University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Parasitology Seminars > The Toxoplasma acrobat: combining biophysics and real time imaging to decode Toxoplasma top gliding performance

The Toxoplasma acrobat: combining biophysics and real time imaging to decode Toxoplasma top gliding performance

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Among the eukaryote cells that navigate through fully developed metazoan tissues, the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma reaches one of the highest speeds owing to a peculiar substrate-dependent type of motility known as helical gliding in endotherm metazoans’ tissues. This polarized cell has evolved two unconventional myosinH and myosinA motors that successively cooperate within their respective nano-machines, called glideosomes, to control the retrograde flow of apically and formin-nucleated actin filaments. While the myosinA-glideosome lies in a space between the plasma membrane and a peculiar inner membrane complex, it is thought to control the cortical forces during membrane flow and to be a main component of the motile force. However, how forces and adhesions coordinate over the helical gliding in metazoan’s tissues remains elusive. Combining quantitative traction force and reflection interference microscopy with micro-patterning and expansion microscopy we start to decode the Toxoplasma tachyzoite rheology. We now unveil a pivotal role of a unique polar anchoring adhesion in the development of the traction-springtorque triad forces that set the parasite thrust force required for high-speed helical gliding.

This talk is part of the Parasitology Seminars series.

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