Extracellular functions of glycolytic enzymes of parasites: Unpredicted use of ancient proteins

Amaranta Gomez-Arreaza, Hector Acosta, Wilfredo Quinones, Juan Luis Concepcion, Paul A. M. Michels, Luisana Avilan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


In addition of their usual intracellular localization where they are involved in catalyzing reactions of carbohydrate and energy metabolism by glycolysis, multiple studies have shown that glycolytic enzymes of many organisms, but notably pathogens, can also be present extracellularly. In the case of parasitic protists and helminths, they can be found either secreted or attached to the surface of the parasites. At these extracellular localizations, these enzymes have been shown to perform additional, very different so-called "moonlighting" functions, such as acting as ligands for a variety of components of the host. Due to this recognition, different extracellular glycolytic enzymes participate in various important parasite-host interactions such as adherence and invasion of parasites, modulation of the host's immune and haemostatic systems, promotion of angiogenesis, and acquisition of specific nutrients by the parasites. Accordingly, extracellular glycolytic enzymes are important for the invasion of the parasites and their establishment in the host, and in determining their virulence. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number2
Early online date3 Mar 2014
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Mar 2014


  • Exosomes
  • Extracellular localization
  • Glycolytic enzymes
  • Host-parasite interactions
  • Moonlighting functions
  • Shedding vesicles


Dive into the research topics of 'Extracellular functions of glycolytic enzymes of parasites: Unpredicted use of ancient proteins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this