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Trends Parasitol. 2006 Jun;22(6):269-76. Epub 2006 Apr 25.

Plasmodium rhoptries: how things went pear-shaped.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia.


Plasmodium parasites have three sets of specialised secretory organelles at the apical end of their invasive forms--rhoptries, micronemes and dense granules. The contents of these organelles are responsible for or contribute to host cell invasion and modification, and at least four apical proteins are leading vaccine candidates. Given the unusual nature of Plasmodium invasion, it is not surprising that unique proteins are involved in this process. Nowhere is this more evident than in rhoptries. We have collated data from several recent studies to compile a rhoptry proteome. Discussion is focussed here on rhoptry content and function.

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