Pathways involved in environmental sensing in trypanosomatids

Parasitol Today. 2000 Feb;16(2):56-62. doi: 10.1016/s0169-4758(99)01590-2.


Digenetic parasites, such as those of the order Kinetoplastida, must respond to extracellular and intracellular signals as they adapt to new environments within their different hosts. Evidence for signal transduction has been obtained for Trypanosoma brucei, T. cruzi and Leishmania, as reviewed here by Marilyn Parsons and Larry Ruben. Although the broad picture suggests similarities with the mammalian host, there are large gaps in our understanding of these processes; this probably contributes to a perception of differences. Nonetheless, current evidence suggests that the trypanosomatids might lack certain classes of signalling molecules found in other organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / physiology
  • Cattle
  • Chagas Disease / parasitology
  • Cyclic AMP / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Leishmania / genetics
  • Leishmania / physiology*
  • Leishmaniasis / parasitology
  • Phosphatidylinositols / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / genetics
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / physiology*
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / genetics
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / physiology*
  • Trypanosomiasis, Bovine / parasitology


  • Phosphatidylinositols
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Calcium