During infection into human host, the mitochondrial organelles of malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum in sexual blood stages (gametocytes) have been found to be morphologically different from those of asexual blood stages. In this paper we will review recent findings on the existence of mitochondrial heterogeneity based on their characteristics on ultrastructure, biochemically active and differentially expression of their genes in the two blood stages of the parasite. The functional role of the mitochondrion in the parasite is proposed as a coordinator among pyrimidine biosynthesis, electron transport system and oxygen utilization. Furthermore, we will provide our results to indicate that the mitochondrion is a potential chemotherapeutic target for antimalarial drug development.
Buy this Article