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Toxins 2017, 9(9), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins9090265

Structural Features of Apicomplexan Pore-Forming Proteins and Their Roles in Parasite Cell Traversal and Egress

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5620, USA
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Academic Editor: Alexey S. Ladokhin
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 20 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular Entry of Binary and Pore-Forming Bacterial Toxins)
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Abstract

Apicomplexan parasites cause diseases, including malaria and toxoplasmosis, in a range of hosts, including humans. These intracellular parasites utilize pore-forming proteins that disrupt host cell membranes to either traverse host cells while migrating through tissues or egress from the parasite-containing vacuole after replication. This review highlights recent insight gained from the newly available three-dimensional structures of several known or putative apicomplexan pore-forming proteins that contribute to cell traversal or egress. These new structural advances suggest that parasite pore-forming proteins use distinct mechanisms to disrupt host cell membranes at multiple steps in parasite life cycles. How proteolytic processing, secretion, environment, and the accessibility of lipid receptors regulate the membranolytic activities of such proteins is also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: apicomplexan; parasite; pore-forming proteins; membrane disruption; cell traversal; egress; protein structure; regulation apicomplexan; parasite; pore-forming proteins; membrane disruption; cell traversal; egress; protein structure; regulation
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Guerra, A.J.; Carruthers, V.B. Structural Features of Apicomplexan Pore-Forming Proteins and Their Roles in Parasite Cell Traversal and Egress. Toxins 2017, 9, 265.

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