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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012, Article ID 452934, 16 pages
Review Article

Lysine Acetylation: Elucidating the Components of an Emerging Global Signaling Pathway in Trypanosomes

1Departamento de Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias Bioquímicas y Farmacéuticas, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Suipacha 531, Rosario 2000, Argentina
2Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Rosario, CONICET-UNR, Suipacha 590, Rosario 2000, Argentina

Received 17 April 2012; Revised 20 July 2012; Accepted 30 July 2012

Academic Editor: Andrea Silvana Rópolo

Copyright © 2012 Victoria Lucia Alonso and Esteban Carlos Serra. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the past ten years the number of acetylated proteins reported in literature grew exponentially. Several authors have proposed that acetylation might be a key component in most eukaryotic signaling pathways, as important as phosphorylation. The enzymes involved in this process are starting to emerge; acetyltransferases and deacetylases are found inside and outside the nuclear compartment and have different regulatory functions. In trypanosomatids several of these enzymes have been described and are postulated to be novel antiparasitic targets for the rational design of drugs. In this paper we overview the most important known acetylated proteins and the advances made in the identification of new acetylated proteins using high-resolution mass spectrometry. Also, we summarize what is known so far about the acetyltransferases and deacetylases in eukaryotes, focusing on trypanosomes and their potential use as chemotherapeutic targets.