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Sci. Signal., 26 July 2011
Vol. 4, Issue 183, p. ec209
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.4183ec209]

EDITORS' CHOICE

Host-Pathogen Interactions Built to Invade

Valda Vinson

Science, AAAS, Washington, DC 20005, USA

Apicomplexan parasites cause diseases that include malaria and toxoplasmosis. Key to invasion is a moving junction (MJ) complex that links the parasite and host cell membranes. Two key proteins in this complex are both provided by the parasite—the receptor, RON2, which integrates into the host cell membrane, and its ligand, apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1). Tonkin et al. (see the Perspective by Baum and Cowman) have determined the crystal structure of RON2 bound to AMA1. The complex has an extensive buried surface area that probably enables the MJ complex to resist the mechanical forces of host cell invasion.

M. L. Tonkin, M. Roques, M. H. Lamarque, M. Pugnière, D. Douguet, J. Crawford, M. Lebrun, M. J. Boulanger, Host cell invasion by apicomplexan parasites: Insights from the co-structure of AMA1 with a RON2 peptide. Science 333, 463–467 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]

J. Baum, A. F. Cowman, Revealing a parasite's invasive trick. Science 333, 410–411 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: V. Vinson, Built to Invade. Sci. Signal. 4, ec209 (2011).


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