TgICMAP1 is a novel microtubule binding protein in Toxoplasma gondii

Aoife T. Heaslip, Stephanie C. Ems-McClung, Ke Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The microtubule cytoskeleton provides essential structural support for all eukaryotic cells and can be assembled into various higher order structures that perform drastically different functions. Understanding how microtubule-containing assemblies are built in a spatially and temporally controlled manner is therefore fundamental to understanding cell physiology. Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan parasite, contains at least five distinct tubulin-containing structures, the spindle pole, centrioles, cortical microtubules, the conoid, and the intra-conoid microtubules. How these five structurally and functionally distinct sets of tubulin containing structures are constructed and maintained in the same cell is an intriguing problem. Previously, we performed a proteomic analysis of the T. gondii apical complex, a cytoskeletal complex located at the apical end of the parasite that is composed of the conoid, three ring-like structures, and the two short intra-conoid microtubules. Here we report the characterization of one of the proteins identified in that analysis, TgICMAP1. We show that TgICMAP1 is a novel microtubule binding protein that can directly bind to microtubules in vitro and stabilizes microtubules when ectopically expressed in mammalian cells. Interestingly, in T. gondii, TgICMAP1 preferentially binds to the intra-conoid microtubules, providing us the first molecular tool to investigate the intra-conoid microtubule assembly process during daughter construction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere7406
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 12 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'TgICMAP1 is a novel microtubule binding protein in Toxoplasma gondii'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this