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The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum harbours a relict plastid (termed the apicoplast) that has evolved by secondary endosymbiosis. The apicoplast is surrounded by four membranes, the outermost of which is believed to be part of the endomembrane system. Nuclear-encoded apicoplast proteins have a two-part N-terminal extension that is necessary and(More)
The Trypanosomatidae comprise a large group of parasitic protozoa, some of which cause important diseases in humans. These include Trypanosoma brucei (the causative agent of African sleeping sickness and nagana in cattle), Trypanosoma cruzi (the causative agent of Chagas' disease in Central and South America), and Leishmania spp. (the causative agent of(More)
As the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, grows within its host erythrocyte it induces an increase in the permeability of the erythrocyte membrane to a range of low-molecular-mass solutes, including Na+ and K+ (ref. 1). This results in a progressive increase in the concentration of Na+ in the erythrocyte cytosol. The parasite cytosol has a relatively(More)
Glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPI) are essential components in the plasma membrane of the protozoan parasite Leishmania mexicana, both as membrane anchors for the major surface macromolecules and as the sole class of free glycolipids. We provide evidence that L.mexicana dolichol-phosphate-mannose synthase (DPMS), a key enzyme in GPI biosynthesis, is(More)
The GRIP domain, found in a family of coiled-coil peripheral membrane Golgi proteins, is a specific targeting sequence for the trans-Golgi network of animal cells. In this study we show that a coiled-coil protein with a GRIP domain occurs in the primitive eukaryote, Trypanosoma brucei, and that reporter proteins containing this domain can be used as a(More)
Malaria parasites contain a nonphotosynthetic plastid homologous to chloroplasts of plants. The parasite plastid synthesizes fatty acids, heme, iron sulfur clusters and isoprenoid precursors and is indispensable, making it an attractive target for antiparasite drugs. How parasite plastid biosynthetic pathways are fuelled in the absence of photosynthetic(More)
Niemann-Pick disease Type C (NP-C) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by mutations in the NPC1 gene and characterized by intracellular accumulation of cholesterol and sphingo-lipids. The major neuronal storage material in NP-C consists of gangliosides and other glycolipids, raising the possibility that the accumulation of these lipids may(More)
The malaria parasite harbours an indispensable plastid known as the 'apicoplast'. The apicoplast's exact role remains uncertain, but it houses components involved in fatty acid, isoprenoid and haem biosyntheses. These pathways offer opportunities to develop anti-malarials. In the absence of photosynthesis, how apicoplast anabolism is fuelled is unclear.(More)
The dramatic changes in the expression of GD3 and other b-series gangliosides during neuronal development and morphogenesis have led to a widely held belief that these gangliosides may be necessary for neuronal differentiation. To determine directly if GD3 and b-series gangliosides are required for neuronal differentiation, we have produced embryonic stem(More)
Free glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs) are an important class of membrane lipids in many pathogenic protozoa. In this study, we have investigated the subcellular distribution and intracellular trafficking of an abundant class of free GPIs [termed glycosylinositolphospholipids (GIPLs)] in Leishmania mexicana promastigotes. The intracellular transport of(More)