Articles > Secretory organelles of pathogenic protozoa

Secretory organelles of pathogenic protozoa


Secretory organelles of pathogenic protozoa

Wanderley de Souza*

Laboratório de Ultraestrutura Celular Hertha Meyer, Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, CCS-Bloco G, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Ilha do Fundão, 21949-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil


Secretory processes play an important role on the biology and life cycles of parasitic protozoa. This review focus on basic aspects, from a cell biology perspective, of the secretion of (a) micronemes, rhoptries and dense granules in members of the Apicomplexa group, where these organelles are involved in the process of protozoan penetration into the host cell, survival within the parasitophorous vacuole and subsequent egress from the host cell, (b) the Maurer’s cleft in Plasmodium, a structure involved in the secretion of proteins synthesized by the intravacuolar parasite and transported through vesicles to the erythrocyte surface, (c) the secretion of macromolecules into the flagellar pocket of trypanosomatids, and (d) the secretion of proteins which make the cyst wall of Giardia and Entamoeba, with the formation of encystation vesicles.

Key words: parasitic protozoa, cell secretion, Apicomplexa, trypanosomatids, encystation vesicles.

An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. vol.78 no.2  Rio de Janeiro June 2006

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