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A post-genomic view of the mitochondrion in malaria parasites.

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Center for Molecular Parasitology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Drexel University College of Medicine, 2900 Queen Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19129, USA.


Mitochondria in Plasmodium parasites have many characteristics that distinguish them from mammalian mitochondria. Selective targeting of malaria parasite mitochondrial physiology has been exploited in successful antimalarial chemotherapy. At present, our understanding of the functions served by the parasite mitochondrion is somewhat limited, but the availability of the genomic sequences makes it possible to develop a framework of possible mitochondrial functions by providing information on genes encoding mitochondrially targeted proteins. This review aims to provide an overview of mitochondrial physiology in this post-genomic era. Although in many cases direct experimental proof for their mitochondrial functions may not be available at present, descriptions of these potential mitochondrial proteins can provide a basis for experimental approaches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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