Protoplasma

, Volume 248, Issue 4, pp 641–650

The apicoplast

Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00709-010-0250-5

Cite this article as:
McFadden, G.I. Protoplasma (2011) 248: 641. doi:10.1007/s00709-010-0250-5

Abstract

Parasites like malaria and Toxoplasma possess a vestigial plastid homologous to the chloroplasts of plants. The plastid (known as the apicoplast) is non-photosynthetic but retains many hallmarks of its ancestry including a circular genome that it synthesises proteins from and a suite of biosynthetic pathways of cyanobacterial origin. In this review, the discovery of the apicoplast and its integration, function and purpose are explored. New insights into the apicoplast fatty acid biosynthesis pathway and some novel roles of the apicoplast in vaccine development are reviewed.

Keywords

ApicoplastEndosymbiosisMalariaPlasmodiumPlastidToxoplasma

Abbreviations

ER

Endoplasmic reticulum

ERAD

Endoplasmic reticulum-associated protein degradation

pPTs

Plastidic phosphate translocators

SELMA

Symbiont-specific ERAD-like machinery

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BotanyUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia