Apicomplexan parasites are protozoan organisms that are characterised by complex life cycles and they include medically important species, such as the malaria parasite Plasmodium
and the causative agents of toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma gondii
) and cryptosporidiosis (Cryptosporidium
spp.). Apicomplexan parasites can infect one or more hosts, in which they differentiate into several morphologically and metabolically distinct life cycle stages. These developmental transitions rely on changes in gene expression. In the last few years, the important roles of different members of the ApiAP2 transcription factor family in regulating life cycle transitions and other aspects of parasite biology have become apparent. Here, we review recent progress in our understanding of the different members of the ApiAP2 transcription factor family in apicomplexan parasites.
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