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Clarifying the Mechanism for Inhibiting Toxoplasmosis -- Interferon-induced guanylate-binding protein destroys Toxoplasma gondii


Under the leadership of Professor Kiyoshi TAKEDA of the Graduate School of Medicine and the Immunology Frontier Research Center and the leadership of Associate professor Masahiro YAMAMOTO of the Research Institute for Microbial Diseases and the Immunology Frontier Research Center, Osaka University, a group of researchers have clarified that Interferon-induced guanylate-binding protein (GBP) is a host defense factor which destroys parasite Toxoplasma gondii thereby inhibiting toxoplasmosis.
It was known that interferon inhibited the development of toxoplasmosis in hosts including humans, but the mechanism that how interferon counteracts Toxoplasma gondii had not been clarified.
Using GBP-deficient mice and biological imaging, this research group demonstrated for the first time in the world that GBP destroyed parasitophorous vacuoles necessary for toxoplasma gondii's replication thereby preventing Toxoplasma gondii from being able to multiply in infected cells, thereby leading to the inhibition of toxoplasmosis.
With the drastic increase in toxoplasmosis cases in Japan, this research achievement will lead to the possible development of new molecular target drugs for artificially controlling, for example, enhancing GBP functions.

Under the leadership of YAMAMOTO Masahiro Associate professor Immunology Frontier Research Center Osaka University and TAKEDA Kiyoshi, Professor and Dr. Dominique Soldati-Favre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland, this research was conducted as part of Japan Science and Technology Agency's Strategic International Research Cooperative Program, Strategic Japanese-Swiss Cooperative Program on "Medical Research" on Functional Study of Effector Molecules in Apicomplexan Parasites (project leader: YAMAMOTO Masahiro and Dominique Soldati-Favre).


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To learn more about this research, please read the full research report entitled "A Cluster of Interferon-γ-Inducible p65 GTPases Plays a Critical Role in Host Defense against Toxoplasma gondii" on this page at the Cell Press website.

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