University of Dundee

‘New players and regulation mechanisms in Toxoplasma virulence: insights from CRISPR screening and phosphoproteomics’

Event Date: 
Monday, July 29, 2019 - 09:45
Event Location: 
School of Life Sciences, MSI Small Lecture Theatre
Professor Dario Alessi FRS FRSE FMedSci
Event Speaker: 
Dr Joanna Young
The Francis Crick Institute
Event Type: 
MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Spotlight Seminar


Joanna Young is currently working at the Francis Crick Institute as a senior postdoctoral fellow on work on host-pathogen interactions with a focus on kinase signalling, in the laboratory of Moritz Crick. 


During her PhD she discovered that pathogenic E coli were modifying and inhibiting Src family kinases, leading to disruption of phagocytosis. For my postdoctoral research Joanna has been studying secreted proteins during Toxoplasma gondii parasite infection, which secretes an array of kinases that are essential for host manipulation and parasite survival. Joanna will talk about her work comparing the phosphoproteome of acute and chronic stage parasites that reveals that there is differential phosphorylation of secreted proteins between different stages of infection.


Joanna is looking to establish a lab studying the chronic stage of Toxoplasma infection, where the parasite from cysts in the brain and how this might be regulated by protein phosphorylation. Several secreted kinases have been shown to be required for this, but the signalling is unknown. Joanna’s hypothesis is that parasite secreted proteins contribute to establishing a chronic infection. She aims is to identify secreted proteins and kinase signalling that is required for the parasite to survive and form cysts.




Young JC*, Dominicus C*, Wagener J, Ye X, Ordan M, Kelly G, Stewart A, Treeck M A versatile CRISPR screening platform for tailored in vitro and in vivo genetic screens identifies novel virulence factors in Toxoplasma gondii Under review at Nature Microbiology (June 2019)


Beraki T,Hu X,Broncel M, Young JC, O'Shaughnessy WJ, Borek DM, Treeck M,

Reese ML. A divergent kinase regulates membrane ultrastructure of the Toxoplasma parasitohorous vacuole PNAS 2019 Mar 26;116(13):6361-6370


Pollard DJ, Young JC, Covarelli V, Herrera-León S, Connor TR, Fookes M, Walker D, Echeita A, Thomson NR,Berger CN, Frankel G. The Type III Secretion System Effector SeoC of Salmonella enterica subsp. salamae and S.enterica subsp. arizonae ADP-Ribosylates Src and Inhibits Opsono phagocytosis Infect Immun. 2016 Nov18;84(12):3618-3628.


Young JC, Clements A, Lang AE, Garnett JA, Munera D, Arbeloa A, Pearson J, Hartland EL, Matthews SJ, MousnierA, Barry DJ, Way M, Schlosser A, Aktories K, Frankel G. The Escherichia coli effector EspJ blocks Src kinase activity via amidation and ADP ribosylation Nat Commun. 2014 Dec 19;5:5887. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6887.


Raymond B, Young JC, Pallett M, Endres RG, Clements A, Frankel G. Subversion of trafficking, apoptosis and innateimmunity by type III secretion system effectors Trends Microbiol. 2013 Aug;21(8):430-41


Leen EN, Kwok KY, Birtley JR, Simpson PJ, Subba-Reddy CV, Chaudhry Y, Sosnovtsev SV, Green KY, Prater SN, TongM, Young JC, Chung LM, Marchant J, Roberts LO, Kao CC, Matthews S, Goodfellow IG, Curry S. Structures of the compact helical core domains of the mouse norovirus and the feline calicivirus VPg proteinsJ Virol. 2013 May;87(10):5318-30


Clements A, Young JC, Constantinou N, Frankel G. Infection strategies of enteric pathogenic E. coli Gut Microbes2012 Mar-Apr;3(2):71-87