Flagellar membrane proteins in kinetoplastid parasites

Scott M. Landfear, Khoa D. Tran, Marco A. Sanchez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


All kinetoplastid parasites, including protozoa such as Leishmania species, Trypanosoma brucei, and Trypanosoma cruzi that cause devastating diseases in humans and animals, are flagellated throughout their life cycles. Although flagella were originally thought of primarily as motility organelles, flagellar functions in other critical processes, especially in sensing and signal transduction, have become more fully appreciated in the recent past. The flagellar membrane is a highly specialized subdomain of the surface membrane, and flagellar membrane proteins are likely to be critical components for all the biologically important roles of flagella. In this review, we summarize recent discoveries relevant to flagellar membrane proteins in these parasites, including the identification of such proteins, investigation of their biological functions, and mechanisms of selective trafficking to the flagellar membrane. Prospects for future investigations and current unsolved problems are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-676
Number of pages9
JournalIUBMB Life
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • channels
  • environmental sensing
  • flagellar membrane
  • kinetoplastid parasites
  • receptors
  • subcellular targeting
  • transporters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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