Post-genomics resources and tools for studying apicomplexan metabolism

Trends Parasitol. 2011 Mar;27(3):131-40. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Dec 8.


The phylum Apicomplexa comprises over 5000 species of obligate intracellular parasites, many responsible for diseases that significantly impact human health and economics. To aid drug development programs, global sequencing initiatives are generating increasing numbers of apicomplexan genomes. The challenge is how best to exploit these resources to identify effective therapeutic targets. Because of its important role in growth and maintenance, much interest has centred on metabolism. However, in the absence of detailed biochemical data, reconstructing the metabolic potential from a fully sequenced genome remains problematic. In this review current resources and tools facilitating the metabolic reconstruction for apicomplexans are examined. Furthermore, how these datasets can be utilized to explore the metabolic capabilities of apicomplexans are discussed and targets for therapeutic intervention are prioritized.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apicomplexa / classification
  • Apicomplexa / genetics*
  • Apicomplexa / metabolism*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Genome, Protozoan*
  • Humans
  • Phylogeny