Assembly of the flagellum and its role in cell morphogenesis in Trypanosoma brucei

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2010 Aug;13(4):453-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2010.05.006. Epub 2010 Jun 10.


Eukaryotic flagella are microtubule-based structures required for a variety of functions including cell motility and sensory perception. Most eukaryotic flagella grow out from a cell into the surrounding medium, but when the flagellum of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei exits the cell via the flagellar pocket, it is attached along the length of the cell body by a cytoskeletal structure called the flagellum attachment zone (FAZ). The exact reasons for flagellum attachment have remained elusive, but evidence is emerging that the attached flagellum plays a major role in cell morphogenesis in this organism. In this review we discuss evidence published in the past four years that is unravelling the role of the flagellum in organelle segregation, inheritance of cell shape and cytokinesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Shape
  • Cytokinesis
  • Flagella / physiology*
  • Flagella / ultrastructure
  • Host-Parasite Interactions*
  • Morphogenesis
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / growth & development*
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / ultrastructure
  • Tsetse Flies / parasitology