Flagellum assembly and function during the Leishmania life cycle.
Gluenz E., Ginger ML., McKean PG.
During a complex digenetic life cycle flagellated Leishmania parasites alternate between promastigote and amastigote forms which differ significantly in cellular morphology and flagellum length. Recent studies have provided important new insights into mechanisms by which Leishmania regulate expression of genes required for flagellum assembly, and mechanisms used to modify flagellum length. While the critical role of the promastigote flagellum in parasite biology has long been appreciated, the importance of the amastigote flagellum has often been disregarded. However, recent work suggests that the 'rudimentary' amastigote flagellum may serve indispensable roles in cellular organisation, and/or sensory perception, which are critical for intracellular survival of Leishmania within host macrophages.