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Cells 2012, 1(3), 346-371; doi:10.3390/cells1030346
Review

Autophagy in Trypanosomatids

1,†
, 2,†,‡
 and 1,*
Received: 28 June 2012; in revised form: 14 July 2012 / Accepted: 16 July 2012 / Published: 27 July 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autophagy)
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Abstract: Autophagy is a ubiquitous eukaryotic process that also occurs in trypanosomatid parasites, protist organisms belonging to the supergroup Excavata, distinct from the supergroup Opistokontha that includes mammals and fungi. Half of the known yeast and mammalian AuTophaGy (ATG) proteins were detected in trypanosomatids, although with low sequence conservation. Trypanosomatids such as Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania spp. are responsible for serious tropical diseases in humans. The parasites are transmitted by insects and, consequently, have a complicated life cycle during which they undergo dramatic morphological and metabolic transformations to adapt to the different environments. Autophagy plays a major role during these transformations. Since inhibition of autophagy affects the transformation, survival and/or virulence of the parasites, the ATGs offer promise for development of drugs against tropical diseases. Furthermore, various trypanocidal drugs have been shown to trigger autophagy-like processes in the parasites. It is inferred that autophagy is used by the parasites in an—not always successful—attempt to cope with the stress caused by the toxic compounds.
Keywords: autophagy; Trypanosomatidae; Trypanosoma; Leishmania; parasites; life-cycle differentiation; glycosomes; pexophagy; drug discovery; drug action autophagy; Trypanosomatidae; Trypanosoma; Leishmania; parasites; life-cycle differentiation; glycosomes; pexophagy; drug discovery; drug action
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Brennand, A.; Rico, E.; Michels, P.A.M. Autophagy in Trypanosomatids. Cells 2012, 1, 346-371.

AMA Style

Brennand A, Rico E, Michels PAM. Autophagy in Trypanosomatids. Cells. 2012; 1(3):346-371.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Brennand, Ana; Rico, Eva; Michels, Paul A. M. 2012. "Autophagy in Trypanosomatids." Cells 1, no. 3: 346-371.



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