Composition and sensory function of the trypanosome flagellar membrane

Danijela Maric, Conrad L. Epting, David M. Engman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


A cilium is an extension of the cell that contains an axonemal complex of microtubules and associated proteins bounded by a membrane which is contiguous with the cell body membrane. Cilia may be nonmotile or motile, the latter having additional specific roles in cell or fluid movement. The term flagellum refers to the motile cilium of free-living single cells (e.g. bacteria, archaea, spermatozoa, and protozoa). In eukaryotes, both nonmotile and motile cilia possess sensory functions. The ciliary interior (cilioplasm) is separated from the cytoplasm by a selective barrier that prevents passive diffusion of molecules between the two domains. The sensory functions of cilia reside largely in the membrane and signals generated in the cilium are transduced into a variety of cellular responses. In this review we discuss the structure and biogenesis of the cilium, with special attention to the trypanosome flagellar membrane, its lipid and protein composition and its proposed roles in sensing and signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-472
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Composition and sensory function of the trypanosome flagellar membrane'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this