Protein trafficking to apical organelles of malaria parasites - building an invasion machine

Lev Kats, Brian Mark Cooke, Ross Leon Coppel, Casilda Gabrielle Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Malaria is caused by four species of apicomplexan protozoa belonging to the genus Plasmodium. These parasites possess a specialized collection of secretory organelles called rhoptries, micronemes and dense granules (DGs) that in part facilitate invasion of host cells. The mechanism by which the parasite traffics proteins to these organelles as well as regulates their secretion has important implications for understanding the invasion process and may lead to development of novel intervention strategies. In this review, we focus on emerging data about trafficking signals, mechanisms of biogenesis and secretion. At least some of these are conserved in higher eukaryotes, suggesting that rhoptries, micronemes and DGs are related to organelles such as secretory lysosomes that are well known to mainstream cell biologists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176 - 186
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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