Identification of the membrane receptor of a class XIV myosin in Toxoplasma gondii

Elizabeth Gaskins, Stacey Gilk, Nicolette DeVore, Tara Mann, Gary Ward, Con Beckers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations


A picomplexan parasites exhibit a unique form of substrate-dependent motility, gliding motility, which is essential during their invasion of host cells and during their spread between host cells. This process is dependent on actin filaments and myosin that are both located between the plasma membrane and two underlying membranes of the inner membrane complex. We have identified a protein complex in the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii that contains the class XIV myosin required for gliding motility, TgMyoA, its associated light chain, TgMLC1, and two novel proteins, TgGAP45 and TgGAP50. We have localized this complex to the inner membrane complex of Toxoplasma, where it is anchored in the membrane by TgGAP50, an integral membrane glycoprotein. Assembly of the protein complex is spatially controlled and occurs in two stages. These results provide the first molecular description of an integral membrane protein as a specific receptor for a myosin motor, and further our understanding of the motile apparatus underlying gliding motility in apicomplexan parasites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-393
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 10 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Apicomplexa
  • Class XIV myosin
  • Motility
  • Plasmodium
  • Toxoplasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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