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Basic Biology of Trypanosoma cruzi

[ Vol. 27 , Issue. 14 ]

Author(s):

Aline A. Zuma, Emile dos Santos Barrias and Wanderley de Souza*   Pages 1671 - 1732 ( 62 )

Abstract:


The present review addresses basic aspects of the biology of the pathogenic protozoa Trypanosoma cruzi and some comparative information of Trypanosoma brucei. Like eukaryotic cells, their cellular organization is similar to that of mammalian hosts. However, these parasites present structural particularities. That is why the following topics are emphasized in this paper: developmental stages of the life cycle in the vertebrate and invertebrate hosts; the cytoskeleton of the protozoa, especially the sub-pellicular microtubules; the flagellum and its attachment to the protozoan body through specialized junctions; the kinetoplast-mitochondrion complex, including its structural organization and DNA replication; glycosome and its role in the metabolism of the cell; acidocalcisome, describing its morphology, biochemistry, and functional role; cytostome and the endocytic pathway; the organization of the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex; the nucleus, describing its structural organization during interphase and division; and the process of interaction of the parasite with host cells. The unique characteristics of these structures also make them interesting chemotherapeutic targets. Therefore, further understanding of cell biology aspects contributes to the development of drugs for chemotherapy.

Keywords:

Cell biology, drug targets, phylogeny, kinetoplastid, trypanosomatids, Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei, ultrastructure.

Affiliation:

Laboratório de Ultraestrutura Celular Hertha Meyer, Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho - Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Laboratório de Metrologia Aplicada à Ciências da Vida, Diretoria de Metrologia Aplicada à Ciências da Vida - Instituto Nacional de Metrologia, Qualidade e Tecnologia (Inmetro), Rio de Janeiro, Laboratório de Ultraestrutura Celular Hertha Meyer, Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho - Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro



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