Responsive microtubule dynamics promote cell invasion by Trypanosoma cruzi

Kevin M. Tyler, George W G Luxton, Derek A. Applewhite, Sean C. Murphy, David M. Engman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The American trypanosome, Trypanosoma cruzi, can invade non-phagocytic cell types by a G-protein-mediated, calcium-dependent mechanism, in which the cell's natural puncture repair mechanism is usurped in order to recruit lysosomes to the parasite/host cell junction or 'parasite synapse.' The fusion of lysosomes necessary for construction of the nascent parasitophorous vacuole is achieved by directed trafficking along microtubules. We demonstrate altered host cell microtubule dynamics during the initial stages of the entry process involving de novo microtubule polymerization from the cytoplasmic face of the parasite synapse which appears to serve as a secondary microtubule organizing centre. The net result of these dynamic changes to the host cell's microtubule cytoskeleton is the development of the necessary infrastructure for transport of lysosomes to the parasite synapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1579-1591
Number of pages13
JournalCellular Microbiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005


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