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Academic Editor: Sergio Angel
Palmitoylation plays an important role in the regulation of the localization and function of the modified protein. Although many aspects of protein palmitoylation have been identified in mammalian and yeast cells, little information is available of this modification in protozoan parasites. Protein palmitoylation has been described for a few set of proteins in E.tenella, P. falciparum, T. gondii, G. lamblia and T. cruzi. Interestingly, in all these parasites palmitoylated proteins appears to be involved in vital processes such as invasion and motility. In addition, most of these parasites contain in their genomes genes that encode for putative palmitoyl-acyl transferases, the enzymes catalyzing the palmitoylation reaction. Although protein palmitoylation could be playing key roles in invasion and motility in a variety of parasites, little is known about this important reversible modification of proteins that typically plays a role in membrane tethering. As such, this review will focus on the main features of protein palmitoylation as well as provide an overview of the state of knowledge of this modification in protozoan parasites.