Toxoplasma and Plasmodium protein kinases: roles in invasion and host cell remodelling

Int J Parasitol. 2012 Jan;42(1):21-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2011.11.007. Epub 2011 Dec 4.


Some apicomplexan parasites have evolved distinct protein kinase families to modulate host cell structure and function. Toxoplasma gondii rhoptry protein kinases and pseudokinases are involved in virulence and modulation of host cell signalling. The proteome of Plasmodium falciparum contains a family of putative kinases called FIKKs, some of which are exported to the host red blood cell and might play a role in erythrocyte remodelling. In this review we will discuss kinases known to be critical for host cell invasion, intracellular growth and egress, focusing on (i) calcium-dependent protein kinases and (ii) the secreted kinases that are unique to Toxoplasma (rhoptry protein kinases and pseudokinases) and Plasmodium (FIKKs).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Coenzymes / metabolism
  • Plasmodium falciparum / enzymology*
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Toxoplasma / enzymology*
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism*


  • Coenzymes
  • Virulence Factors
  • Protein Kinases
  • Calcium