Monday, August 12, 2013

The metabolic roles of the endosymbiotic organelles of Toxoplasma and Plasmodium spp

2013 Aug 5. pii: S1369-5274(13)00091-X. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2013.07.003. [Epub ahead of print]

The metabolic roles of the endosymbiotic organelles of Toxoplasma and Plasmodium spp


Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases & Department of Cellular Biology, University of Georgia, 500 D.W. Brooks Drive, Athens, GA 30602, USA; Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology, Institute of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation, College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences, Sir Graeme Davies Building, University of Glasgow, 120 University Place, Glasgow G12 8TA, United Kingdom. Electronic address:


The apicoplast and the mitochondrion of Apicomplexa cooperate in providing essential metabolites. Their co-evolution during the ancestral acquisition of a plastid and subsequent loss of photosynthesis resulted in divergent metabolic pathways compared with mammals and plants. This is most evident in their chimerical haem synthesis pathway. Toxoplasma and Plasmodium mitochondria operate canonical tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycles and electron transport chains, although the roles differ between Toxoplasma tachyzoites and Plasmodium erythrocytic stages. Glutamine catabolism provides TCA intermediates in both parasites. Isoprenoid precursor synthesis is the only essential role of the apicoplast in Plasmodium erythrocytic stages. An apicoplast-located fatty acid synthesis is dispensable in these stages, which instead predominantly salvage fatty acids, while in Plasmodium liver stages and in Toxoplasma tachyzoites fatty acid synthesis is an essential role of the plastid.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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