[Frontiers in Bioscience 6, d1276-1283, October 1, 2001]
MUCINS IN PROTOZOAN PARASITES
Maneesh Jain1, Dev Karan2, Surinder K. Batra2 and Grish C. Varshney1
1Cell Biology and Immunology, Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39-A, Chandigarh, 160036, India1 2Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Studies on host-pathogen interactions have led to the discovery of various cell surface associated and secretory molecules. Mucins and mucin-like molecules have recently been described in several protozoan parasites, at different stages of the life cycle. These share many structural and compositional features with mammalian mucins, but vary in several other aspects. It is now becoming evident that mucins in parasite are involved in cell-cell interaction and cell surface protection, thus helping the parasite to establish infection. A large number of mucin like genes from the parasite genome have been reported, and their expression differ during the developmental stages of the parasite. In this review, we describe the structure and functions of mucin and mucin-like molecules in parasitic protozoa.