Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 452958, 6 pages
Research Article

Comparative Analysis of Apicoplast-Targeted Protein Extension Lengths in Apicomplexan Parasites

Institute for Information Transmission Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Kharkevich Institute), Bolshoy Karetny Pereulok 19, Moscow 127994, Russia

Received 10 September 2014; Accepted 25 December 2014

Academic Editor: William H. Piel

Copyright © 2015 Alexandr V. Seliverstov et al. 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 general, the mechanism of protein translocation through the apicoplast membrane requires a specific extension of a functionally important region of the apicoplast-targeted proteins. The corresponding signal peptides were detected in many apicomplexans but not in the majority of apicoplast-targeted proteins in Toxoplasma gondii. In T. gondii signal peptides are either much diverged or their extension region is processed, which in either case makes the situation different from other studied apicomplexans. We propose a statistic method to compare extensions of the functionally important regions of apicoplast-targeted proteins. More specifically, we provide a comparison of extension lengths of orthologous apicoplast-targeted proteins in apicomplexan parasites. We focus on results obtained for the model species T. gondii, Neospora caninum, and Plasmodium falciparum. With our method, cross species comparisons demonstrate that, in average, apicoplast-targeted protein extensions in T. gondii are 1.5-fold longer than in N. caninum and 2-fold longer than in P. falciparum. Extensions in P. falciparum less than 87 residues in size are longer than the corresponding extensions in N. caninum and, reversely, are shorter if they exceed 88 residues.