Global protein expression analysis in apicomplexan parasites: Current status

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Journal Article
Proteomics, 2005, 5 (4), pp. 918 - 924
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Members of the phylum Apicomplexa are important protozoan parasites that cause some of the most serious, and in some cases, deadly diseases in humans and animals. They include species from the genus Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, Eimeria, Neospora, Cryptosporidium, Babesia and Theileria. The medical, veterinary and economic impact of these pathogens on a global scale is enormous. Although chemo- and immuno-prophylactic strategies are available to control some of these parasites, they are inadequate. Currently, there is an urgent need to design new vaccines or chemotherapeutics for apicomplexan diseases. High-throughput global protein expression analyses using gel or non-gel based protein separation technologies coupled with mass spectrometry and bioinformatics provide a means to identify new drug and vaccine targets in these pathogens. Protein identification based proteomic projects in apicomplexan parasites is currently underway, with the most significant progress made in the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. More recently, preliminary two-dimensional gel electrophoresis maps of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum tachyzoites and Eimeria tenella sporozoites, have been produced, as well as for micronemes in E. tenella. In this review, the status of proteomics in the analysis of global protein expression in apicomplexan parasites will be compared and the challenges associated with these investigations discussed. © 2005 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
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