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  1. The flagellar contribution to the apical complex [PDF]
  2. The role of the apical complex in controlling cell proliferation [PDF]
  3. Evidence of Intraflagellar Transport and Apical Complex Formation [PDF]
  4. The 3D Structure of the Apical Complex and Association [PDF]
  5. Evolutionary conservation within the apical complex [PDF]
  6. Apical complex [PPT]
  7. Apicomplexa_pre lab_presentation.ppt [PPT]
  8. Simple Fitting for Complex Corneas [DOC]


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Article About Apical Complex Definition and Function



Apical Complex Definition

The apical complex is the definitive cell structure of phylum Apicomplexa, and is the focus of the events of host cell penetration and the establishment of intracellular parasitism. Despite the importance of this structure, its molecular composition is relatively poorly known and few studies have experimentally tested its functions.

Apical complex is a group of cytoskeletal structures and associated membrane-bounded organelles found at the anterior end of adult obligate intracellular protozoan parasites in the phylum Apicomplexa. The apical complex is involved in attachment to and penetration of the host cell, and in parasite proliferation.

Apical Complex

We have characterized a novel Toxoplasma gondii protein, RNG2, that is located at the apical polar ring—the common structural element of apical complexes. During cell division, RNG2 is first recruited to centrosomes immediately after their duplication, confirming that assembly of the new apical complex commences as one of the earliest events of cell replication. RNG2 subsequently forms a ring, with the carboxy- and amino-termini anchored to the apical polar ring and mobile conoid, respectively, linking these two structures.

Super-resolution microscopy resolves these two termini, and reveals that RNG2 orientation flips during invasion when the conoid is extruded. Inducible knockdown of RNG2 strongly inhibits host cell invasion. Consistent with this, secretion of micronemes is prevented in the absence of RNG2. This block, however, can be fully or partially overcome by exogenous stimulation of calcium or cGMP signaling pathways, respectively, implicating the apical complex directly in these signaling events. RNG2 demonstrates for the first time a role for the apical complex in controlling secretion of invasion factors in this important group of parasites.

Apicomplexans are obligate parasites of metazoans that non-destructively enter their host cells. Here they feed and replicate before destructively escaping in search of further cells to invade. Apicomplexa comprises over 6000 species that parasitize virtually every animal group. The malaria-causing parasites, Plasmodium spp., are best known for their pattern of invasion and release from human red blood cells, causing cyclic fevers and the symptoms of malaria that annually result in 0.6 to 1 million deaths per year and morbidity in up to 220 million people.

Toxoplasma gondii can infect most nucleated mammalian cell types and infects approximately one third of the human population. Human infections are typically relatively asymptomatic, however T. gondii causes acute and even fatal disease in immuno-compromised individuals (encephalitis and ocular disease), severe or lethal developmental defects in unborn fetuses, and significant agricultural losses through miscarriage in livestock. Early-diverging apicomplexans (gregarines) are limited to invertebrate hosts and their invasion is incomplete, with feeding often achieved through the apical tip of the parasite being intimately buried within the host cell

Apical Complex Function

Its function is the primary meristem. The apical Meristem is divided into two key areas, namely: promeristem, prokambium and ground meristem can be distinguished. The system will generate the Promeristem epidermal apical meristem, area transport network prokambium generates the primary and basic meristem will form the basic network in plants such as parenkima and sklerenkima and the cortex and pith and kolenkima cortex. its function is the primary meristem.

The apical Meristem is divided into two key areas, namely: promeristem, prokambium and ground meristem can be distinguished. The system will generate the Promeristem epidermal apical meristem, area transport network prokambium generates the primary and basic meristem will form the basic network in plants such as parenkima and sklerenkima and the cortex and pith and kolenkima cortex.

Apicomplexan parasites comprise major human pathogens, including the malaria-causing parasites Plasmodium spp., and Toxoplasma gondii that causes birth defects and neurological disorders. Key to the success of this group was the evolution of the apical complex, a structure at the focus of the events of host cell invasion.

This structure was recently shown to derive from elements of the flagellar apparatus, and rudiments of an apical complex are used for feeding in related protists. Evolution of host cell invasion in Apicomplexa has entailed development of a coordinated secretion of invasion factors from the cell apex. Little is known, however, of the behaviour or function of the components of the apical complex during invasion. We have characterized a new protein, RNG2, that forms a ring at the heart of the apical complex in T. gondii.

Read also: Material About Apical Meristem Complete [PDF PPT DOC]


This is a dynamic ring that links the mobile conoid with the apical polar ring, and is assembled as one of the first structures in replicating parasites. When RNG2 is artificially depleted, cells become insensitive to the molecular cues for secretion, and invasion of host cells is blocked. This reveals that the apical complex participates directly in regulating secretion, and controlling the events of invasion.
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