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High impact information on Protozoa

  • Telomerase has previously been observed only in ciliated protozoans, which possess 10(4) - 10(7) macronuclear telomeres [1].
  • Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) comprise a large family of serine/threonine kinases in plants and protozoans [2].
  • Remarkably, the mammalian Pacrg protein shares significant sequence similarities with gene products from flagellated protozoans, suggesting that Pacrg may be necessary for proper flagellar formation in many organisms [3].
  • Plants possess three distinct groups of 12 kDa P-proteins (P1, P2, and P3), whereas animals, fungi, and protozoans possess only two distinct groups (P1 and P2) [4].
  • beta-D-glucosyl-hydroxymethyluracil is a conserved DNA modification in kinetoplastid protozoans and is abundant in their telomeres [5].

Biological context of Protozoa


Anatomical context of Protozoa


Associations of Protozoa with chemical compounds

  • Trypanosomatid protozoans are pterin auxotrophs, a finding noted decades ago which heralded the discovery of key metabolic roles played by pteridines in eukaryotes [11].
  • The metabolism of allopurinol to 4-aminopyrazolo(3,4-d)pyrimidine ribonucleotides and its resultant cytotoxicity occurs in these parasitic protozoans, but not in mammalian cells [12].
  • Sialidases are a superfamily of N-acylneuraminate-releasing (sialic-acid-releasing) exoglycosidases found mainly in higher eukaryotes and in some, mostly pathogenic, viruses, bacteria and protozoans [13].
  • Amphotericin B is a potent antifungal antibiotic and has activity against some viruses, protozoans and prions [14].
  • Pteridine reductase (PTR1) is an NADPH-dependent short-chain reductase found in parasitic trypanosomatid protozoans [15].

Gene context of Protozoa

  • Molecular phylogenetic analysis of 60 sirtuin conserved core domain sequences from a diverse array of organisms (including archaeans, bacteria, yeasts, plants, protozoans, and metazoans) shows that eukaryotic Sir2-like proteins group into four main branches designated here as classes I-IV [16].
  • Phylogenetic analysis indicated that PpMAPK1 was tightly clustered with MAPK3 in protozoans [17].
  • The search revealed numerous orthologous and homologous L-type lectin-like proteins in animals, protozoans, and yeast, as well as the sequence of a novel family member related to VIP36, named VIPL for VIP36-like [18].
  • Cloning and functional expression of glycosyltransferases from parasitic protozoans by heterologous complementation in yeast: the dolichol phosphate mannose synthase from Trypanosoma brucei brucei [19].
  • Many genes belonging to the cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) family have been isolated from protozoans [20].


  1. The human telomere terminal transferase enzyme is a ribonucleoprotein that synthesizes TTAGGG repeats. Morin, G.B. Cell (1989) [Pubmed]
  2. Calcium-dependent protein kinases play an essential role in a plant defence response. Romeis, T., Ludwig, A.A., Martin, R., Jones, J.D. EMBO J. (2001) [Pubmed]
  3. Deletion of the Parkin coregulated gene causes male sterility in the quaking(viable) mouse mutant. Lorenzetti, D., Bishop, C.E., Justice, M.J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2004) [Pubmed]
  4. Evolutionary analyses of the 12-kDa acidic ribosomal P-proteins reveal a distinct protein of higher plant ribosomes. Szick, K., Springer, M., Bailey-Serres, J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1998) [Pubmed]
  5. beta-D-glucosyl-hydroxymethyluracil is a conserved DNA modification in kinetoplastid protozoans and is abundant in their telomeres. van Leeuwen, F., Taylor, M.C., Mondragon, A., Moreau, H., Gibson, W., Kieft, R., Borst, P. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1998) [Pubmed]
  6. The C-terminal TPR Domain of Tom70 Defines a Family of Mitochondrial Protein Import Receptors Found only in Animals and Fungi. Chan, N.C., Likić, V.A., Waller, R.F., Mulhern, T.D., Lithgow, T. J. Mol. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  7. Evidence of p-glycoprotein sequence diversity in cyathostomins. Drogemuller, M., Schnieder, T., von Samson-Himmelstjerna, G. J. Parasitol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  8. Role of nonspecific cytotoxic cells in the induction of programmed cell death of pathogenic protozoans: participation of the Fas ligand-Fas receptor system. Jaso-Friedmann, L., Leary, J.H., Evans, D.L. Exp. Parasitol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  9. Interleukin-15 activates human natural killer cells to clear the intestinal protozoan cryptosporidium. Dann, S.M., Wang, H.C., Gambarin, K.J., Actor, J.K., Robinson, P., Lewis, D.E., Caillat-Zucman, S., White, A.C. J. Infect. Dis. (2005) [Pubmed]
  10. Programmed cell death in parasitic protozoans that lack mitochondria. Chose, O., Sarde, C.O., Gerbod, D., Viscogliosi, E., Roseto, A. Trends Parasitol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  11. PTR1: a reductase mediating salvage of oxidized pteridines and methotrexate resistance in the protozoan parasite Leishmania major. Bello, A.R., Nare, B., Freedman, D., Hardy, L., Beverley, S.M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1994) [Pubmed]
  12. Metabolism of pyrazolo(3,4-d)pyrimidines in Leishmania braziliensis and Leishmania donovani. Allopurinol, oxipurinol, and 4-aminopyrazolo(3,4-d)pyrimidine. Nelson, D.J., Bugge, C.J., Elion, G.B., Berens, R.L., Marr, J.J. J. Biol. Chem. (1979) [Pubmed]
  13. Microbial sialidases: does bigger always mean better? Vimr, E.R. Trends Microbiol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  14. Amphotericin biosynthesis in Streptomyces nodosus: deductions from analysis of polyketide synthase and late genes. Caffrey, P., Lynch, S., Flood, E., Finnan, S., Oliynyk, M. Chem. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  15. Structures of Leishmania major pteridine reductase complexes reveal the active site features important for ligand binding and to guide inhibitor design. Schüttelkopf, A.W., Hardy, L.W., Beverley, S.M., Hunter, W.N. J. Mol. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  16. Phylogenetic classification of prokaryotic and eukaryotic Sir2-like proteins. Frye, R.A. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (2000) [Pubmed]
  17. Mitogen-activated protein kinase in Pfiesteria piscicida and its growth rate-related expression. Lin, S., Zhang, H. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  18. Profile-based data base scanning for animal L-type lectins and characterization of VIPL, a novel VIP36-like endoplasmic reticulum protein. Nufer, O., Mitrovic, S., Hauri, H.P. J. Biol. Chem. (2003) [Pubmed]
  19. Cloning and functional expression of glycosyltransferases from parasitic protozoans by heterologous complementation in yeast: the dolichol phosphate mannose synthase from Trypanosoma brucei brucei. Mazhari-Tabrizi, R., Eckert, V., Blank, M., Müller, R., Mumberg, D., Funk, M., Schwarz, R.T. Biochem. J. (1996) [Pubmed]
  20. Protozoan cell cycle control. Wong, J.T. Biol. Signals (1996) [Pubmed]
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