EM Frickel – all publications

EM Frickel – Google Scholar







Selected publications with comments

• Foltz C, Napolitano A, Khan R, Clough B, Hirst EM, Frickel EM. TRIM21 is critical for survival of Toxoplasma gondii infection and localises to GBP-positive parasite vacuoles. Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 12;7(1):5209. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-05487-7.

In mice, the E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM21 is essential for controlling the infection with Toxoplasma. TRIM21 mediates some of the K63-linked ubiquitin that is deposited around the GBP-marked PV and controls parasite replication and adequate cytokine production. How exactly all of this works we do not know yet!

• Clough, B and Frickel, E-M (2017) The Toxoplasma parasitophorous vacuole: an evolving host-parasite frontier. Trends in Parasitology. DOI:

Our summary of what happens at the vacuole which is the border between the Toxoplasma parasite and the host cell. Lots of host defence mechanisms targeting the vacuole while the parasite has learnt to fight back!

• Clough, B; Wright, JD; Pereira, PM; Hirst, EM; Johnston, AC; Henriques, R and Frickel, E-M (2016) K63-linked ubiquitination targets Toxoplasma gondii for endo-lysosomal destruction in IFNγ-stimulated human cells. PLOS Pathogens 12, e1006027. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006027

Human Toxoplasma vacuoles are also ubiquitinated! This ubiquitination targets the parasite for destruction by acidification in the endo-lysosomal system. Important: autophagy seems to not play a dominant role and acidic destruction is specific for type II parasites.

• Johnston, AC; Piro, A; Clough, B; Siew, M; Virreira Winter, S; Coers, J and Frickel, E-M (2016) Human GBP1 does not localize to pathogen vacuoles but restricts Toxoplasma gondii. Cellular Microbiology 18, 1056-1064

Human GBP1 can restrict the replication of Toxoplasma, but not Salmonella or Chlamydia in epithelial A549 cells. It does this without localising to the Toxo vacuole. We are still wondering how…

• Sanecka, A; Yoshida, N; Dougan, SK; Jackson, J; Shastri, N; Ploegh, H; Blanchard, N and Frickel, E-M (2016) Transnuclear CD8 T cells specific for the immunodominant epitope Gra6 lower acute-phase Toxoplasma gondii burden. Immunology 149, 270-279. doi: 10.1111/imm.1264

The transnuclear CD8 T cells specific to the immunodominant epitope Gra6 are fully functional and can actively lower the parasite burden. These CD8 T cells could be useful to study further details of the host response to Toxoplasma or properties of potential vaccine strategies. 

• Swee, LK; Tan, ZW; Sanecka, A; Yoshida, N; Patel, H; Grotenbreg, G; Frickel, E-M and Ploegh, HL (2016) Peripheral self-reactivity regulates antigen-specific CD8 T-cell responses and cell division under physiological conditions. Open Biology 6, 160293. pii: 160293

3 CD8 T cell clones with different T cell receptor sequences all recognising the same MHC I-epitope combination: they exhibit a responsiveness to the epitope that is driven by the responsiveness to self peptide rather than strictly to the hierarchy of TCR-MHC binding strength. Never before have people been able to study 3 different T cell clones that react to the same endogenous epitope peptide. 

• Haldar, AK; Foltz, C; Finethy, R; Piro, AS; Feeley, EM; Pilla-Moffett, DM; Komatsu, M; Frickel, E-M and Coers, J (2015) Ubiquitin systems mark pathogen-containing vacuoles as targets for host defense by guanylate binding proteins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112, E5628-E5637. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1515966112

We contributed to this study that for the first time demonstrates ubiquitin around the Toxoplasma vacuole – in IFNg-stimulated murine cells. Some of the ubiquitin is deposited by Traf6, which in turn recruits p62 and subsequently GBPs. Important: IRGs are the seeds of this pathway! Ubiquitin is at the centre of the host defence cascade to Toxoplasma!