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A key morphological feature of kinetoplastid parasites is the position and length of flagellum attachment to the cell body. This lateral attachment is mediated by the flagellum attachment zone (FAZ), a large complex cytoskeletal structure, which is essential for parasite morphogenesis and pathogenicity. Despite the complexity of the FAZ only two transmembrane proteins, FLA1 and FLA1BP, are known to interact and connect the flagellum to the cell body. Across the different kinetoplastid species, each only has a single FLA/FLABP pair, except in Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma congolense where there has been an expansion of these genes. Here, we focus on the selection pressure behind the evolution of the FLA/FLABP proteins and the likely impact this will have on host-parasite interactions. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.


Laryssa Vanessa de Liz, Patrícia Hermes Stoco, Jack D Sunter. Cell-to-flagellum attachment and surface architecture in kinetoplastids. Trends in parasitology. 2023 May;39(5):332-344

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PMID: 36933967

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