Over-expression Screen of Interferon-Stimulated Genes Identifies RARRES3 as a Restrictor of Toxoplasma gondii Infection

Nicholas Rinkenberger, Michael E. Abrams, Sumit K. Matta, John W. Schoggins, Neal M. Alto, David Sibley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Toxoplasma gondii is an important human pathogen infecting an estimated 1 in 3 people worldwide. The cytokine interferon gamma (IFNγ) is induced during infection and is critical for restricting T. gondii growth in human cells. Growth restriction is presumed to be due to the induction interferon stimulated genes (ISGs) that are upregulated to protect the host from infection. Although there are hundreds of ISGs induced by IFNγ, their individual roles in restricting parasite growth in human cells remain somewhat elusive. To address this deficiency, we screened a library of 414 IFNγ induced ISGs to identify factors that impact T. gondii infection in human cells. In addition to IRF1, which likely acts through induction of numerous downstream genes, we identified RARRES3 as a single factor that restricts T. gondii infection by inducing premature egress of the parasite in multiple human cell lines. Overall, while we successfully identified a novel IFNγ induced factor restricting T. gondii infection, the limited number of ISGs capable of restricting T. gondii infection when individually expressed suggests that IFNγ mediated immunity to T. gondii infection is a complex, multifactorial process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere73137
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Cell death
  • Egress
  • Growth restriction
  • Interferon gamma
  • Intracellular parasite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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