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Genes 2018, 9(8), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9080412

Protein Import into the Endosymbiotic Organelles of Apicomplexan Parasites

1
Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology, University of Glasgow, 120 University Place Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
2
Genetics and Biochemistry Branch, National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 July 2018 / Revised: 31 July 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Proteins in Parasitic Protozoa)
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Abstract

The organelles of endosymbiotic origin, plastids, and mitochondria, evolved through the serial acquisition of endosymbionts by a host cell. These events were accompanied by gene transfer from the symbionts to the host, resulting in most of the organellar proteins being encoded in the cell nuclear genome and trafficked into the organelle via a series of translocation complexes. Much of what is known about organelle protein translocation mechanisms is based on studies performed in common model organisms; e.g., yeast and humans or Arabidopsis. However, studies performed in divergent organisms are gradually accumulating. These studies provide insights into universally conserved traits, while discovering traits that are specific to organisms or clades. Apicomplexan parasites feature two organelles of endosymbiotic origin: a secondary plastid named the apicoplast and a mitochondrion. In the context of the diseases caused by apicomplexan parasites, the essential roles and divergent features of both organelles make them prime targets for drug discovery. This potential and the amenability of the apicomplexan Toxoplasma gondii to genetic manipulation motivated research about the mechanisms controlling both organelles’ biogenesis. Here we provide an overview of what is known about apicomplexan organelle protein import. We focus on work done mainly in T. gondii and provide a comparison to model organisms. View Full-Text
Keywords: apicoplast; mitochondrion; Toxoplasma; Apicomplexa; trafficking; import apicoplast; mitochondrion; Toxoplasma; Apicomplexa; trafficking; import
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Mallo, N.; Fellows, J.; Johnson, C.; Sheiner, L. Protein Import into the Endosymbiotic Organelles of Apicomplexan Parasites. Genes 2018, 9, 412.

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