the development of therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Biotin / metabolism
  • Cell Extracts
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Proteome / chemistry
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Protozoan Proteins / chemistry
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism*
  • Toxoplasma / metabolism*


  • Cell Extracts
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Proteome
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Biotin