Receptor-mediated endocytosis for drug delivery in African trypanosomes: Fulfilling Paul Ehrlich's vision of chemotherapy

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Bloodstream-form cells of Trypanosoma brucei exhibit massively increased endocytic activity relative to the insect midgut stage, enabling rapid recycling of variant surface glycoprotein and antibody clearance from the surface. In addition, recent advances have identified a role for receptor-mediated endocytosis in the uptake of the antitrypanosomal drug, suramin, via invariant surface glycoprotein 75, and in the uptake of trypanosome lytic factor 1 via haptoglobin-haemoglobin receptor. Here, we argue that receptor-mediated endocytosis represents both a validated drug target and a promising route for the delivery of novel therapeutics into trypanosomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Parasitology
Issue number5
Early online date17 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - May 2013



  • Drug delivery
  • Endocytosis
  • Suramin
  • Trypanolytic factor
  • Trypanosoma brucei

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