Dense granule biogenesis, secretion, and function in Toxoplasma gondii

J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2022 Nov;69(6):e12904. doi: 10.1111/jeu.12904. Epub 2022 Apr 1.


Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite and the causative agent of Toxoplasmosis. A key to understanding and treating the disease lies with determining how the parasite can survive and replicate within cells of its host. Proteins released from specialized secretory vesicles, named the dense granules (DGs), have diverse functions that are critical for adapting the intracellular environment, and are thus key to survival and pathogenicity. In this review, we describe the current understanding and outstanding questions regarding dense granule biogenesis, trafficking, and regulation of secretion. In addition, we provide an overview of dense granule protein ("GRA") function upon secretion, with a focus on proteins that have recently been identified.

Keywords: Toxoplasma gondii; dense granule; host-pathogen interactions; vesicle secretion.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism
  • Toxoplasma* / metabolism
  • Toxoplasmosis* / parasitology
  • Virulence


  • Protozoan Proteins