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Parasitol Today. 1995 Apr;11(4):134-8.

The cytoplasmic ribosomal RNAs of Plasmodium spp.

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Growth and Development Section, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-0425, USA.


Plasmodium spp maintain several structurally distinct sets of ribosomal RNA genes whose expression is developmentally regulated. This feature sets them apart from all other eukaryotes studied to date. In this review, Thomas McCutchan, Jun Li, Glenn McConkey, John Rogers and Andy Waters give an account of the progress in our understanding of this unusual phenomenon as it relates to the biology of the parasite. They also outline an interesting turnabout in scientific direction involving the use of the parasite as an important new model for the study of the eukaryotic ribosome.

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