Protein acetylation in the critical biological processes in protozoan parasites

Trends Parasitol. 2021 Sep;37(9):815-830. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2021 May 12.


Protein lysine acetylation has emerged as a major regulatory post-translational modification in different organisms, present not only on histone proteins affecting chromatin structure and gene expression but also on nonhistone proteins involved in several cellular processes. The same scenario was observed in protozoan parasites after the description of their acetylomes, indicating that acetylation might regulate crucial biological processes in these parasites. The demonstration that glycolytic enzymes are regulated by acetylation in protozoans shows that this modification might regulate several other processes implicated in parasite survival and adaptation during the life cycle, opening the chance to explore the regulatory acetylation machinery of these parasites as drug targets for new treatment development.

Keywords: KATs; KDACs; acetylation; acetylome; bromodomain; glycolysis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Eukaryota* / enzymology
  • Eukaryota* / genetics
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Protozoan Proteins* / metabolism


  • Protozoan Proteins