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mRNA export in the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii: emerging divergent components of a crucial pathway

Ávila, Andréa Rodrigues, Cabezas-Cruz, Alexjandro, Gissot, Mathieu
Parasites & vectors 2018 v.11 no.1 pp. 62
RNA transport, Toxoplasma gondii, antiprotozoal agents, eukaryotic cells, genetic engineering, messenger RNA, parasites, proteins, proteomics
Control of gene expression is crucial for parasite survival and is the result of a series of processes that are regulated to permit fine-tuning of gene expression in response to biological changes during the life-cycle of apicomplexan parasites. Control of mRNA nuclear export is a key process in eukaryotic cells but is poorly understood in apicomplexan parasites. Here, we review recent knowledge regarding this process with an emphasis on T. gondii. We describe the presence of divergent orthologs and discuss structural and functional differences in export factors between apicomplexans and other eukaryotic lineages. Undoubtedly, the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system in high throughput screenings associated with the discovery of mRNA nuclear export complexes by proteomic analysis will contribute to identify these divergent factors. Ligand-based or structure-based strategies may be applied to investigate the potential use of these proteins as targets for new antiprotozoal agents.