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Methods Mol Biol. 2018;1829:37-54. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-8654-5_3.

Complex Endosymbioses II: The Nonphotosynthetic Plastid of Apicomplexa Parasites (The Apicoplast) and Its Integrated Metabolism.

Author information

1
ApicoLipid Team, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, UMR5309, U1209, Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France.
2
ApicoLipid Team, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, UMR5309, U1209, Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France. yoshiki.yamaryo@gmail.com.

Abstract

Chloroplasts are essential organelles that are responsible for photosynthesis in a wide range of organisms that have colonized all biotopes on Earth such as plants and unicellular algae. Interestingly, a secondary endosymbiotic event of a red algal ancestor gave rise to a group of organisms that have adopted an obligate parasitic lifestyle named Apicomplexa parasites. Apicomplexa parasites are some of the most widespread and poorly controlled pathogens in the world. These infectious agents are responsible for major human diseases such as toxoplasmosis, caused by Toxoplasma gondii, and malaria caused by Plasmodium spp. Most of these parasites harbor this relict plastid named the apicoplast, which is essential for parasite survival. The apicoplast has lost photosynthetic capacities but are metabolically similar to plant and algal chloroplasts. The apicoplast is considered a novel and important drug target against Apicomplexa parasites. This chapter focuses on the apicoplast of apicomplexa parasites, its maintenance, and its metabolic pathways.

KEYWORDS:

Apicomplexa; Apicoplast; Malaria; Secondary endosymbiosis; Toxoplasmosis

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