Table of Contents
Molecular Biology International
Volume 2011, Article ID 123702, 10 pages
Review Article

Glycolysis in the African Trypanosome: Targeting Enzymes and Their Subcellular Compartments for Therapeutic Development

Department of Genetics and Biochemistry, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA

Received 30 December 2010; Accepted 16 February 2011

Academic Editor: Kwang Poo Chang

Copyright © 2011 April F. Coley 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.


Subspecies of the African trypanosome, Trypanosoma brucei, which cause human African trypanosomiasis, are transmitted by the tsetse fly, with transmission-essential lifecycle stages occurring in both the insect vector and human host. During infection of the human host, the parasite is limited to using glycolysis of host sugar for ATP production. This dependence on glucose breakdown presents a series of targets for potential therapeutic development, many of which have been explored and validated as therapeutic targets experimentally. These include enzymes directly involved in glucose metabolism (e.g., the trypanosome hexokinases), as well as cellular components required for development and maintenance of the essential subcellular compartments that house the major part of the pathway, the glycosomes.