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Cryptosporidium rhoptry effector protein ROP1 injected during invasion targets the host cytoskeletal modulator LMO7
Cell Host & Microbe  (IF21.023),  Pub Date : 2021-08-03, DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2021.07.002
Amandine Guérin, Nathan H. Roy, Emily M. Kugler, Laurence Berry, Janis K. Burkhardt, Jung-Bum Shin, Boris Striepen

The parasite Cryptosporidium invades and replicates in intestinal epithelial cells and is a leading cause of diarrheal disease and early childhood mortality. The molecular mechanisms that underlie infection and pathogenesis are largely unknown. Here, we delineate the events of host cell invasion and uncover a mechanism unique to Cryptosporidium. We developed a screen to identify parasite effectors, finding the injection of multiple parasite proteins into the host from the rhoptry organelle. These factors are targeted to diverse locations within the host cell and its interface with the parasite. One identified effector, rhoptry protein 1 (ROP1), accumulates in the terminal web of enterocytes through direct interaction with the host protein LIM domain only 7 (LMO7) an organizer of epithelial cell polarity and cell-cell adhesion. Genetic ablation of LMO7 or ROP1 in mice or parasites, respectively, impacts parasite burden in vivo in opposite ways. Taken together, these data provide molecular insight into how Cryptosporidium manipulates its intestinal host niche.