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Subcell Biochem. 2008;47:33-45.

Microneme proteins in apicomplexans.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan School of Medicine, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.


Microneme secretion supports several key cellular processes including gliding motility, active cell invasion and migration through cells, biological barriers, and tissues. The modular design of microneme proteins enables these molecules to assist each other in folding and passage through the quality control system, accurately target to the micronemes, oligimerizing with other parasite proteins, and engaging a variety of host receptors for migration and cell invasion. Structural and biochemical analyses of MIC domains is providing new perspectives on how adhesion is regulated and the potentially distinct roles MICs might play in long or short range interactions during parasite attachment and entry. New access to complete genome sequences and ongoing advances in genetic manipulation should provide fertile ground for refining current models and defining exciting new roles for MICs in apicomplexan biology.

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