The present review addresses basic aspects of the biology of the pathogenic protozoa Trypanosoma
cruzi and some comparative information of Trypanosoma brucei. Like eukaryotic cells, their cellular organization
is similar to that of mammalian hosts. However, these parasites present structural particularities. That is
why the following topics are emphasized in this paper: developmental stages of the life cycle in the vertebrate
and invertebrate hosts; the cytoskeleton of the protozoa, especially the sub-pellicular microtubules; the flagellum
and its attachment to the protozoan body through specialized junctions; the kinetoplast-mitochondrion
complex, including its structural organization and DNA replication; glycosome and its role in the metabolism of
the cell; acidocalcisome, describing its morphology, biochemistry, and functional role; cytostome and the endocytic
pathway; the organization of the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex; the nucleus, describing its
structural organization during interphase and division; and the process of interaction of the parasite with host
cells. The unique characteristics of these structures also make them interesting chemotherapeutic targets. Therefore,
further understanding of cell biology aspects contributes to the development of drugs for chemotherapy.
Keywords: Cell biology, drug targets, phylogeny, kinetoplastid, trypanosomatids, Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei, ultrastructure.
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