The Cytoskeleton of Trypanosomes

Parasitol Today. 1990 Feb;6(2):49-52. doi: 10.1016/0169-4758(90)90069-g.


From the concept of cells as mere bags full of enzymes, cell biology has come a long way towards understanding the highly complex structural organization of eukaryotic cells. The cytoskeleton, ie. the complex of fibrous elements that are crucial for cell shape, motility and the structural organization of cytoplasm and cell membranes, is now recognized as vital for supporting many critical functions in eukaryotic cells. Surprisingly, this subject, which has provided scores of cell biologists with excitement and fascination, has been largely overlooked with respect to parasitic protozoa. A notable change of perception has taken place over the past few years as the cytoskeleton of parasitic protozoa has been increasingly recognized as a potential target for antiparasitic intervention. The following article by Thomas Seebeck, Andrew Hemphill and Durward Lawson highlights some recent developments in the analysis of what is presently the best-studied parasite cytoskeleton, that of the trypanosome.