Int J Parasitol. 2010 Apr 26. [Epub ahead of print]
Sialic acids: Key determinants for invasion by the Apicomplexa
Friedrich N, Matthews S, Soldati-Favre D.
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Medicine, CMU, University of Geneva, 1 Rue Michel-Servet, CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.
Sialic acids are ubiquitously found on the surface of all vertebrate cells at the extremities of glycan chains and widely exploited by viruses and bacteria to enter host cells. Carbohydrate-bearing receptors are equally important for host cell invasion by the obligate intracellular protozoan parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa. Host cell entry is an active process relying crucially on proteins that engage with receptors on the host cell surface and promote adhesion and internalization. Assembly into complexes, proteolytic processing, and oligomerization are important requirements for the functionality of these adhesins. The combination of adhesive proteins with varying stringency in specificity confers some flexibility to the parasite in face of receptor heterogeneity and immune pressure. Sialic acids are now recognized to critically contribute to selective host cell recognition by various species of the phylum. Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
PMID: 20430033 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]