Toxoplasma's ways of manipulating the host transcriptome via secreted effectors

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2015 Aug;26:24-31. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2015.04.003. Epub 2015 Apr 24.


The obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii strikes a subtle balance with the host immune system that not only prevents host death but also promotes parasite persistence. Although being enclosed within a parasitophorous vacuole, the parasite actively interfaces with host cell signaling pathways, thereby directing host cell responses. To this end, T. gondii delivers effector proteins into the host cell that co-opt host transcription factors and eventually modulate gene expression. Aside from the secretory Rhoptry organelles initially described as the main source of such effectors, Dense Granules are now recognized as critical in delivering products that remain confined at the vacuolar space or traffic beyond the vacuole membrane to the host cell nucleus and contribute to rewire host gene expression. This review highlights the latest breakthroughs in T. gondii effector discovery and their modus operandi during infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Toxoplasma / physiology*
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism*


  • Virulence Factors