Apicomplexan autophagy and modulation of autophagy in parasite-infected host cells

Perle Laté de Laté, Miguel Pineda, Margaret Harnett, William Harnett, Sébastien Besteiro, Gordon Langsley

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
108 Downloads (Pure)


Apicomplexan parasites are responsible for a number of important human pathologies. Obviously, as Eukaryotes they share a number of cellular features and pathways with their respective host cells. One of them is autophagy, a process involved in the degradation of the cell's own components. These intracellular parasites nonetheless seem to present a number of original features compared to their very evolutionarily distant host cells. In mammals and other metazoans, autophagy has been identified as an important contributor to the defence against microbial pathogens. Thus, host autophagy also likely plays a key role in the control of apicomplexan parasites, although its potential manipulation and subversion by intracellular parasites creates a complex interplay in the regulation of host and parasite autophagy. In this mini-review, we summarise current knowledge on autophagy in both parasites and their host cells, in the context of infection by three Apicomplexa: Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, and Theileria.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalBiomedical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2017


  • apicomplexan parasites
  • autophagy
  • Plasmodium
  • Toxoplasma
  • Theileria
  • cell signalling
  • host cell


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