Apoptotic markers in protozoan parasites

Antonio Jimenez-Ruiz, Juan Fernando Alzate, Ewan Thomas MacLeod, Carsten Guenter Kurt Lueder, Nicolas Fasel, Hilary Hurd

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The execution of the apoptotic death program in metazoans is characterized by a sequence of morphological and biochemical changes that include cell shrinkage, presentation of phosphatidylserine at the cell surface, mitochondrial alterations, chromatin condensation, nuclear fragmentation, membrane blebbing and the formation of apoptotic bodies. Methodologies for measuring apoptosis are based on these markers. Except for membrane blebbing and formation of apoptotic bodies, all other events have been observed in most protozoan parasites undergoing cell death. However, while techniques exist to detect these markers, they are often optimised for metazoan cells and therefore may not pick up subtle differences between the events occurring in unicellular organisms and multicellular organisms.

In this review we discuss the markers most frequently used to analyze cell death in protozoan parasites, paying special attention to changes in cell morphology, mitochondrial activity, chromatin structure and plasma membrane structure/permeability. Regarding classical regulators/executors of apoptosis, we have reviewed the present knowledge of caspase-like and nuclease activities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages15
JournalParasites and Vectors
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Apoptotic markers in protozoan parasites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this