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. 2015 Nov 13;13(11):e1002289.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002289. eCollection 2015.

Toxoplasma's Taste for Exotic Fat

Free PMC article

Toxoplasma's Taste for Exotic Fat

Roland G Roberts. PLoS Biol. .
Free PMC article


A new study reveals that an exotic lipid, phosphatidylthreonine, makes up a substantial proportion of the membrane of a widespread human parasite and is essential for its virulence. Read the Research Article.

Conflict of interest statement

The author has declared that no competing interests exist.


Fig 1
Fig 1. Phosphatidylthreonine-mediated control of lytic cycle and virulence in T. gondii.
The parental strain of T. gondii expresses PTS, which produces PtdThr. Genetic disruption of PTS results in parasites that are unable to make PtdThr. Lack of PtdThr in the mutant compromises its gliding motility, which blights the sequential events of exit from parasitized cells, and entry into new host cells. Consequently, the PtdThr-deficient strain displays a severely impaired lytic cycle in human cells. Moreover, the mutant is highly attenuated in mice and confers potent immunity against hypervirulent and cyst-forming strains of T. gondii. Image credit: Nishith Gupta.

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    1. Arroyo-Olarte RD, Brouwers JF, Kuchipudi A, Helms JB, Biswas A, et al. Phosphatidylthreonine and Lipid-Mediated Control of Parasite Virulence. PLoS Biol. 2015;13(11): e1002288 doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002288 - DOI - PMC - PubMed