Many intracellular microbial pathogens subvert, disrupt or otherwise modulate host membrane trafficking pathways to establish a successful infection. Among them, bacteria that are trapped in a phagosome during mammalian cell invasion, disengage the programmed degradation process by altering the identity of their replicative niche through the exclusion or recruitment of specific Rab GTPases to their vacuole. Many viruses co-opt essential cellular trafficking pathways to perform key steps in their lifecycles. Among protozoan parasites, Apicomplexa are obligate intracellular microbes that invade mammalian cells by creating a unique, nonfusogenic membrane-bound compartment that protects the parasites straightaway from lysosomal degradation. Recent compelling evidence demonstrates that apicomplexan parasites are master manipulators of mammalian Rab GTPase proteins, and benefit or antagonise Rab functions for development within host cells. This review covers the exploitation of mammalian Rab proteins and vesicles by Apicomplexa, focusing on Toxoplasma, Neospora, Plasmodium and Theileria parasites.
- intracellular compartmentalisation
- vesicle trafficking
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology