Toxoplasma gondii encodes three protein kinase A catalytic (PKAc1-3) and one regulatory (PKAr) subunits to integrate cAMP-dependent signals. Here, we show that inactive PKAc1 is maintained at the parasite pellicle by interacting with acylated PKAr. Either a conditional knockdown of PKAr or the overexpression of PKAc1 blocks parasite division. Conversely, down-regulation of PKAc1 or stabilisation of a dominant-negative PKAr isoform that does not bind cAMP triggers premature parasite egress from infected cells followed by serial invasion attempts leading to host cell lysis. This untimely egress depends on host cell acidification. A phosphoproteome analysis suggested the interplay between cAMP and cGMP signalling as PKAc1 inactivation changes the phosphorylation profile of a putative cGMP-phosphodiesterase. Concordantly, inhibition of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase G (PKG) blocks egress induced by PKAc1 inactivation or environmental acidification, while a cGMP-phosphodiesterase inhibitor circumvents egress repression by PKAc1 or pH neutralisation. This indicates that pH and PKAc1 act as balancing regulators of cGMP metabolism to control egress. These results reveal a crosstalk between PKA and PKG pathways to govern egress in T. gondii.
Keywords: Toxoplasma gondii; acylation; cAMP‐dependent protein kinase A; cGMP‐dependent protein kinase G; egress.
© 2017 The Authors.