Hijacking of host cell IKK signalosomes by the transforming parasite Theileria

Volker T. Heussler, Sven Rottenberg, Rebekka Schwab, Peter Küenzi, Paula C. Fernandez, Susan McKellar, Brian Shiels, Zhijian J. Chen, Kim Orth, David Wallach, Dirk A E Dobbelaere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Parasites have evolved a plethora of mechanisms to ensure their propagation and evade antagonistic host responses. The intracellular protozoan parasite Theileria is the only eukaryote known to induce uncontrolled host cell proliferation. Survival of Theileria-transformed leukocytes depends strictly on constitutive nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activity. We found that this was mediated by recruitment of the muttisubunit IKB kinase (IKK) into large, activated foci on the parasite surface. IKK signatosome assembly was specific for the transforming schizont stage of the parasite and was down-regulated upon differentiation into the nontransforming merozoite stage. Our findings provide insights into IKK activation and how pathogens subvert host-cell signaling pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1033-1036
Number of pages4
Issue number5595
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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