Subcell Biochem. 2014;80:241-53. doi: 10.1007/978-94-017-8881-6_12.
The Role of MACPF Proteins in the Biology of Malaria and Other Apicomplexan Parasites
Apicomplexans are eukaryotic parasites of major medical and veterinary importance. They have complex life cycles through frequently more than one host, interact with many cell types in their hosts, and can breach host cell membranes during parasite traversal of, or egress from, host cells. Some of these parasites make a strikingly heavy use of the pore-forming MACPF domain, and encode up to 10 different MACPF domain-containing proteins. In this chapter, we focus on the two most studied and medically important apicomplexans, Plasmodium and Toxoplasma, and describe the known functions of their MACPF polypeptide arsenal. Apicomplexan MACPF proteins appear to be involved in a variety of membrane-damaging events, making them an attractive model to dissect the structure-function relationships of the MACPF domain.
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