21736-Arrizabalaga, Gustavo

Gustavo A. Arrizabalaga, PhD

Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity

MS A418
635 Barnhill Drive

Indianapolis, IN 46202
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Dr. Gustavo Arrizabalaga has been studying the cell biology of the pathogenic parasite Toxoplasma gondii for over fifteen years. He received his Ph.D. in Biology from MIT under the mentorship of Dr. Ruth Lehmann. His doctoral work focused on developmental biology and translational regulation using Drosophila as a model system. From 1999 to 2004 Dr. Arrizabalaga did a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. John Boothroyd at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he began focusing on how Toxoplasma gondii exits its host cell. From 2004 to 2012 he was a faculty member at the University of Idaho where he established an independent research group. In 2012, he joined the Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Microbiology and Immunology as an Associate Professor. He was promoted to full professor in 2017.

Key Publications

Blakely WJ, Holmes MJ, Arrizabalaga G. 2020. The secreted acid phosphatase domain-containing GRA44 from Toxoplasma gondii is required for C-myc induction in infected cells mSphere. 2020 Feb 19;5(1):e00877-19. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00877-19.

Jacobs K, Charvat R, Arrizabalaga G. 2019. Identification of Fis1 interactors in Toxoplasma gondii reveals a novel protein required for peripheral distribution of the mitochondrion. mBio. 2020 Feb 11;11(1):e02732-19. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02732-19.

Yang, C., Broncel, M., Dominicus, C., Sampson, E., Blakely, W. J., Treeck, M., Arrizabalaga G., 2019 A plasma membrane localized protein phosphatase in Toxoplasma gondii, PPM5C, regulates attachment to host cells. Sci Rep 9:5924.

Heredero-Bermejo I, Varberg JM, Charvat R, Jacobs K, Garbuz T, Sullivan WJ Jr, Arrizabalaga G., 2018TgDrpC, an atypical dynamin-related protein in Toxoplasma gondii, is associated with vesicular transport factors and parasite division., Molecular microbiology. 2019; 111(1):46-64.

Varberg, J., Coppens, I., Arrizabalaga, G. and Gaji, R.Y., 2018. TgTKL1 is a unique plant like nuclear kinase that plays an essential role in acute toxoplasmosis. mBio 20;9(2).

Panozzo-Zénere E.A., Porta E.O., Arrizabalaga G., Fargnoli L., Khan S.I., Tekwani B.L., and Labadie, G.R., 2017 A minimalistic approach to develop new anti-apicomplexa polyamines analogs, European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

Varberg, J.M., LaFavers, K.A., 1Sullivan, W.J., 1Arrizabalaga, G., 2017 Characterization of Plasmodium Atg3-Atg8 interaction inhibitors identifies novel alternative mechanisms of action in Toxoplasma gondii, Antimicrob Agents Chemother., PMID:29158278 1Senior authors contributed equally

Garbuz, T. and Arrizabalaga, G., 2017 Lack of mitochondrial MutS homolog 1 in Toxoplasma gondii disrupts maintenance and fidelity of mitochondrial DNA and reveals metabolic plasticity, Plos One, PMID:29141004

Roiko, M.S., LaFavers, K., Arrizabalaga, G., 2017 Toxoplasma gondii-positive human sera recognize intracellular tachyzoites and bradyzoites with diverse patterns of immunoreactivity, Int J. for Parasitology.

LaFavers, K.A, Márquez-Nogueras, K.M., Coppens, I., Moreno, SNJ, Arrizabalaga, G., 2017 A novel dense granule protein, GRA41, regulates timing of egress and calcium sensitivity in Toxoplasma gondii. Cell Microb, PMID: 28430089

Colinot, D.L., Garbuz, T., Bosland, M., Rice, S., Wang, L., Sullivan, W.J., 1Jerde, T. 1Arrizabalaga, G., 2017 Toxoplasma gondii: a novel inducer of chronic prostatic inflammation and proliferative inflammatory microglandular hyperplasia in a mouse model of prostatic inflammation. Prostate, PMID: 28497488. 1 Senior authors contributed equally

Padgett, L., 1Sullivan, W.J., 1Arrizabalaga, G., 2016, Targeting of tail-anchored membrane proteins to subcellular organelles in Toxoplasma gondii. Traffic. 2017 Mar;18(3):149-158. PMID:27991712 1 Senior authors contributed equally

Charvat, R. and Arrizabalaga, G., 2016. Oxidative stress generated during monensin treatment contributes to altered Toxoplasma gondii mitochondrial function. Nature Scientific Reports, Mar 15;6. PMID: 26976749

Gaji, R., Johnson, D., Wang, M., Hudmon, A., and Arrizabalaga, G., 2015. Phosphorylation of a Myosin motor by TgCDPK3 facilitates rapid initiation of motility during Toxoplasma gondii egress. PLoS Pathog. 1(11):e1005268. PMID: 26544049

Benmerzouga, I., Checkley, L., Ferdig, M., Arrizabalaga, G., Wek, R., and Sullivan, W., 2015. Guanabenz repurposed as an anti-parasitic with activity against acute and latent toxoplasmosis, Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 59(11):6939-45. PMID: 26303803

Treeck, M., Sanders, J., Gaji, R., LaFavers, K., Child, M., Arrizabalaga, G., Elias, J., Boothroyd, J., 2014. A novel role of Calcium-dependent Kinase 3 in regulating metabolism in Toxoplasma gondii in addition to ionophore induced egress. PLoS Pathogen, 10(6):e1004197. PMID: 24945436

Gaji, R., Checkley, L., Reese, M., Ferdig, M.T., and Arrizabalaga, G., 2014. Expression of the essential kinase PfCDPK1 from Plasmodium falciparum in Toxoplasma gondii facilitates the discovery of novel antimalarial drugs. Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 58(5):2598-607. PMID: 24550330

Garrison, E., Treeck, M., Ehret, M., Garbuz, T., Oswald, B.P., Settles, M., Boothroyd, J., Arrizabalaga, G., 2012. A forward genetic screen reveals calcium-dependent kinase 3 is critical for calcium-induced egress in Toxoplasma. Plos Pathogen, 8(11). PMDI: 23209419

Lavine, M.D. and Arrizabalaga, G., 2012, Analysis of Monensin Sensitivity in Toxoplasma gondii reveals autophagy as a mechanism for drug induced death. Plos One, 7(7):e42107. PMID: 22848721

Francia, M.E., Wicher S., Pace D.A., Sullivan, J., Moreno, S.N.J., and Arrizabalaga, G., 2011. A Toxoplasma protein with homology to intracellular type Sodium Hydrogen Exchangers is required for osmotolerance and protein processing. Experimental Cell Research. 317(10):1384-96. PMID: 21501607

Lavine, M.D. and Arrizabalaga, G., 2011. The antibiotic monensin causes cell cycle disruption of Toxoplasma gondii, mediated through the DNA repair enzyme TgMSH-1. Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 55(2): 745-55. PMID: 21098240

Garrison, E. and Arrizabalaga, G., 2009. Disruption of a mitochondrial homolog of a MutS DNA Repair Enzyme confers drug resistance in the pathogenic parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Molecular Microbiology, 72(2):425-41. PMID 19291232

Arrizabalaga, G., Ruiz, F., Moreno, S. and Boothroyd J.C., 2004. Ionophore-resistant mutant of Toxoplasma gondii reveals involvement of a sodium/hydrogen exchanger in calcium regulation. Journal of Cell Biology: 165(5):653-62,. PMID: 15173192


Titles & Appointments

  • Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity
  • Director of Trainee Recruitment, Development and Diversity in Pharmacology & Toxicology
  • Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology
  • Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
  • Assistant Dean for Diversity Affairs
  • Education
    2004 FEL Post-doctoral Fellow, Stanford University School of Medicine
    1999 PhD Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    1992 BS Haverford College
  • Research

    My research focuses on the cell signaling events that drive the propagation of the parasiteToxoplasma gondii. This remarkable parasite infects any warm blooded animal, can invade any nulceated cell, is found everywhere in the world, and infects a third of the world population. Toxoplasma can cause birth defects, and opportunistic disease in HIV/AIDS, cancer and organ transplant patients. A great part of the pathogenesis associated with toxoplasmosis is due to the repeating cycles of cell invasion, replication and egress that drive its propagation through an infected individual. Our lab is interested in the signaling pathways that regulate various aspects of this lytic cycle. Given that events such as invasion and egress are essential for parasite survival and that Toxoplasma uses some unique signaling molecules our studies aim at discovering novel targets for the development of much needed anti-parasitic drugs. 

    For more details about my research and ongoing projects visit my lab webpage.


  • Awards
    Org: IUSM
    Desc: Trustees Teaching Award
    Scope: University

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