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Curr Opin Microbiol. 1999 Aug;2(4):426-32.

Origin, targeting, and function of the apicomplexan plastid.

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Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6018, USA.


The discovery of a plastid in Plasmodium, Toxoplasma and related protozoan parasites provides a satisfying resolution to several long-standing mysteries: the mechanism of action for various surprisingly effective antibiotics; the subcellular location of an enigmatic 35 kb episomal DNA; and the nature of an unusual intracellular structure containing multiple membranes. The apicomplexan plastid highlights the importance of lateral genetic transfer in evolution and provides an accessible system for the investigation of protein targeting to secondary endosymbiotic organelles. Combining molecular genetic identification of targeting signals with whole genome analysis promises to yield a complete picture of organellar metabolic pathways and new targets for drug design.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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