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Parasitol Int. 2000 Jan;48(3):191-8.

The transferrin receptor of Trypanosoma brucei.

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Abteilung Parasitologie, Hygiene-Institut, Ruprecht-Karls-Universit├Ąt, Im Neuenheimer Feld 324, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


Bloodstream forms of Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of sleeping sickness in humans, require transferrin for growth. Uptake of host transferrin is mediated by a heterodimeric glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored receptor. The trypanosomal transferrin receptor is homologous to the N-terminal domain of the variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) and bears no structural similarity with the human transferrin receptor. In this review, the structure, biochemical properties and function of the transferrin receptor of T. brucei are summarized and compared to the transferrin receptor of mammalian cells.

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