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Sample records for plasmodium falciparum pf

  1. Monitoring PfMDR1 transport in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiling, Sarah J; Rohrbach, Petra

    2015-07-15

    The Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance 1 transporter, PfMDR1, contains five amino acid polymorphisms that are suggested to be involved in altered drug transport from the parasite's cytosol into the digestive vacuole (DV). Transport of a substrate into another intracellular compartment influences drug availability at its site of action, therefore making the parasite more susceptible or resistant to a drug. Fluo-4 is a known fluorescent substrate that can be used as a molecular tool to investigate transport dynamics of PfMDR1 in many parasite strains. Six P. falciparum strains with varying PfMDR1 mutations were loaded with Fluo-4 AM. Accumulation of the fluorophore in the DV was measured using confocal microscopy. The role of a key amino acid mutation was verified using selected parasite clones with point mutations at PfMDR1 amino acid position 1042. Equal expression of PfMDR1 was confirmed by Western blot. Fluo-4 was transported by PfMDR1 into the DV of most drug-sensitive and -resistant parasites. Asparagine at PfMDR1 amino acid position 1042 was crucial for Fluo-4 transport, while the N1042D substitution abolished Fluo-4 transport. Competition studies of Fluo-4 with chloroquine, quinine and mefloquine were performed on parasites harbouring asparagine at position 1042. A distinct Fluo-4 transport inhibition pattern for each tested anti-malarial drug was observed in parasite strains of different genetic background. This study demonstrates that Fluo-4 can be used to investigate PfMDR1 transport dynamics in both drug-sensitive and -resistant parasites. Furthermore, direct evidence of altered Fluo-4 transport in PfMDR1 is linked to a single amino acid mutation in the substrate binding pocket. This system offers a great tool to investigate the role of substrate transport by PfMDR1 and the mutations necessary to support transport, which would lead to new insights for the development of novel anti-malarial drugs.

  2. Protection against Plasmodium falciparum malaria by PfSPZ Vaccine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Judith E.; Paolino, Kristopher M.; Richie, Thomas L.; Sedegah, Martha; Singer, Alexandra; Ruben, Adam J.; Chakravarty, Sumana; Stafford, April; Ruck, Richard C.; Eappen, Abraham G.; Billingsley, Peter F.; Manoj, Anita; Moser, Kara; Nielsen, Robin; Tosh, Donna; Cicatelli, Susan; Ganeshan, Harini; Case, Jessica; Padilla, Debbie; Davidson, Silas; Saverino, Elizabeth; Murshedkar, Tooba; Gunasekera, Anusha; Twomey, Patrick S.; Reyes, Sharina; Moon, James E.; James, Eric R.; KC, Natasha; Li, Minglin; Abot, Esteban; Belmonte, Arnel; Hauns, Kevin; Belmonte, Maria; Huang, Jun; Vasquez, Carlos; Remich, Shon; Carrington, Mary; Abebe, Yonas; Tillman, Amy; Hickey, Bradley; Regules, Jason; Villasante, Eileen; Sim, B. Kim Lee

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: A radiation-attenuated Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) sporozoite (SPZ) malaria vaccine, PfSPZ Vaccine, protected 6 of 6 subjects (100%) against homologous Pf (same strain as in the vaccine) controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) 3 weeks after 5 doses administered intravenously. The next step was to assess protective efficacy against heterologous Pf (different from Pf in the vaccine), after fewer doses, and at 24 weeks. METHODS: The trial assessed tolerability, safety, immunogenicity, and protective efficacy of direct venous inoculation (DVI) of 3 or 5 doses of PfSPZ Vaccine in non-immune subjects. RESULTS: Three weeks after final immunization, 5 doses of 2.7 × 105 PfSPZ protected 12 of 13 recipients (92.3% [95% CI: 48.0, 99.8]) against homologous CHMI and 4 of 5 (80.0% [10.4, 99.5]) against heterologous CHMI; 3 doses of 4.5 × 105 PfSPZ protected 13 of 15 (86.7% [35.9, 98.3]) against homologous CHMI. Twenty-four weeks after final immunization, the 5-dose regimen protected 7 of 10 (70.0% [17.3, 93.3]) against homologous and 1 of 10 (10.0% [–35.8, 45.6]) against heterologous CHMI; the 3-dose regimen protected 8 of 14 (57.1% [21.5, 76.6]) against homologous CHMI. All 22 controls developed Pf parasitemia. PfSPZ Vaccine was well tolerated, safe, and easy to administer. No antibody or T cell responses correlated with protection. CONCLUSIONS: We have demonstrated for the first time to our knowledge that PfSPZ Vaccine can protect against a 3-week heterologous CHMI in a limited group of malaria-naive adult subjects. A 3-dose regimen protected against both 3-week and 24-week homologous CHMI (87% and 57%, respectively) in this population. These results provide a foundation for developing an optimized immunization regimen for preventing malaria. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02215707. FUNDING: Support was provided through the US Army Medical Research and Development Command, Military Infectious Diseases Research Program, and the Naval Medical Research

  3. PfSETvs methylation of histone H3K36 represses virulence genes in Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jiang, Lubin; Mu, Jianbing; Zhang, Qingfeng

    2013-01-01

    The variant antigen Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), which is expressed on the surface of P. falciparum-infected red blood cells, is a critical virulence factor for malaria. Each parasite has 60 antigenically distinct var genes that each code for a different PfEMP1...

  4. Characterisation of the Plasmodium falciparum Hsp70-Hsp90 organising protein (PfHop).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitau, Grace W; Mandal, Pradipta; Blatch, Gregory L; Przyborski, Jude; Shonhai, Addmore

    2012-03-01

    Malaria is caused by Plasmodium species, whose transmission to vertebrate hosts is facilitated by mosquito vectors. The transition from the cold blooded mosquito vector to the host represents physiological stress to the parasite, and additionally malaria blood stage infection is characterised by intense fever periods. In recent years, it has become clear that heat shock proteins play an essential role during the parasite's life cycle. Plasmodium falciparum expresses two prominent heat shock proteins: heat shock protein 70 (PfHsp70) and heat shock protein 90 (PfHsp90). Both of these proteins have been implicated in the development and pathogenesis of malaria. In eukaryotes, Hsp70 and Hsp90 proteins are functionally linked by an essential adaptor protein known as the Hsp70-Hsp90 organising protein (Hop). In this study, recombinant P. falciparum Hop (PfHop) was heterologously produced in E. coli and purified by nickel affinity chromatography. Using specific anti-PfHop antisera, the expression and localisation of PfHop in P. falciparum was investigated. PfHop was shown to co-localise with PfHsp70 and PfHsp90 in parasites at the trophozoite stage. Gel filtration and co-immunoprecipitation experiments suggested that PfHop was present in a complex together with PfHsp70 and PfHsp90. The association of PfHop with both PfHsp70 and PfHsp90 suggests that this protein may mediate the functional interaction between the two chaperones.

  5. Regulation of Plasmodium falciparum Glideosome Associated Protein 45 (PfGAP45) Phosphorylation

    OpenAIRE

    Divya Catherine Thomas; Anwar Ahmed; Tim Wolf Gilberger; Pushkar Sharma

    2012-01-01

    The actomyosin motor complex of the glideosome provides the force needed by apicomplexan parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii (Tg) and Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) to invade their host cells and for gliding motility of their motile forms. Glideosome Associated Protein 45 (PfGAP45) is an essential component of the glideosome complex as it facilitates anchoring and effective functioning of the motor. Dissection of events that regulate PfGAP45 may provide insights into how the motor and the glideos...

  6. Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocyte knob density is linked to the PfEMP1 variant expressed

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Subramani, Ramesh; Quadt, Katharina; Jeppesen, Anine Engholm

    2015-01-01

    regardless of the PfEMP1 expressed. Our study documents for the first time that knob density is related to the PfEMP1 variant expressed. This may reflect topological requirements to ensure optimal adhesive properties of the IEs. IMPORTANCE: Infections with Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites are still...... responsible for many deaths, especially among children and pregnant women. New interventions are needed to reduce severe illness and deaths caused by this malaria parasite. Thus, a better understanding of the mechanisms behind the pathogenesis is essential. A main reason why Plasmodium falciparum malaria......UNLABELLED: Members of the clonally variant Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family mediate adhesion of infected erythrocytes (IEs) to vascular receptors. PfEMP1 expression is normally confined to nanoscale knob protrusions on the IE surface membrane. To investigate...

  7. Plasmodium falciparum-Infected Erythrocyte Knob Density Is Linked to the PfEMP1 Variant Expressed

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Subramani, Ramesh; Quadt, Katharina; Jeppesen, Anine Engholm;

    2015-01-01

    UNLABELLED: Members of the clonally variant Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family mediate adhesion of infected erythrocytes (IEs) to vascular receptors. PfEMP1 expression is normally confined to nanoscale knob protrusions on the IE surface membrane. To investigate...... regardless of the PfEMP1 expressed. Our study documents for the first time that knob density is related to the PfEMP1 variant expressed. This may reflect topological requirements to ensure optimal adhesive properties of the IEs. IMPORTANCE: Infections with Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites are still...... responsible for many deaths, especially among children and pregnant women. New interventions are needed to reduce severe illness and deaths caused by this malaria parasite. Thus, a better understanding of the mechanisms behind the pathogenesis is essential. A main reason why Plasmodium falciparum malaria...

  8. ION-EXCHANGE IMMUNOAFFINITY PURIFICATION OF A RECOMBINANT BACULOVIRUS PLASMODIUM-FALCIPARUM APICAL MEMBRANE ANTIGEN, PF83/AMA-1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    NARUM, DL; WELLING, GW; THOMAS, AW

    1993-01-01

    A two-step purification regime has been developed for a quantitatively minor, putatively transmembrane, M(r) 83 000, apical membrane blood stage vaccine candidate antigen of Plasmodium falciparum (PF83/AMA-1), that has been expressed as a full-length baculovirus recombinant protein, PF83-FG8-1. The

  9. Progress with Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite (PfSPZ)-based malaria vaccines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richie, Thomas L.; Billingsley, Peter F.; Sim, B. Kim Lee; James, Eric R.; Chakravarty, Sumana; Epstein, Judith E.; Lyke, Kirsten E.; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Alonso, Pedro; Duffy, Patrick E.; Doumbo, Ogobara K.; Sauerwein, Robert W.; Tanner, Marcel; Abdulla, Salim; Kremsner, Peter G.; Seder, Robert A.; Hoffman, Stephen L.

    2016-01-01

    Sanaria Inc. has developed methods to manufacture, purify and cryopreserve aseptic Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) sporozoites (SPZ), and is using this platform technology to develop an injectable PfSPZ-based vaccine that provides high-grade, durable protection against infection with Pf malaria. Several candidate vaccines are being developed and tested, including PfSPZ Vaccine, in which the PfSPZ are attenuated by irradiation, PfSPZ-CVac, in which fully infectious PfSPZ are attenuated in vivo by concomitant administration of an anti-malarial drug, and PfSPZ-GA1, in which the PfSPZ are attenuated by gene knockout. Forty-three research groups in 15 countries, organized as the International PfSPZ Consortium (I-PfSPZ-C), are collaborating to advance this program by providing intellectual, clinical, and financial support. Fourteen clinical trials of these products have been completed in the USA, Europe and Africa, two are underway and at least 12 more are planned for 2015–2016 in the US (four trials), Germany (2 trials), Tanzania, Kenya, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Equatorial Guinea. Sanaria anticipates application to license a first generation product as early as late 2017, initially to protect adults, and a year later to protect all persons >6 months of age for at least six months. Improved vaccine candidates will be advanced as needed until the following requirements have been met: long-term protection against natural transmission, excellent safety and tolerability, and operational feasibility for population-wide administration. Here we describe the three most developed whole PfSPZ vaccine candidates, associated clinical trials, initial plans for licensure and deployment, and long-term objectives for a final product suitable for mass administration to achieve regional malaria elimination and eventual global eradication. PMID:26469720

  10. Progress with Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite (PfSPZ)-based malaria vaccines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richie, Thomas L; Billingsley, Peter F; Sim, B Kim Lee; James, Eric R; Chakravarty, Sumana; Epstein, Judith E; Lyke, Kirsten E; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Alonso, Pedro; Duffy, Patrick E; Doumbo, Ogobara K; Sauerwein, Robert W; Tanner, Marcel; Abdulla, Salim; Kremsner, Peter G; Seder, Robert A; Hoffman, Stephen L

    2015-12-22

    Sanaria Inc. has developed methods to manufacture, purify and cryopreserve aseptic Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) sporozoites (SPZ), and is using this platform technology to develop an injectable PfSPZ-based vaccine that provides high-grade, durable protection against infection with Pf malaria. Several candidate vaccines are being developed and tested, including PfSPZ Vaccine, in which the PfSPZ are attenuated by irradiation, PfSPZ-CVac, in which fully infectious PfSPZ are attenuated in vivo by concomitant administration of an anti-malarial drug, and PfSPZ-GA1, in which the PfSPZ are attenuated by gene knockout. Forty-three research groups in 15 countries, organized as the International PfSPZ Consortium (I-PfSPZ-C), are collaborating to advance this program by providing intellectual, clinical, and financial support. Fourteen clinical trials of these products have been completed in the USA, Europe and Africa, two are underway and at least 12 more are planned for 2015-2016 in the US (four trials), Germany (2 trials), Tanzania, Kenya, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Equatorial Guinea. Sanaria anticipates application to license a first generation product as early as late 2017, initially to protect adults, and a year later to protect all persons >6 months of age for at least six months. Improved vaccine candidates will be advanced as needed until the following requirements have been met: long-term protection against natural transmission, excellent safety and tolerability, and operational feasibility for population-wide administration. Here we describe the three most developed whole PfSPZ vaccine candidates, associated clinical trials, initial plans for licensure and deployment, and long-term objectives for a final product suitable for mass administration to achieve regional malaria elimination and eventual global eradication.

  11. Assessment of Plasmodium falciparum PfMDR1 transport rates using Fluo-4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedrich, O; Reiling, S J; Wunderlich, J; Rohrbach, P

    2014-09-01

    Mutations in the multidrug resistance transporter of Plasmodium falciparum PfMDR1 have been implicated to play a significant role in the emergence of worldwide drug resistance, yet the molecular and biochemical mechanisms of this transporter are not well understood. Although it is generally accepted that drug resistance in P. falciparum is partly associated with PfMDR1 transport activity situated in the membrane of the digestive vacuole, direct estimates of the pump rate of this transport process in the natural environment of the intact host-parasite system have never been analysed. The fluorochrome Fluo-4 is a well-documented surrogate substrate of PfMDR1 and has been found to accumulate by actively being transported into the digestive vacuole of several parasitic strains. In the present study, we designed an approach to use Fluo-4 fluorescence uptake as a measure of compartmental Fluo-4 concentration accumulation in the different compartments of the host-parasite system. We performed a 'reverse Fluo-4 imaging' approach to relate fluorescence intensity to changes in dye concentration rather than Ca(2+) fluctuations and were able to calculate the overall rate of transport for PfMDR1 in Dd2 parasites. With this assay, we provide a powerful method to selectively measure the effect of PfMDR1 mutations on substrate transport kinetics. This will be of high significance for future compound screening to test for new drugs in resistant P. falciparum strains. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

  12. Enhancing blockade of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte invasion: assessing combinations of antibodies against PfRH5 and other merozoite antigens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew R Williams

    Full Text Available No vaccine has yet proven effective against the blood-stages of Plasmodium falciparum, which cause the symptoms and severe manifestations of malaria. We recently found that PfRH5, a P. falciparum-specific protein expressed in merozoites, is efficiently targeted by broadly-neutralizing, vaccine-induced antibodies. Here we show that antibodies against PfRH5 efficiently inhibit the in vitro growth of short-term-adapted parasite isolates from Cambodia, and that the EC(50 values of antigen-specific antibodies against PfRH5 are lower than those against PfAMA1. Since antibody responses elicited by multiple antigens are speculated to improve the efficacy of blood-stage vaccines, we conducted detailed assessments of parasite growth inhibition by antibodies against PfRH5 in combination with antibodies against seven other merozoite antigens. We found that antibodies against PfRH5 act synergistically with antibodies against certain other merozoite antigens, most notably with antibodies against other erythrocyte-binding antigens such as PfRH4, to inhibit the growth of a homologous P. falciparum clone. A combination of antibodies against PfRH4 and basigin, the erythrocyte receptor for PfRH5, also potently inhibited parasite growth. This methodology provides the first quantitative evidence that polyclonal vaccine-induced antibodies can act synergistically against P. falciparum antigens and should help to guide the rational development of future multi-antigen vaccines.

  13. Functional Comparison of 45 Naturally Occurring Isoforms of the Plasmodium falciparum Chloroquine Resistance Transporter (PfCRT).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callaghan, Paul S; Hassett, Matthew R; Roepe, Paul D

    2015-08-18

    At least 53 distinct isoforms of Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) protein are expressed in strains or isolates of P. falciparum malarial parasites from around the globe. These parasites exhibit a range of sensitivities to chloroquine (CQ) and other drugs. Mutant PfCRT is believed to confer cytostatic CQ resistance (CQR(CS)) by transporting CQ away from its DV target (free heme released upon hemoglobin digestion). One theory is that variable CQ transport catalyzed by these different PfCRT isoforms is responsible for the range of CQ sensitivities now found for P. falciparum. Alternatively, additional mutations in drug-selected parasites, or additional functions of PfCRT, might complement PfCRT-mediated CQ transport in conferring the range of observed resistance phenotypes. To distinguish between these possibilities, we recently optimized a convenient method for measuring PfCRT-mediated CQ transport, involving heterologous expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here, we use this method to quantify drug transport activity for 45 of 53 of the naturally occurring PfCRT isoforms. Data show that variable levels of CQR likely depend upon either additional PfCRT functions or additional genetic events, including perhaps changes that influence DV membrane potential. The data also suggest that the common K76T PfCRT mutation that is often used to distinguish a P. falciparum CQR phenotype is not, in and of itself, a fully reliable indicator of CQR status.

  14. Initial characterization of the Pf-Int recombinase from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Mehdi Ghorbal

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Genetic variation is an essential means of evolution and adaptation in many organisms in response to environmental change. Certain DNA alterations can be carried out by site-specific recombinases (SSRs that fall into two families: the serine and the tyrosine recombinases. SSRs are seldom found in eukaryotes. A gene homologous to a tyrosine site-specific recombinase has been identified in the genome of Plasmodium falciparum. The sequence is highly conserved among five other members of Plasmodia. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The predicted open reading frame encodes for a ∼57 kDa protein containing a C-terminal domain including the putative tyrosine recombinase conserved active site residues R-H-R-(H/W-Y. The N-terminus has the typical alpha-helical bundle and potentially a mixed alpha-beta domain resembling that of λ-Int. Pf-Int mRNA is expressed differentially during the P. falciparum erythrocytic life stages, peaking in the schizont stage. Recombinant Pf-Int and affinity chromatography of DNA from genomic or synthetic origin were used to identify potential DNA targets after sequencing or micro-array hybridization. Interestingly, the sequences captured also included highly variable subtelomeric genes such as var, rif, and stevor sequences. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays with DNA were carried out to verify Pf-Int/DNA binding. Finally, Pf-Int knock-out parasites were created in order to investigate the biological role of Pf-Int. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data identify for the first time a malaria parasite gene with structural and functional features of recombinases. Pf-Int may bind to and alter DNA, either in a sequence specific or in a non-specific fashion, and may contribute to programmed or random DNA rearrangements. Pf-Int is the first molecular player identified with a potential role in genome plasticity in this pathogen. Finally, Pf-Int knock-out parasite is viable showing no detectable impact on blood stage

  15. Plasmodium falciparum double C2 domain protein, PfDOC2, binds to calcium when associated with membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jean, Sophonie; Zapata-Jenks, Mónica A; Farley, Julie M; Tracy, Erin; Mayer, D C Ghislaine

    2014-09-01

    The pathogenesis of malaria is strongly correlated with secretion of the micronemes, the apical organelles which contain the adhesins required for invasion of Plasmodium falciparum into human erythrocytes. A critical event in P. falciparum erythrocyte invasion is the production of calcium transients. After entering the cell, Ca(2+) binds to soluble Ca(2+)-binding proteins, such as the double C2 domains (DOC2). Recently, deletion of a P. falciparum DOC2 protein, PfDOC2, was shown to cause impairment in microneme secretion. However, PfDOC2 remains poorly characterized. Here, we report that PfDOC2 is expressed throughout the erythrocytic cycle and demonstrate that it is associated with membrane fractions and binds to calcium when it is part of these membranous structures. In summary, we show that PfDOC2 is a calcium lipid-binding protein of the protein kinase C type of DOC2 proteins.

  16. A purine analog synergizes with chloroquine (CQ by targeting Plasmodium falciparum Hsp90 (PfHsp90.

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    Dea Shahinas

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Drug resistance, absence of an effective vaccine, and inadequate public health measures are major impediments to controlling Plasmodium falciparum malaria worldwide. The development of antimalarials to which resistance is less likely is paramount. To this end, we have exploited the chaperone function of P. falciparum Hsp90 (PfHsp90 that serves to facilitate the expression of resistance determinants. METHODS: The affinity and activity of a purine analogue Hsp90 inhibitor (PU-H71 on PfHsp90 was determined using surface plasmon resonance (SPR studies and an ATPase activity assay, respectively. In vitro, antimalarial activity was quantified using flow cytometry. Interactors of PfHsp90 were determined by LC-MS/MS. In vivo studies were conducted using the Plasmodium berghei infection mouse model. RESULTS: PU-H71 exhibited antimalarial activity in the nanomolar range, displayed synergistic activity with chloroquine in vitro. Affinity studies reveal that the PfHsp90 interacts either directly or indirectly with the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT responsible for chloroquine resistance. PU-H71 synergized with chloroquine in the P.berghei mouse model of malaria to reduce parasitemia and improve survival. CONCLUSIONS: We propose that the interaction of PfHsp90 with PfCRT may account for the observed antimalarial synergy and that PU-H71 is an effective adjunct for combination therapy.

  17. Crystal structure of the aquaglyceroporin PfAQP from the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newby, Zachary E R; O’Connell, Joseph; Robles-Colmenares, Yaneth; Khademi, Shahram; Miercke, Larry J; Stroud, Robert M

    2008-01-01

    The 2.05-Å resolution structure of the aquaglyceroporin from the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfAQP), a protein important in the parasite’s life cycle, has been solved. The structure provides key evidence for the basis of water versus glycerol selectivity in aquaporin family members. Unlike its closest homolog of known structure, GlpF, the channel conducts both glycerol and water at high rates, framing the question of what determines high water conductance in aquaporin channels. The universally conserved arginine in the selectivity filter is constrained by only two hydrogen bonds in GlpF, whereas there are three in all water-selective aquaporins and in PfAQP. The decreased cost of dehydrating the triply-satisfied arginine cation may provide the basis for high water conductance. The two Asn-Pro-Ala (NPA) regions of PfAQP, which bear rare substitutions to Asn-Leu-Ala (NLA) and Asn-Pro-Ser (NPS), participate in preserving the orientation of the selectivity filter asparagines in the center of the channel. PMID:18500352

  18. Mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum Cyclic Amine Resistance Locus (PfCARL Confer Multidrug Resistance

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    Gregory LaMonte

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum cyclic amine resistance locus (PfCARL are associated with parasite resistance to the imidazolopiperazines, a potent class of novel antimalarial compounds that display both prophylactic and transmission-blocking activity, in addition to activity against blood-stage parasites. Here, we show that pfcarl encodes a protein, with a predicted molecular weight of 153 kDa, that localizes to the cis-Golgi apparatus of the parasite in both asexual and sexual blood stages. Utilizing clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR-mediated gene introduction of 5 variants (L830V, S1076N/I, V1103L, and I1139K, we demonstrate that mutations in pfcarl are sufficient to generate resistance against the imidazolopiperazines in both asexual and sexual blood-stage parasites. We further determined that the mutant PfCARL protein confers resistance to several structurally unrelated compounds. These data suggest that PfCARL modulates the levels of small-molecule inhibitors that affect Golgi-related processes, such as protein sorting or membrane trafficking, and is therefore an important mechanism of resistance in malaria parasites.

  19. Overexpression, Purification and Characterisation of the Plasmodium falciparum Hsp70-z (PfHsp70-z Protein.

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    Tawanda Zininga

    Full Text Available Six Hsp70-like genes are represented on the genome of Plasmodium falciparum. Of these two occur in the cytosol: P. falciparum Hsp70-z (PfHsp70-z and PfHsp70-1. PfHsp70-1 is a well characterised canonical Hsp70 that facilitates protein quality control and is crucial for the development of malaria parasites. There is very little known about PfHsp70-z. However, PfHsp70-z is known to be essential and is implicated in suppressing aggregation of asparagine-rich proteins of P. falciparum. In addition, its expression at the clinical stage of malaria correlates with disease prognosis. Based on structural evidence PfHsp70-z belongs to the Hsp110 family of proteins. Since Hsp110 proteins have been described as nucleotide exchange factors (NEFs of their canonical Hsp70 counterparts, it has been speculated that PfHsp70-z may serve as a NEF of PfHsp70-1. In the current study, P. falciparum cells cultured in vitro were subjected to heat stress, triggering the enhanced expression of PfHsp70-z. Biochemical assays conducted using recombinant PfHsp70-z protein demonstrated that the protein is heat stable and possesses ATPase activity. Furthermore, we observed that PfHsp70-z is capable of self-association. The structural-functional features of PfHsp70-z provide further evidence for its role as a chaperone and possible nucleotide exchange factor of PfHsp70-1.

  20. The Duffy-Binding-Like β domain (DBLβ) of the Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) variant, PFD1235w, binds ICAM1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, M. A.; Bengtsson, A.; Rask, Thomas Salhøj

    2012-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is by far the most virulent human malaria parasite. P. falciparum variant erythrocyte surface antigens, known as PfEMP1, play a crucial role in malaria pathogenesis as they mediate adhesion to host endothelial receptors. The PfEMP1 variant, PFD1235w, encoded by the 3D7 group...

  1. The Exported Chaperone PfHsp70x Is Dispensable for the Plasmodium falciparum Intraerythrocytic Life Cycle.

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    Cobb, David W; Florentin, Anat; Fierro, Manuel A; Krakowiak, Michelle; Moore, Julie M; Muralidharan, Vasant

    2017-01-01

    Export of parasite proteins into the host erythrocyte is essential for survival of Plasmodium falciparum during its asexual life cycle. While several studies described key factors within the parasite that are involved in protein export, the mechanisms employed to traffic exported proteins within the host cell are currently unknown. Members of the Hsp70 family of chaperones, together with their Hsp40 cochaperones, facilitate protein trafficking in other organisms, and are thus likely used by P. falciparum in the trafficking of its exported proteins. A large group of Hsp40 proteins is encoded by the parasite and exported to the host cell, but only one Hsp70, P. falciparum Hsp70x (PfHsp70x), is exported with them. PfHsp70x is absent in most Plasmodium species and is found only in P. falciparum and closely related species that infect apes. Herein, we have utilized clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/Cas9 genome editing in P. falciparum to investigate the essentiality of PfHsp70x. We show that parasitic growth was unaffected by knockdown of PfHsp70x using both the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR)-based destabilization domain and the glmS ribozyme system. Similarly, a complete gene knockout of PfHsp70x did not affect the ability of P. falciparum to proceed through its intraerythrocytic life cycle. The effect of PfHsp70x knockdown/knockout on the export of proteins to the host red blood cell (RBC), including the critical virulence factor P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), was tested, and we found that this process was unaffected. These data show that although PfHsp70x is the sole exported Hsp70, it is not essential for the asexual development of P. falciparum. IMPORTANCE Half of the world's population lives at risk for malaria. The intraerythrocytic life cycle of Plasmodium spp. is responsible for clinical manifestations of malaria; therefore, knowledge of the parasite's ability to survive within the erythrocyte is

  2. Mitochondrial localization of the threonine peptidase PfHslV, a ClpQ ortholog in Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Tschan, Serena; Kreidenweiss, Andrea; Stierhof, York-Dieter; Sessler, Nicole; Fendel, Rolf; Mordmüller, Benjamin

    2010-11-01

    Plasmodium falciparum belongs to a group of eukaryotes expressing an ortholog of the prokaryotic T1-threonine peptidase, heat shock locus V (HslV). Bacterial HslV is a particularly well studied protease, due to its structural and biochemical similarity to the eukaryotic proteasome. Plasmodium falciparum HslV (PfHslV) is expressed in schizonts and merozoites of the asexual blood stage. Strong sequence conservation between plasmodial species, absence of HslV homologs in the human genome, and availability of specific inhibitors led us to explore its function and potential use as a drug target. In a first step, we investigated localization of PfHslV, using a bioinformatics approach and a transgenic P. falciparum line expressing a PfHslV-enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) fusion protein from the endogenous pfhslV locus. PfHslV-EYFP was found in the mitochondrial matrix under fluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy. Endogenous, non-modified PfHslV was present in purified mitochondria and interference with mitochondrial membrane potential by drug treatment led to impairment of PfHslV processing. Import of heterologous EYFP into the plasmodial mitochondrion is mediated by the N-terminal 37 amino acids of PfHslV. PfHslV's targeting sequence is also functional in human cells, demonstrating strong conservation of mitochondrial targeting in eukaryotes. In conclusion, our data shows that PfHslV is located to the plasmodial mitochondrion and presumably has vital function within this organelle which makes it an attractive target for interventions.

  3. Antibody reactivity to conserved linear epitopes of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Staalsø, T; Khalil, E A; Elhassan, I M;

    1998-01-01

    The Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family of protein antigens are involved in adhesion of P. falciparum infected erythrocytes to the capillary endothelium of the host. Antibodies to variable regions of these proteins, measured by agglutination, correlates with clini......The Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family of protein antigens are involved in adhesion of P. falciparum infected erythrocytes to the capillary endothelium of the host. Antibodies to variable regions of these proteins, measured by agglutination, correlates...

  4. Plasmodium falciparum Plasmepsin V (PfPMV): Insights into recombinant expression, substrate specificity and active site structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boonyalai, Nonlawat; Sittikul, Pichamon; Yuvaniyama, Jirundon

    2015-05-01

    Plasmepsin V from Plasmodium falciparum (PfPMV) is responsible for the cleavage of the Plasmodium export element (PEXEL) motif at the N-terminus of several hundreds of the exported proteins. PfPMV is necessary for parasite viability and has become a novel promising target for antimalarial therapy. The first recombinant expression of soluble, active PfPMV as thioredoxin fusion proteins is reported herein. Two truncated forms of PfPMV were fused to thioredoxin (Trx) to generate Trx-PfPMVp37 and Trx-PfPMVm84. The fusion proteins were successfully purified using Ni(2+) affinity chromatography in combination with ATP treatment to eliminate Escherichia coli HSP60 contaminant. Trx-PfPMVm84 could hydrolyze the PEXEL-containing peptides more efficiently than Trx-PfPMVp37. Interestingly, both Trx-PfPMVs preferred to cleave PfEMP2 peptide over HRPII peptide. The replacement of Ser with Val or Glu at P1' position created a substrate with 75% reduction in the enzyme activity, whereas the substitution of Ile with Lys or Glu at P2 position reduced the cleavage efficiency by 30%. The activity of Trx-PfPMVm84 was inhibited by PMSF and nelfinavir but not by pepstatin A. After the removal of Trx domain, activities of both enzymes toward PfEMP2 and HRPII peptides were fitted to the Michaelis-Menten model to determine kinetic parameters. The Km values toward both peptides were apparently much lower than the previously reported data although with similar kcat values. Along with an improved PfPMV preparation protocol, these findings have provided insights into its substrate specificity at P2 and P1' positions as well as interactions among the enzyme, substrates, and inhibitors.

  5. Antigenic variation and the genetics and epigenetics of the PfEMP1 erythrocyte surface antigens in Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arnot, David E; Jensen, Anja T R

    2011-01-01

    do become immune to P. falciparum malaria, but this is a slow process requiring multiple disease episodes which many, particularly young children, do not survive. Adult survivors are immune to the symptoms of malaria, and unless pregnant, can control the growth of most or all new inoculations....... Sterile immunity is not achieved and chronic parasitization of apparently healthy adults is the norm. In this article, we analyse the best understood malaria "antigenic variation" system, that based on Plasmodium falciparum's PfEMP1-type cytoadhesion antigens, and critically review recent literature...

  6. Transcript and protein expression profile of PF11_0394, a Plasmodium falciparum protein expressed in salivary gland sporozoites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schlarman Maggie S

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum malaria is a significant problem around the world today, thus there is still a need for new control methods to be developed. Because the sporozoite displays dual infectivity for both the mosquito salivary glands and vertebrate host tissue, it is a good target for vaccine development. Methods The P. falciparum gene, PF11_0394, was chosen as a candidate for study due to its potential role in the invasion of host tissues. This gene, which was selected using a data mining approach from PlasmoDB, is expressed both at the transcriptional and protein levels in sporozoites and likely encodes a putative surface protein. Using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR and green fluorescent protein (GFP-trafficking studies, a transcript and protein expression profile of PF11_0394 was determined. Results The PF11_0394 protein has orthologs in other Plasmodium species and Apicomplexans, but none outside of the group Apicomplexa. PF11_0394 transcript was found to be present during both the sporozoite and erythrocytic stages of the parasite life cycle, but no transcript was detected during axenic exoerythrocytic stages. Despite the presence of transcript throughout several life cycle stages, the PF11_0394 protein was only detected in salivary gland sporozoites. Conclusions PF11_0394 appears to be a protein uniquely detected in salivary gland sporozoites. Even though a specific function of PF11_0394 has not been determined in P. falciparum biology, it could be another candidate for a new vaccine.

  7. Molecular interaction of selected phytochemicals under the charged environment of Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Saumya K; Khedkar, Vijay M; Jha, Prakash C; Jasrai, Yogesh T; Pandya, Himanshu A; George, Linz-Buoy; Highland, Hyacinth N; Skelton, Adam A

    2016-01-01

    Phytochemicals of Catharanthus roseus Linn. and Tylophora indica have been known for their inhibition of malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum in cell culture. Resistance to chloroquine (CQ), a widely used antimalarial drug, is due to the CQ resistance transporter (CRT) system. The present study deals with computational modeling of Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) protein and development of charged environment to mimic a condition of resistance. The model of PfCRT was developed using Protein homology/analogy engine (PHYRE ver 0.2) and was validated based on the results obtained using PSI-PRED. Subsequently, molecular interactions of selected phytochemicals extracted from C. roseus Linn. and T. indica were studied using multiple-iterated genetic algorithm-based docking protocol in order to investigate the translocation of these legends across the PfCRT protein. Further, molecular dynamics studies exhibiting interaction energy estimates of these compounds within the active site of the protein showed that compounds are more selective toward PfCRT. Clusters of conformations with the free energy of binding were estimated which clearly demonstrated the potential channel and by this means the translocation across the PfCRT is anticipated.

  8. Identification of a mutant PfCRT-mediated chloroquine tolerance phenotype in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie G Valderramos

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Mutant forms of the Plasmodium falciparum transporter PfCRT constitute the key determinant of parasite resistance to chloroquine (CQ, the former first-line antimalarial, and are ubiquitous to infections that fail CQ treatment. However, treatment can often be successful in individuals harboring mutant pfcrt alleles, raising questions about the role of host immunity or pharmacokinetics vs. the parasite genetic background in contributing to treatment outcomes. To examine whether the parasite genetic background dictates the degree of mutant pfcrt-mediated CQ resistance, we replaced the wild type pfcrt allele in three CQ-sensitive strains with mutant pfcrt of the 7G8 allelic type prevalent in South America, the Oceanic region and India. Recombinant clones exhibited strain-dependent CQ responses that ranged from high-level resistance to an incremental shift that did not meet CQ resistance criteria. Nonetheless, even in the most susceptible clones, 7G8 mutant pfcrt enabled parasites to tolerate CQ pressure and recrudesce in vitro after treatment with high concentrations of CQ. 7G8 mutant pfcrt was found to significantly impact parasite responses to other antimalarials used in artemisinin-based combination therapies, in a strain-dependent manner. We also report clinical isolates from French Guiana that harbor mutant pfcrt, identical or related to the 7G8 haplotype, and manifest a CQ tolerance phenotype. One isolate, H209, harbored a novel PfCRT C350R mutation and demonstrated reduced quinine and artemisinin susceptibility. Our data: 1 suggest that high-level CQR is a complex biological process dependent on the presence of mutant pfcrt; 2 implicate a role for variant pfcrt alleles in modulating parasite susceptibility to other clinically important antimalarials; and 3 uncover the existence of a phenotype of CQ tolerance in some strains harboring mutant pfcrt.

  9. A method for visualizing surface-exposed and internal PfEMP1 adhesion antigens in Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bengtsson, Dominique; Sowa, Kordai M; Salanti, Ali;

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The insertion of parasite antigens into the host erythrocyte membrane and the structure and distribution of Plasmodium falciparum adhesion receptors on that membrane are poorly understood. Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) and a novel labelling and fixation method have been used...... to obtain high resolution immuno-fluorescent images of erythrocyte surface PfEMP1 and internal antigens which allow analysis of the accumulation of PfEMP1 on the erythrocyte membrane during asexual development. METHODS: A novel staining technique has been developed which permits distinction between...... erythrocyte surface PfEMP1 and intracellular PfEMP1, in parasites whose nuclear material is exceptionally well resolved. Primary antibody detection by fluorescence is carried out on the live parasitized erythrocyte. The surface labelled cells are then fixed using paraformaldehyde and permeabilized with a non...

  10. Identification of active Plasmodium falciparum calpain to establish screening system for Pf-calpain-based drug development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soh Byoung

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background With the increasing resistance of malaria parasites to available drugs, there is an urgent demand to develop new anti-malarial drugs. Calpain inhibitor, ALLN, is proposed to inhibit parasite proliferation by suppressing haemoglobin degradation. This provides Plasmodium calpain as a potential target for drug development. Pf-calpain, a cysteine protease of Plasmodium falciparum, belongs to calpain-7 family, which is an atypical calpain not harboring Ca2+-binding regulatory motifs. In this present study, in order to establish the screening system for Pf-calpain specific inhibitors, the active form of Pf-calpain was first identified. Methods Recombinant Pf-calpain including catalytic subdomain IIa (rPfcal-IIa was heterologously expressed and purified. Enzymatic activity was determined by both fluorogenic substrate assay and gelatin zymography. Molecular homology modeling was carried out to address the activation mode of Pf-calpain in the aspect of structural moiety. Results Based on the measurement of enzymatic activity and protease inhibitor assay, it was found that the active form of Pf-calpain only contains the catalytic subdomain IIa, suggesting that Pf-calpain may function as a monomeric form. The sequence prediction indicates that the catalytic subdomain IIa contains all amino acid residues necessary for catalytic triad (Cys-His-Asn formation. Molecular modeling suggests that the Pf-calpain subdomain IIa makes an active site, holding the catalytic triad residues in their appropriate orientation for catalysis. The mutation analysis further supports that those amino acid residues are functional and have enzymatic activity. Conclusion The identified active form of Pf-calpain could be utilized to establish high-throughput screening system for Pf-calpain inhibitors. Due to its unique monomeric structural property, Pf-calpain could be served as a novel anti-malarial drug target, which has a high specificity for malaria parasite

  11. Pf155/RESA protein influences the dynamic microcirculatory behavior of ring-stage Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diez-Silva, Monica; Park, Yongkeun; Huang, Sha; Bow, Hansen; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Deplaine, Guillaume; Lavazec, Catherine; Perrot, Sylvie; Bonnefoy, Serge; Feld, Michael S.; Han, Jongyoon; Dao, Ming; Suresh, Subra

    2012-08-01

    Proteins exported by Plasmodium falciparum to the red blood cell (RBC) membrane modify the structural properties of the parasitized RBC (Pf-RBC). Although quasi-static single cell assays show reduced ring-stage Pf-RBCs deformability, the parameters influencing their microcirculatory behavior remain unexplored. Here, we study the dynamic properties of ring-stage Pf-RBCs and the role of the parasite protein Pf155/Ring-Infected Erythrocyte Surface Antigen (RESA). Diffraction phase microscopy revealed RESA-driven decreased Pf-RBCs membrane fluctuations. Microfluidic experiments showed a RESA-dependent reduction in the Pf-RBCs transit velocity, which was potentiated at febrile temperature. In a microspheres filtration system, incubation at febrile temperature impaired traversal of RESA-expressing Pf-RBCs. These results show that RESA influences ring-stage Pf-RBCs microcirculation, an effect that is fever-enhanced. This is the first identification of a parasite factor influencing the dynamic circulation of young asexual Pf-RBCs in physiologically relevant conditions, offering novel possibilities for interventions to reduce parasite survival and pathogenesis in its human host.

  12. Localization of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC transport proteins PfMRP1, PfMRP2, and PfMDR5 at the Plasmodium falciparum plasma membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luty Adrian JF

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The spread of drug resistance has been a major obstacle to the control of malaria. The mechanisms underlying drug resistance in malaria seem to be complex and multigenic. The current literature on multiple drug resistance against anti-malarials has documented PfMDR1, an ATP-binding cassette (ABC protein, as an important determinant of resistance. In the Plasmodium falciparum genome, there are several ABC transporters some of which could be putative drug transporting proteins. In order to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying drug resistance, characterization of these transporters is essential. The aim of this study was to characterize and localize putative ABC transporters. Methods In the plasmoDB database, 16 members of the P. falciparum ABC family can be identified, 11 of which are putative transport proteins. A phylogenetic analysis of the aligned NBDs of the PfABC genes was performed. Antibodies against PfMRP1 (PfABCC1, PfMRP2 (PfABCC2, and PfMDR5 (PfABCB5 were generated, affinity purified and used in immunocytochemistry to localize the proteins in the asexual stages of the parasite. Results The ABC family members of P. falciparum were categorized into subfamilies. The ABC B subfamily was the largest and contained seven members. Other family members that could be involved in drug transport are PfABCC1, PfABCC2, PfABCG1, and PfABCI3. The expression and localization of three ABC transport proteins was determined. PfMRP1, PfMRP2, and PfMDR5 are localized to the plasma membrane in all asexual stages of the parasite. Conclusion In conclusion, 11 of the 16 ABC proteins in the P. falciparum genome are putative transport proteins, some of which might be involved in drug resistance. Moreover, it was demonstrated that three of these proteins are expressed on the parasite's plasma membrane.

  13. α2-Macroglobulin Can Crosslink Multiple Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) Molecules and May Facilitate Adhesion of Parasitized Erythrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stevenson, Liz; Laursen, Erik; Cowan, Graeme J;

    2015-01-01

    Rosetting, the adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to uninfected erythrocytes, involves clonal variants of the parasite protein P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) and soluble serum factors. While rosetting is a well-known phenotypic marker of parasites...

  14. Mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter, PfCRT, enlarge the parasite's food vacuole and alter drug sensitivities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulcini, Serena; Staines, Henry M; Lee, Andrew H; Shafik, Sarah H; Bouyer, Guillaume; Moore, Catherine M; Daley, Daniel A; Hoke, Matthew J; Altenhofen, Lindsey M; Painter, Heather J; Mu, Jianbing; Ferguson, David J P; Llinás, Manuel; Martin, Rowena E; Fidock, David A; Cooper, Roland A; Krishna, Sanjeev

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter, PfCRT, are the major determinant of chloroquine resistance in this lethal human malaria parasite. Here, we describe P. falciparum lines subjected to selection by amantadine or blasticidin that carry PfCRT mutations (C101F or L272F), causing the development of enlarged food vacuoles. These parasites also have increased sensitivity to chloroquine and some other quinoline antimalarials, but exhibit no or minimal change in sensitivity to artemisinins, when compared with parental strains. A transgenic parasite line expressing the L272F variant of PfCRT confirmed this increased chloroquine sensitivity and enlarged food vacuole phenotype. Furthermore, the introduction of the C101F or L272F mutation into a chloroquine-resistant variant of PfCRT reduced the ability of this protein to transport chloroquine by approximately 93 and 82%, respectively, when expressed in Xenopus oocytes. These data provide, at least in part, a mechanistic explanation for the increased sensitivity of the mutant parasite lines to chloroquine. Taken together, these findings provide new insights into PfCRT function and PfCRT-mediated drug resistance, as well as the food vacuole, which is an important target of many antimalarial drugs.

  15. Surface co-expression of two different PfEMP1 antigens on single Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes facilitates binding to ICAM1 and PECAM1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joergensen, Louise; Bengtsson, Dominique C; Bengtsson, Anja;

    2010-01-01

    The Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) antigens play a major role in cytoadhesion of infected erythrocytes (IE), antigenic variation, and immunity to malaria. The current consensus on control of variant surface antigen expression is that only one PfEMP1 encoded by one var...

  16. PfEMP1 - A Parasite Protein Family of Key Importance in Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Immunity and Pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hviid, Lars; Jensen, Anja T R

    2015-04-01

    Plasmodium falciparum causes the most severe form of malaria and is responsible for essentially all malaria-related deaths. The accumulation in various tissues of erythrocytes infected by mature P. falciparum parasites can lead to circulatory disturbances and inflammation, and is thought to be a central element in the pathogenesis of the disease. It is mediated by the interaction of parasite ligands on the erythrocyte surface and a range of host receptor molecules in many organs and tissues. Among several proteins and protein families implicated in this process, the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family of high-molecular weight and highly variable antigens appears to be the most prominent. In this chapter, we aim to provide a systematic overview of the current knowledge about these proteins, their structure, their function, how they are presented on the erythrocyte surface, and how the var genes encoding them are regulated. The role of PfEMP1 in the pathogenesis of malaria, PfEMP1-specific immune responses, and the prospect of PfEMP1-specific vaccination against malaria are also covered briefly. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocyte knob density is linked to the PfEMP1 variant expressed

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Subramani, Ramesh; Quadt, Katharina; Jeppesen, Anine Engholm;

    2015-01-01

    UNLABELLED: Members of the clonally variant Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family mediate adhesion of infected erythrocytes (IEs) to vascular receptors. PfEMP1 expression is normally confined to nanoscale knob protrusions on the IE surface membrane. To investigate...... the relationship between the densities of these IE surface knobs and the PfEMP1 variant expressed, we used specific antibody panning to generate three sublines of the P. falciparum clone IT4, which expresses the PfEMP1 variants IT4VAR04, IT4VAR32b, and IT4VAR60. The knob density in each subline was then determined...... by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and compared to PfEMP1 and knob-associated histidine-rich protein (KAHRP) expression. Selection for uniform expression of IT4VAR04 produced little change in knob density, compared to unselected IEs. In contrast, selection for IT4VAR32b...

  18. Plasmodium falciparum associated with severe childhood malaria preferentially expresses PfEMP1 encoded by group A var genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Anja T R; Magistrado, Pamela; Sharp, Sarah;

    2004-01-01

    Parasite-encoded variant surface antigens (VSAs) like the var gene-encoded Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family are responsible for antigenic variation and infected red blood cell (RBC) cytoadhesion in P. falciparum malaria. Parasites causing severe malaria...... genes, such as PFD1235w/MAL7P1.1, appear to be involved in the pathogenesis of severe disease and are thus attractive candidates for a vaccine against life-threatening P. falciparum malaria....

  19. The kinetics of antibody binding to Plasmodium falciparum VAR2CSA PfEMP1 antigen and modelling of PfEMP1 antigen packing on the membrane knobs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joergensen, Lars M; Salanti, Ali; Dobrilovic, Tina

    2010-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Infected humans make protective antibody responses to the PfEMP1 adhesion antigens exported by Plasmodium falciparum parasites to the erythrocyte membrane, but little is known about the kinetics of this antibody-receptor binding reaction or how the topology of PfEMP1 on the ...

  20. The Plasmodium falciparum exported protein PF3D7_0402000 binds to erythrocyte ankyrin and band 4.1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shakya, Bikash; Penn, Wesley D.; Nakayasu, Ernesto S.; LaCount, Douglas J.

    2017-09-01

    Plasmodium falciparum extensively modifies the infected red blood cell (RBC), resulting in changes in deformability, shape and surface properties. These alterations suggest that the RBC cytoskeleton is a major target for modification during infection. However, the molecular mechanisms leading to these changes are largely unknown. To begin to address this question, we screened for exported P. falciparum proteins that bound to the erythrocyte cytoskeleton proteins ankyrin 1 (ANK1) and band 4.1 (4.1R), which form critical interactions with other cytoskeletal proteins that contribute to the deformability and stability of RBCs. Yeast two-hybrid screens with ANK1 and 4.1R identified eight interactions with P. falciparum exported proteins, including an interaction between 4.1R and PF3D7_0402000 (PFD0090c). This interaction was first identified in a large-scale screen (Vignali et al., Malaria J, 7:211, 2008), which also reported an interaction between PF3D7_0402000 and ANK1. We confirmed the interactions of PF3D7_0402000 with 4.1R and ANK1 in pair-wise yeast two-hybrid and co-precipitation assays. In both cases, an intact PHIST domain in PF3D7_0402000 was required for binding. Complex purification followed by mass spectrometry analysis provided additional support for the interaction of PF3D7_0402000 with ANK1 and 4.1R. RBC ghost cells loaded with maltose-binding protein (MBP)-PF3D7_0402000 passed through a metal microsphere column less efficiently than mock- or MBP-loaded controls, consistent with an effect of PF3D7_0402000 on RBC rigidity or membrane stability. This study confirmed the interaction of PF3D7_0402000 with 4.1R in multiple independent assays, provided the first evidence that PF3D7_0402000 also binds to ANK1, and suggested that PF3D7_0402000 affects deformability or membrane stability of uninfected RBC ghosts.

  1. The C-terminal domain of the Plasmodium falciparum acyl-CoA synthetases PfACS1 and PfACS3 functions as ligand for ankyrin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Téllez, Maria- del-Mar; Matesanz, Fuencisla; Alcina, Antonio

    2003-07-01

    Infection of erythrocytes by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum results in the export of several parasite proteins into the erythrocyte cytoplasm establishing novel interactions between host and parasite proteins, particularly at the membrane skeleton that modifies both the structural and functional properties of the red cell. We present evidences that two members of the P. falciparum acyl-CoA synthetase (PfACS) family, responsible for the activation of long-chain fatty acids by thio-esterification with CoA, are transported in vesicle-like structures toward the host erythrocyte cytoplasm where they interact with the cytoskeletal protein ankyrin. Carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) overlay studies indicated that PfACS1 and PfACS3 bind to the 78-kDa fragment of ankyrin corresponding with its spectrin-binding domain. Co-immunoprecipitation of ankyrin and PfACS1/3 indicates that at least a fraction of these proteins are physically associated in the infected erythrocytes and provide evidence for a novel specific interaction which suggest that such a binding may bring these enzymes closer to the host erythrocyte membrane where exogenous fatty acids are available.

  2. Transgenic tomato plants expressing the antigen gene PfCP-2.9 of Plasmodium falciparum Plantas transgênicas de tomate expressando o gene do antígeno PfCP-2.9 de Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihail Kantor

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to obtain transgenic tomato plants expressing the PfCP-2.9 protein (a chimera of the antigens MSP1 and AMA1 of Plasmodium falciparum. Cotyledons of seven-day-old tomatoes, cultivar Summers, were transformed via Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Transgenic expression in the T0 plants was verified in the DNA extracted from fruits. PCR analysis was used to test the presence of the gene of interest in the T1 generation. Reverse transcriptase PCR provided evidence of gene expression at the RNA level, and Western blot analysis confirmed the presence of the protein of interest in the T1 plants. This is the first report of successful transformation with the expression of a malaria antigen (PfCP-2.9 in transgenic tomato plants from the T0 and T1 generations.O objetivo deste trabalho foi obter plantas transgênicas de tomate que expressem a proteína PfCP-2.9 (uma quimera dos antígenos MSP1 e AMA1 de Plasmodium falciparum. Cotilédones de tomate, cultivar Summers, com sete dias de idade, foram transformados via Agrobacterium tumefaciens. A expressão transgênica nas plantas T0 foi verificada no DNA extraído dos frutos. A análise por PCR foi utilizada para testar a presença do gene de interesse na geração T1. A evidência da expressão do gene no RNA foi constatada por meio da PCR de transcriptase reversa, e a análise "Western blot" confirmou a presença da proteína de interesse nas plantas T1. Este é o primeiro relato de transformação bem sucedida com a expressão de um antígeno da malária (PfCP-2,9 em plantas transgênicas de tomate da geração T0 e T1.

  3. Valproic Acid as a Potential Inhibitor of Plasmodium falciparum Histone Deacetylase 1 (PfHDAC1: An in Silico Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed A. Abdallah Elbadawi

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available A new Plasmodium falciparum histone deacetylase1 (PfHDAC1 homology model was built based on the highest sequence identity available template human histone deacetylase 2 structure. The generated model was carefully evaluated for stereochemical accuracy, folding correctness and overall structure quality. All evaluations were acceptable and consistent. Docking a group of hydroxamic acid histone deacetylase inhibitors and valproic acid has shown binding poses that agree well with inhibitor-bound histone deacetylase-solved structural interactions. Docking affinity dG scores were in agreement with available experimental binding affinities. Further, enzyme-ligand complex stability and reliability were investigated by running 5-nanosecond molecular dynamics simulations. Thorough analysis of the simulation trajectories has shown that enzyme-ligand complexes were stable during the simulation period. Interestingly, the calculated theoretical binding energies of the docked hydroxamic acid inhibitors have shown that the model can discriminate between strong and weaker inhibitors and agrees well with the experimental affinities reported in the literature. The model and the docking methodology can be used in screening virtual libraries for PfHDAC1 inhibitors, since the docking scores have ranked ligands in accordance with experimental binding affinities. Valproic acid calculated theoretical binding energy suggests that it may inhibit PfHDAC1.

  4. Therapeutic efficacy of artemisinin combination therapies and prevalence of S769N mutation in PfATPase6 gene of Plasmodium falciparum in Kolkata, India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pabitra Saha; Shrabanee Mullick; Krishnangshu Ray; Ardhendu K Maji; Arindam Naskar; Swagata Ganguly; Sonali Das; Subhasish K Guha; Asit Biswas; Dilip K Bera; Pratip K Kundu; Madhusudan Das

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To study the in vivo efficacy of these two ACTs in the treatment of Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum malaria) in Kolkata and to determine the prevalence of mutant S769N codon of the PfATPase6 gene among field isolates of P. falciparum collected from the study area.Methods:A total of 207 P. falciparum positive cases were enrolled randomly in two study arms and followed up for 42 days as per WHO (2009) protocol. A portion of PfATPase6 gene spanning codon S769N was amplified and sequenced by direct sequencing method. Results: It was observed that the efficacy of both the ACT regimens were highly effective in the study area and no mutant S769N was detected from any isolate. Conclusions: The used, combination AS+SP is effective and the other combination AM+LF might be an alternative, if needed.

  5. Mapping the binding site of a cross-reactive Plasmodium falciparum PfEMP1 monoclonal antibody inhibitory of ICAM-1 binding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lennartz, Frank; Bengtsson, Anja; Olsen, Rebecca W

    2015-01-01

    The virulence of Plasmodium falciparum is linked to the ability of infected erythrocytes (IE) to adhere to the vascular endothelium, mediated by P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1). In this article, we report the functional characterization of an mAb that recognizes a panel of Pf......EMP1s and inhibits ICAM-1 binding. The 24E9 mouse mAb was raised against PFD1235w DBLβ3_D4, a domain from the group A PfEMP1s associated with severe malaria. 24E9 recognizes native PfEMP1 expressed on the IE surface and shows cross-reactivity with and cross-inhibition of the ICAM-1 binding capacity...

  6. Plasmodium falciparum Expressing Domain Cassette 5 Type PfEMP1 (DC5-PfEMP1) Bind PECAM1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berger, Sanne S; Turner, Louise; Wang, Christian W

    2013-01-01

    associated with the expression of particular subsets of PfEMP1 molecules. PfEMP1 are grouped into subtypes based on upstream sequences and the presence of semi-conserved PfEMP1 domain compositions named domain cassettes (DCs). Earlier studies have indicated that DC5-containing PfEMP1 (DC5-PfEMP1) are more......, and show that two genetically different parasite lines expressing DC5-PfEMP1 bind PECAM1, and that anti-DC5-specific antibodies inhibit binding of DC5-PfEMP1-expressing parasites to transformed human bone marrow endothelial cells (TrHBMEC). We also show that antibodies against each of the four domains...

  7. Identification and functional validation of the novel antimalarial resistance locus PF10_0355 in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daria Van Tyne

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The Plasmodium falciparum parasite's ability to adapt to environmental pressures, such as the human immune system and antimalarial drugs, makes malaria an enduring burden to public health. Understanding the genetic basis of these adaptations is critical to intervening successfully against malaria. To that end, we created a high-density genotyping array that assays over 17,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (∼ 1 SNP/kb, and applied it to 57 culture-adapted parasites from three continents. We characterized genome-wide genetic diversity within and between populations and identified numerous loci with signals of natural selection, suggesting their role in recent adaptation. In addition, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS, searching for loci correlated with resistance to thirteen antimalarials; we detected both known and novel resistance loci, including a new halofantrine resistance locus, PF10_0355. Through functional testing we demonstrated that PF10_0355 overexpression decreases sensitivity to halofantrine, mefloquine, and lumefantrine, but not to structurally unrelated antimalarials, and that increased gene copy number mediates resistance. Our GWAS and follow-on functional validation demonstrate the potential of genome-wide studies to elucidate functionally important loci in the malaria parasite genome.

  8. PfAP2Tel, harbouring a non-canonical DNA-binding AP2 domain, binds to Plasmodium falciparum telomeres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sierra-Miranda, Miguel; Vembar, Shruthi S; Delgadillo, Dulce María; Ávila-López, P A; Vargas, Miguel; Hernandez-Rivas, Rosaura

    2017-04-04

    The telomeres of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are essential not only for chromosome end maintenance during blood stage development in humans but also to generate genetic diversity by facilitating homologous recombination of subtelomeric, multigene virulence families such as var and rifin. However, other than the telomerase PfTERT, proteins that act at P. falciparum telomeres are poorly characterized. To isolate components that bind to telomeres, we performed oligonucleotide pulldowns and electromobility shift assays with a telomeric DNA probe and identified a non-canonical member of the ApiAP2 family of transcription factors, PfAP2Tel (encoded by PF3D7_0622900), as a component of the P. falciparum telomere-binding protein complex. PfAP2Tel is expressed throughout the intra-erythrocytic life cycle and localizes to the nuclear periphery, co-localizing with telomeric clusters. Furthermore, EMSAs using the recombinant protein demonstrated direct binding of PfAP2Tel to telomeric repeats in vitro, while genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by next generation sequencing (ChIP-seq) corroborated the high specificity of this protein to telomeric ends of all 14 chromosomes in vivo. Taken together, our data describe a novel function for ApiAP2 proteins at chromosome ends and open new avenues to study the molecular machinery that regulates telomere function in P. falciparum.

  9. Geographic structuring of the Plasmodium falciparum sarco(endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase (PfSERCA gene diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronan Jambou

    Full Text Available Artemisinin, a thapsigargin-like sesquiterpene has been shown to inhibit the Plasmodium falciparum sarco/endoplasmic reticulum calcium-ATPase PfSERCA. To collect baseline pfserca sequence information before field deployment of Artemisinin-based Combination therapies that may select mutant parasites, we conducted a sequence analysis of 100 isolates from multiple sites in Africa, Asia and South America. Coding sequence diversity was large, with 29 mutated codons, including 32 SNPs (average of one SNP/115 bp, of which 19 were novel mutations. Most SNP detected in this study were clustered within a region in the cytosolic head of the protein. The PfSERCA functional domains were very well conserved, with non synonymous mutations located outside the functional domains, except for the S769N mutation associated in French Guiana with elevated IC(50 for artemether. The S769N mutation is located close to the hinge of the headpiece, which in other species modulates calcium affinity and in consequence efficacy of inhibitors, possibly linking calcium homeostasis to drug resistance. Genetic diversity was highest in Senegal, Brazil and French Guiana, and few mutations were identified in Asia. Population genetic analysis was conducted for a partial fragment of the gene encompassing nucleotide coordinates 87-2862 (unambiguous sequence available for 96 isolates. This supported a geographic clustering, with a separation between Old and New World samples and one dominant ancestral haplotype. Genetic drift alone cannot explain the observed polymorphism, suggesting that other evolutionary mechanisms are operating. One possible contributor could be the frequency of haemoglobinopathies that are associated with calcium dysregulation in the erythrocyte.

  10. Recombinant vacuolar iron transporter family homologue PfVIT from human malaria-causing Plasmodium falciparum is a Fe2+/H+exchanger

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labarbuta, Paola; Duckett, Katie; Botting, Catherine H.; Chahrour, Osama; Malone, John; Dalton, John P.; Law, Christopher J.

    2017-01-01

    Vacuolar iron transporters (VITs) are a poorly understood family of integral membrane proteins that can function in iron homeostasis via sequestration of labile Fe2+ into vacuolar compartments. Here we report on the heterologous overexpression and purification of PfVIT, a vacuolar iron transporter homologue from the human malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Use of synthetic, codon-optimised DNA enabled overexpression of functional PfVIT in the inner membrane of Escherichia coli which, in turn, conferred iron tolerance to the bacterial cells. Cells that expressed PfVIT had decreased levels of total cellular iron compared with cells that did not express the protein. Qualitative transport assays performed on inverted vesicles enriched with PfVIT revealed that the transporter catalysed Fe2+/H+ exchange driven by the proton electrochemical gradient. Furthermore, the PfVIT transport function in this system did not require the presence of any Plasmodium-specific factor such as post-translational phosphorylation. PfVIT purified as a monomer and, as measured by intrinsic protein fluorescence quenching, bound Fe2+ in detergent solution with low micromolar affinity. This study of PfVIT provides material for future detailed biochemical, biophysical and structural studies to advance understanding of the vacuolar iron transporter family of membrane proteins from important human pathogens. PMID:28198449

  11. A PfRH5-Based Vaccine Is Efficacious against Heterologous Strain Blood-Stage Plasmodium falciparum Infection in Aotus Monkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Alexander D.; Baldeviano, G. Christian; Lucas, Carmen M.; Lugo-Roman, Luis A.; Crosnier, Cécile; Bartholdson, S. Josefin; Diouf, Ababacar; Miura, Kazutoyo; Lambert, Lynn E.; Ventocilla, Julio A.; Leiva, Karina P.; Milne, Kathryn H.; Illingworth, Joseph J.; Spencer, Alexandra J.; Hjerrild, Kathryn A.; Alanine, Daniel G.W.; Turner, Alison V.; Moorhead, Jeromy T.; Edgel, Kimberly A.; Wu, Yimin; Long, Carole A.; Wright, Gavin J.; Lescano, Andrés G.; Draper, Simon J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Antigenic diversity has posed a critical barrier to vaccine development against the pathogenic blood-stage infection of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. To date, only strain-specific protection has been reported by trials of such vaccines in nonhuman primates. We recently showed that P. falciparum reticulocyte binding protein homolog 5 (PfRH5), a merozoite adhesin required for erythrocyte invasion, is highly susceptible to vaccine-inducible strain-transcending parasite-neutralizing antibody. In vivo efficacy of PfRH5-based vaccines has not previously been evaluated. Here, we demonstrate that PfRH5-based vaccines can protect Aotus monkeys against a virulent vaccine-heterologous P. falciparum challenge and show that such protection can be achieved by a human-compatible vaccine formulation. Protection was associated with anti-PfRH5 antibody concentration and in vitro parasite-neutralizing activity, supporting the use of this in vitro assay to predict the in vivo efficacy of future vaccine candidates. These data suggest that PfRH5-based vaccines have potential to achieve strain-transcending efficacy in humans. PMID:25590760

  12. Phosphorylated and Nonphosphorylated PfMAP2 Are Localized in the Nucleus, Dependent on the Stage of Plasmodium falciparum Asexual Maturation

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    Farah Aida Dahalan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum mitogen-activated protein (MAP kinases, a family of enzymes central to signal transduction processes including inflammatory responses, are a promising target for antimalarial drug development. Our study shows for the first time that the P. falciparum specific MAP kinase 2 (PfMAP2 is colocalized in the nucleus of all of the asexual erythrocytic stages of P. falciparum and is particularly elevated in its phosphorylated form. It was also discovered that PfMAP2 is expressed in its highest quantity during the early trophozoite (ring form stage and significantly reduced in the mature trophozoite and schizont stages. Although the phosphorylated form of the kinase is always more prevalent, its ratio relative to the nonphosphorylated form remained constant irrespective of the parasites’ developmental stage. We have also shown that the TSH motif specifically renders PfMAP2 genetically divergent from the other plasmodial MAP kinase activation sites using Neighbour Joining analysis. Furthermore, TSH motif-specific designed antibody is crucial in determining the location of the expression of the PfMAP2 protein. However, by using immunoelectron microscopy, PPfMAP2 were detected ubiquitously in the parasitized erythrocytes. In summary, PfMAP2 may play a far more important role than previously thought and is a worthy candidate for research as an antimalarial.

  13. Phosphorylated and Nonphosphorylated PfMAP2 Are Localized in the Nucleus, Dependent on the Stage of Plasmodium falciparum Asexual Maturation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahalan, Farah Aida; Sidek, Hasidah Mohd; Murtey, Mogana Das; Embi, Mohammed Noor; Ibrahim, Jamaiah; Fei Tieng, Lim; Zakaria, Nurul Aiezzah

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, a family of enzymes central to signal transduction processes including inflammatory responses, are a promising target for antimalarial drug development. Our study shows for the first time that the P. falciparum specific MAP kinase 2 (PfMAP2) is colocalized in the nucleus of all of the asexual erythrocytic stages of P. falciparum and is particularly elevated in its phosphorylated form. It was also discovered that PfMAP2 is expressed in its highest quantity during the early trophozoite (ring form) stage and significantly reduced in the mature trophozoite and schizont stages. Although the phosphorylated form of the kinase is always more prevalent, its ratio relative to the nonphosphorylated form remained constant irrespective of the parasites' developmental stage. We have also shown that the TSH motif specifically renders PfMAP2 genetically divergent from the other plasmodial MAP kinase activation sites using Neighbour Joining analysis. Furthermore, TSH motif-specific designed antibody is crucial in determining the location of the expression of the PfMAP2 protein. However, by using immunoelectron microscopy, PPfMAP2 were detected ubiquitously in the parasitized erythrocytes. In summary, PfMAP2 may play a far more important role than previously thought and is a worthy candidate for research as an antimalarial. PMID:27525262

  14. Identification, design and biological evaluation of heterocyclic quinolones targeting Plasmodium falciparum type II NADH:quinone oxidoreductase (PfNDH2).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Suet C; Gibbons, Peter; Amewu, Richard; Nixon, Gemma L; Pidathala, Chandrakala; Hong, W David; Pacorel, Bénédicte; Berry, Neil G; Sharma, Raman; Stocks, Paul A; Srivastava, Abhishek; Shone, Alison E; Charoensutthivarakul, Sitthivut; Taylor, Lee; Berger, Olivier; Mbekeani, Alison; Hill, Alasdair; Fisher, Nicholas E; Warman, Ashley J; Biagini, Giancarlo A; Ward, Stephen A; O'Neill, Paul M

    2012-03-08

    Following a program undertaken to identify hit compounds against NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (PfNDH2), a novel enzyme target within the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, hit to lead optimization led to identification of CK-2-68, a molecule suitable for further development. In order to reduce ClogP and improve solubility of CK-2-68 incorporation of a variety of heterocycles, within the side chain of the quinolone core, was carried out, and this approach led to a lead compound SL-2-25 (8b). 8b has IC(50)s in the nanomolar range versus both the enzyme and whole cell P. falciparum (IC(50) = 15 nM PfNDH2; IC(50) = 54 nM (3D7 strain of P. falciparum) with notable oral activity of ED(50)/ED(90) of 1.87/4.72 mg/kg versus Plasmodium berghei (NS Strain) in a murine model of malaria when formulated as a phosphate salt. Analogues in this series also demonstrate nanomolar activity against the bc(1) complex of P. falciparum providing the potential added benefit of a dual mechanism of action. The potent oral activity of 2-pyridyl quinolones underlines the potential of this template for further lead optimization studies.

  15. Multiple var2csa-type PfEMP1 genes located at different chromosomal loci occur in many Plasmodium falciparum isolates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sander, Adam F; Salanti, Ali; Lavstsen, Thomas;

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The var2csa gene encodes a Plasmodium falciparum adhesion receptor which binds chondroitin sulfate A (CSA). This var gene is more conserved than other PfEMP1/var genes and is found in all P. falciparum isolates. In isolates 3D7, FCR3/It4 and HB3, var2csa is transcribed from a sub...... distinct phylogenetic groups possessing one or the other variant of a large (approximately 26 amino acid) dimorphic motif, but whether either motif variant is linked to a specific locus is not known. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Two or more related but distinct var2csa-type PfEMP1/var genes exist in many P...

  16. Plasmodium falciparum Hep1 Is Required to Prevent the Self Aggregation of PfHsp70-3.

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    David O Nyakundi

    Full Text Available The majority of mitochondrial proteins are encoded in the nucleus and need to be imported from the cytosol into the mitochondria, and molecular chaperones play a key role in the efficient translocation and proper folding of these proteins in the matrix. One such molecular chaperone is the eukaryotic mitochondrial heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70; however, it is prone to self-aggregation and requires the presence of an essential zinc-finger protein, Hsp70-escort protein 1 (Hep1, to maintain its structure and function. PfHsp70-3, the only Hsp70 predicted to localize in the mitochondria of P. falciparum, may also rely on a Hep1 orthologue to prevent self-aggregation. In this study, we identified a putative Hep1 orthologue in P. falciparum and co-expression of PfHsp70-3 and PfHep1 enhanced the solubility of PfHsp70-3. PfHep1 suppressed the thermally induced aggregation of PfHsp70-3 but not the aggregation of malate dehydrogenase or citrate synthase, thus showing specificity for PfHsp70-3. Zinc ions were indeed essential for maintaining the function of PfHep1, as EDTA chelation abrogated its abilities to suppress the aggregation of PfHsp70-3. Soluble and functional PfHsp70-3, acquired by co-expression with PfHep-1, will facilitate the biochemical characterisation of this particular Hsp70 protein and its evaluation as a drug target for the treatment of malaria.

  17. The case for PfEMP1-based vaccines to protect pregnant women against Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hviid, Lars

    2011-01-01

    to develop a vaccine protecting pregnant women and their offspring against mortality and morbidity caused by the accumulation of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in the placenta. It is based on a detailed understanding of the parasite antigen and the host receptor involved in this accumulation...

  18. α2-Macroglobulin Can Crosslink Multiple Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) Molecules and May Facilitate Adhesion of Parasitized Erythrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stevenson, Liz; Laursen, Erik; Cowan, Graeme J;

    2015-01-01

    Rosetting, the adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to uninfected erythrocytes, involves clonal variants of the parasite protein P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) and soluble serum factors. While rosetting is a well-known phenotypic marker of parasites......-macroglobulin (α2M), which is both required and sufficient for rosetting mediated by the PfEMP1 protein HB3VAR06 and some other rosette-mediating PfEMP1 proteins. We map the α2M binding site to the C terminal end of HB3VAR06, and demonstrate that α2M can bind at least four HB3VAR06 proteins, plausibly....... Together, our results are evidence that P. falciparum parasites exploit α2M (and IgM) to expand the repertoire of host receptors available for PfEMP1-mediated IE adhesion, such as the erythrocyte carbohydrate moieties that lead to formation of rosettes. It is likely that this mechanism also affects IE...

  19. α2-macroglobulin can crosslink multiple Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) molecules and may facilitate adhesion of parasitized erythrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stevenson, Liz; Laursen, Erik; Cowan, Graeme J;

    2015-01-01

    Rosetting, the adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to uninfected erythrocytes, involves clonal variants of the parasite protein P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) and soluble serum factors. While rosetting is a well-known phenotypic marker of parasites......-macroglobulin (α2M), which is both required and sufficient for rosetting mediated by the PfEMP1 protein HB3VAR06 and some other rosette-mediating PfEMP1 proteins. We map the α2M binding site to the C terminal end of HB3VAR06, and demonstrate that α2M can bind at least four HB3VAR06 proteins, plausibly....... Together, our results are evidence that P. falciparum parasites exploit α2M (and IgM) to expand the repertoire of host receptors available for PfEMP1-mediated IE adhesion, such as the erythrocyte carbohydrate moieties that lead to formation of rosettes. It is likely that this mechanism also affects IE...

  20. Immunisation with recombinant PfEMP1 domains elicits functional rosette-inhibiting and phagocytosis-inducing antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Ashfaq Ghumra

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Rosetting is a Plasmodium falciparum virulence factor implicated in the pathogenesis of life-threatening malaria. Rosetting occurs when parasite-derived P. falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein One (PfEMP1 on the surface of infected erythrocytes binds to human receptors on uninfected erythrocytes. PfEMP1 is a possible target for a vaccine to induce antibodies to inhibit rosetting and prevent severe malaria. METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: We examined the vaccine potential of the six extracellular domains of a rosette-mediating PfEMP1 variant (ITvar9/R29var1 from the R29 parasite strain by immunizing rabbits with recombinant proteins expressed in E. coli. Antibodies raised to each domain were tested for surface fluorescence with live infected erythrocytes, rosette inhibition and phagocytosis-induction. Antibodies to all PfEMP1 domains recognized the surface of live infected erythrocytes down to low concentrations (0.02-1.56 µg/ml of total IgG. Antibodies to all PfEMP1 domains except for the second Duffy-Binding-Like region inhibited rosetting (50% inhibitory concentration 0.04-4 µg/ml and were able to opsonize and induce phagocytosis of infected erythrocytes at low concentrations (1.56-6.25 µg/ml. Antibodies to the N-terminal region (NTS-DBL1α were the most effective in all assays. All antibodies were specific for the R29 parasite strain, and showed no functional activity against five other rosetting strains. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results are encouraging for vaccine development as they show that potent antibodies can be generated to recombinant PfEMP1 domains that will inhibit rosetting and induce phagocytosis of infected erythrocytes. However, further work is needed on rosetting mechanisms and cross-reactivity in field isolates to define a set of PfEMP1 variants that could induce functional antibodies against a broad range of P. falciparum rosetting parasites.

  1. Plasmodium falciparum metacaspase PfMCA-1 triggers a z-VAD-fmk inhibitable protease to promote cell death.

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    Benoît Meslin

    Full Text Available Activation of proteolytic cell death pathways may circumvent drug resistance in deadly protozoan parasites such as Plasmodium falciparum and Leishmania. To this end, it is important to define the cell death pathway(s in parasites and thus characterize proteases such as metacaspases (MCA, which have been reported to induce cell death in plants and Leishmania parasites. We, therefore, investigated whether the cell death function of MCA is conserved in different protozoan parasite species such as Plasmodium falciparum and Leishmania major, focusing on the substrate specificity and functional role in cell survival as compared to Saccharomyces cerevisae. Our results show that, similarly to Leishmania, Plasmodium MCA exhibits a calcium-dependent, arginine-specific protease activity and its expression in yeast induced growth inhibition as well as an 82% increase in cell death under oxidative stress, a situation encountered by parasites during the host or when exposed to drugs such as artemisins. Furthermore, we show that MCA cell death pathways in both Plasmodium and Leishmania, involve a z-VAD-fmk inhibitable protease. Our data provide evidence that MCA from both Leishmania and Plasmodium falciparum is able to induce cell death in stress conditions, where it specifically activates a downstream enzyme as part of a cell death pathway. This enzymatic activity is also induced by the antimalarial drug chloroquine in erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum. Interestingly, we found that blocking parasite cell death influences their drug sensitivity, a result which could be used to create therapeutic strategies that by-pass drug resistance mechanisms by acting directly on the innate pathways of protozoan cell death.

  2. Advances in the study of Plasmodium falciparum calcium ATPase 6 (PfATP6)%恶性疟原虫钙ATP蛋白6(PfATP6)研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋营改

    2012-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) calcium ATPase 6 (PfATP6) is an antimalaria target of artemisinin and its derivatives. PfATPG is a type of sarco/endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (SERC'A). Its function is to maintain the calcium concentration within the cytoplasm of Pf through the consumption of ATP. Artemisinin and its derivatives suppress the function of PfATP6. increasing the concentration of calcium in the cytoplasm of Pf and killing it. Plasmodium develops drug resistance through mutations in PfATP6. Artemisinin and its derivatives can also suppress the SERCA of cancer cells, inducing changes in the calcium concentration within the cytoplasm of cancer cells and activating cancer cell apoptosis. Artemisinin and its derivatives can also he used to treat Toxoplastna gondii . Bahesia, and Pneu/nocystis ji-rovecii infections mainly through the mechanism of SERCA suppression. These phenomena have increased the significance of studies of PfATPG SERC'A and they have increased the clinic use of artemisinin and its derivatives.%恶性疟原虫钙ATP蛋白6(Plasmodium falciparum calcium ATPase 6,PfATP6)是青蒿素及其衍生物作用靶点之一,PfATP6是一类肌浆网/内质网钙ATP酶(sarco/endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase,SERCA),它通过消耗ATP来调节疟原虫胞浆内钙离子浓度,保持钙浓度的内稳状态.青蒿素及其衍生物通过抑制PfATP6,从而引发疟原虫胞浆内钙离子浓度上升,起到杀疟作用;疟原虫也通过PfATP6基因突变出现耐药现象.青蒿素及其衍生物通过对肿瘤细胞的SERCA抑制,引发肿瘤细胞内钙离子浓度的变化,激活凋亡程序,导致肿瘤细胞死亡;还能通过抑制SERCA治疗刚地弓形虫、巴贝斯虫和耶氏肺孢子菌感染,使PfATP6/SERCA基因研究更为重要,青蒿素及其衍生物临床应用更为广泛.

  3. Melatonin Signaling and Its Modulation of PfNF-YB Transcription Factor Expression in Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Célia R. S. Garcia

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is one of the most severe tropical infectious diseases. More than 220 million people around the world have a clinical malaria infection and about one million die because of Plasmodium annually. This parasitic pathogen replicates efficiently in its human host making it difficult to eradicate. It is transmitted by mosquito vectors and so far mosquito control programs have not effectively eliminated this transmission. Because of malaria’s enormous health and economic impact and the need to develop new control and eventual elimination strategies, a big research effort has been made to better understand the biology of this parasite and its interactions with its vertebrate host. Determination of the genome sequence and organization, the elucidation of the role of key proteins, and cell signaling studies have helped to develop an understanding of the molecular mechanisms that provide the parasite’s versatility. The parasite can sense its environment and adapt to benefit its survival, indeed this is essential for it to complete its life cycle. For many years we have studied how the Plasmodium parasite is able to sense melatonin. In this review we discuss the melatonin signaling pathway and its role in the control of Plasmodium replication and development.

  4. Plasmodium falciparum Thioredoxin Reductase (PfTrxR) and Its Role as a Target for New Antimalarial Discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarty, Sara E; Schellenberger, Amanda; Goodwin, Douglas C; Fuanta, Ngolui Rene; Tekwani, Babu L; Calderón, Angela I

    2015-01-01

    The growing resistance to current antimalarial drugs is a major concern for global public health. The pressing need for new antimalarials has led to an increase in research focused on the Plasmodium parasites that cause human malaria. Thioredoxin reductase (TrxR), an enzyme needed to maintain redox equilibrium in Plasmodium species, is a promising target for new antimalarials. This review paper provides an overview of the structure and function of TrxR, discusses similarities and differences between the thioredoxin reductases (TrxRs) of different Plasmodium species and the human forms of the enzyme, gives an overview of modeling Plasmodium infections in animals, and suggests the role of Trx functions in antimalarial drug resistance. TrxR of Plasmodium falciparum is a central focus of this paper since it is the only Plasmodium TrxR that has been crystallized and P. falciparum is the species that causes most malaria cases. It is anticipated that the information summarized here will give insight and stimulate new directions in which research might be most beneficial.

  5. Solution structure of a Plasmodium falciparum AMA-1/MSP 1 chimeric protein vaccine candidate (PfCP-2.9 for malaria

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    Jin Changwen

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Plasmodium falciparum chimeric protein PfCP-2.9 is a promising asexual-stage malaria vaccine evaluated in clinical trials. This chimeric protein consists of two cysteine-rich domains: domain III of the apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA-1 [III] and the C-terminal region of the merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1-19. It has been reported that the fusion of these two antigens enhanced their immunogenicity and antibody-mediated inhibition of parasite growth in vitro. Methods The 15N-labeled and 13C/15N-labeled PfCP-2.9 was produced in Pichia pastoris for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR structure analysis. The chemical shift assignments of PfCP-2.9 were compared with those previously reported for the individual domains (i.e., PfAMA-1(III or PfMSP 1-19. The two-dimensional spectra and transverse relaxation rates (R2 of the PfMSP1-19 alone were compared with that of the PfCP-2.9. Results Confident backbone assignments were obtained for 122 out of 241 residues of PfCP-2.9. The assigned residues in PfCP-2.9 were very similar to those previously reported for the individual domains. The conformation of the PfMSP1-19 in different constructs is essentially the same. Comparison of transverse relaxation rates (R2 strongly suggests no weak interaction between the domains. Conclusions These data indicate that the fusion of AMA-1(III and MSP1-19 as chimeric protein did not change their structures, supporting the use of the chimeric protein as a potential malaria vaccine.

  6. Identification of Selective Inhibitors of the Plasmodium falciparum Hexose Transporter PfHT by Screening Focused Libraries of Anti-Malarial Compounds.

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    Diana Ortiz

    Full Text Available Development of resistance against current antimalarial drugs necessitates the search for novel drugs that interact with different targets and have distinct mechanisms of action. Malaria parasites depend upon high levels of glucose uptake followed by inefficient metabolic utilization via the glycolytic pathway, and the Plasmodium falciparum hexose transporter PfHT, which mediates uptake of glucose, has thus been recognized as a promising drug target. This transporter is highly divergent from mammalian hexose transporters, and it appears to be a permease that is essential for parasite viability in intra-erythrocytic, mosquito, and liver stages of the parasite life cycle. An assay was developed that is appropriate for high throughput screening against PfHT based upon heterologous expression of PfHT in Leishmania mexicana parasites that are null mutants for their endogenous hexose transporters. Screening of two focused libraries of antimalarial compounds identified two such compounds that are high potency selective inhibitors of PfHT compared to human GLUT1. Additionally, 7 other compounds were identified that are lower potency and lower specificity PfHT inhibitors but might nonetheless serve as starting points for identification of analogs with more selective properties. These results further support the potential of PfHT as a novel drug target.

  7. Identification, design and biological evaluation of bisaryl quinolones targeting Plasmodium falciparum type II NADH:quinone oxidoreductase (PfNDH2).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pidathala, Chandrakala; Amewu, Richard; Pacorel, Bénédicte; Nixon, Gemma L; Gibbons, Peter; Hong, W David; Leung, Suet C; Berry, Neil G; Sharma, Raman; Stocks, Paul A; Srivastava, Abhishek; Shone, Alison E; Charoensutthivarakul, Sitthivut; Taylor, Lee; Berger, Olivier; Mbekeani, Alison; Hill, Alasdair; Fisher, Nicholas E; Warman, Ashley J; Biagini, Giancarlo A; Ward, Stephen A; O'Neill, Paul M

    2012-03-08

    A program was undertaken to identify hit compounds against NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (PfNDH2), a dehydrogenase of the mitochondrial electron transport chain of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. PfNDH2 has only one known inhibitor, hydroxy-2-dodecyl-4-(1H)-quinolone (HDQ), and this was used along with a range of chemoinformatics methods in the rational selection of 17 000 compounds for high-throughput screening. Twelve distinct chemotypes were identified and briefly examined leading to the selection of the quinolone core as the key target for structure-activity relationship (SAR) development. Extensive structural exploration led to the selection of 2-bisaryl 3-methyl quinolones as a series for further biological evaluation. The lead compound within this series 7-chloro-3-methyl-2-(4-(4-(trifluoromethoxy)benzyl)phenyl)quinolin-4(1H)-one (CK-2-68) has antimalarial activity against the 3D7 strain of P. falciparum of 36 nM, is selective for PfNDH2 over other respiratory enzymes (inhibitory IC(50) against PfNDH2 of 16 nM), and demonstrates low cytotoxicity and high metabolic stability in the presence of human liver microsomes. This lead compound and its phosphate pro-drug have potent in vivo antimalarial activity after oral administration, consistent with the target product profile of a drug for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria. Other quinolones presented (e.g., 6d, 6f, 14e) have the capacity to inhibit both PfNDH2 and P. falciparum cytochrome bc(1), and studies to determine the potential advantage of this dual-targeting effect are in progress.

  8. Plasmodium falciparum Hop (PfHop Interacts with the Hsp70 Chaperone in a Nucleotide-Dependent Fashion and Exhibits Ligand Selectivity.

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    Tawanda Zininga

    Full Text Available Heat shock proteins (Hsps play an important role in the development and pathogenicity of malaria parasites. One of the most prominent functions of Hsps is to facilitate the folding of other proteins. Hsps are thought to play a crucial role when malaria parasites invade their host cells and during their subsequent development in hepatocytes and red blood cells. It is thought that Hsps maintain proteostasis under the unfavourable conditions that malaria parasites encounter in the host environment. Although heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70 is capable of independent folding of some proteins, its functional cooperation with heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90 facilitates folding of some proteins such as kinases and steroid hormone receptors into their fully functional forms. The cooperation of Hsp70 and Hsp90 occurs through an adaptor protein called Hsp70-Hsp90 organising protein (Hop. We previously characterised the Hop protein from Plasmodium falciparum (PfHop. We observed that the protein co-localised with the cytosol-localised chaperones, PfHsp70-1 and PfHsp90 at the blood stages of the malaria parasite. In the current study, we demonstrated that PfHop is a stress-inducible protein. We further explored the direct interaction between PfHop and PfHsp70-1 using far Western and surface plasmon resonance (SPR analyses. The interaction of the two proteins was further validated by co-immunoprecipitation studies. We observed that PfHop and PfHsp70-1 associate in the absence and presence of either ATP or ADP. However, ADP appears to promote the association of the two proteins better than ATP. In addition, we investigated the specific interaction between PfHop TPR subdomains and PfHsp70-1/ PfHsp90, using a split-GFP approach. This method allowed us to observe that TPR1 and TPR2B subdomains of PfHop bind preferentially to the C-terminus of PfHsp70-1 compared to PfHsp90. Conversely, the TPR2A motif preferentially interacted with the C-terminus of PfHsp90. Finally, we

  9. Overproduction, purification and crystallization of a chondroitin sulfate A-binding DBL domain from a Plasmodium falciparum var2csa-encoded PfEMP1 protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Higgins, Matthew K., E-mail: mkh20@cam.ac.uk [Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, 80 Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1GA (United Kingdom)

    2008-03-01

    A chondroitin sulfate A-binding DBL important in placental malaria has been overproduced, purified and crystallized. Diffraction data were collected to 1.9 Å resolution. The PfEMP1 proteins of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are inserted into the membrane of infected red blood cells, where they mediate adhesion to a variety of human receptors. The DBL domains of the var2csa-encoded PfEMP1 protein play a critical role in malaria of pregnancy, tethering infected cells to the surface of the placenta through interactions with the glycosaminoglycan carbohydrate chondroitin sulfate A (CSA). A CSA-binding DBL domain has been overproduced in a bacterial expression system, purified and crystallized. Native data sets extending to 1.9 Å resolution have been collected and phasing is under way.

  10. Eps15 homology domain containing protein of Plasmodium falciparum (PfEHD) associates with endocytosis and vesicular trafficking towards neutral lipid storage site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Vandana; Asad, Mohd; Jain, Shaifali; Hossain, Mohammad E; Gupta, Akanksha; Kaur, Inderjeet; Rathore, Sumit; Ali, Shakir; Khan, Nida J; Mohmmed, Asif

    2015-11-01

    The human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, takes up numerous host cytosolic components and exogenous nutrients through endocytosis during the intra-erythrocytic stages. Eps15 homology domain-containing proteins (EHDs) are conserved NTPases, which are implicated in membrane remodeling and regulation of specific endocytic transport steps in eukaryotic cells. In the present study, we have characterized the dynamin-like C-terminal Eps15 homology domain containing protein of P. falciparum (PfEHD). Using a GFP-targeting approach, we studied localization and trafficking of PfEHD in the parasite. The PfEHD-GFP fusion protein was found to be a membrane bound protein that associates with vesicular network in the parasite. Time-lapse microscopy studies showed that these vesicles originate at parasite plasma membrane, migrate through the parasite cytosol and culminate into a large multi-vesicular like structure near the food-vacuole. Co-staining of food vacuole membrane showed that the multi-vesicular structure is juxtaposed but outside the food vacuole. Labeling of parasites with neutral lipid specific dye, Nile Red, showed that this large structure is neutral lipid storage site in the parasites. Proteomic analysis identified endocytosis modulators as PfEHD associated proteins in the parasites. Treatment of parasites with endocytosis inhibitors obstructed the development of PfEHD-labeled vesicles and blocked their targeting to the lipid storage site. Overall, our data suggests that the PfEHD is involved in endocytosis and plays a role in the generation of endocytic vesicles at the parasite plasma membrane, that are subsequently targeted to the neutral lipid generation/storage site localized near the food vacuole.

  11. B-cell epitopes in NTS-DBL1α of PfEMP1 recognized by human antibodies in Rosetting Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Letusa Albrecht

    Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum is the most lethal of the human malaria parasites. The virulence is associated with the capacity of the infected red blood cell (iRBC to sequester inside the deep microvasculature where it may cause obstruction of the blood-flow when binding is excessive. Rosetting, the adherence of the iRBC to uninfected erythrocytes, has been found associated with severe malaria and found to be mediated by the NTS-DBL1α-domain of Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1. Here we show that the reactivity of plasma of Cameroonian children with the surface of the FCR3S1.2-iRBC correlated with the capacity to disrupt rosettes and with the antibody reactivity with a recombinant PfEMP1 (NTS-DBL1α of IT4var60 expressed by parasite FCR3S1.2. The plasma-reactivity in a microarray, consisting of 96 overlapping 15-mer long peptides covering the NTS-DBL1α domain from IT4var60 sequence, was compared with their capacity to disrupt rosettes and we identified five peptides where the reactivity were correlated. Three of the peptides were localized in subdomain-1 and 2. The other two peptide-sequences were localized in the NTS-domain and in subdomain-3. Further, principal component analysis and orthogonal partial least square analysis generated a model that supported these findings. In conclusion, human antibody reactivity with short linear-peptides of NTS-DBL1α of PfEMP1 suggests subdomains 1 and 2 to hold anti-rosetting epitopes recognized by anti-rosetting antibodies. The data suggest rosetting to be mediated by the variable areas of PfEMP1 but also to involve structurally relatively conserved areas of the molecule that may induce biologically active antibodies.

  12. B-cell epitopes in NTS-DBL1α of PfEMP1 recognized by human antibodies in Rosetting Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albrecht, Letusa; Angeletti, Davide; Moll, Kirsten; Blomqvist, Karin; Valentini, Davide; D'Alexandri, Fabio Luiz; Maurer, Markus; Wahlgren, Mats

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the most lethal of the human malaria parasites. The virulence is associated with the capacity of the infected red blood cell (iRBC) to sequester inside the deep microvasculature where it may cause obstruction of the blood-flow when binding is excessive. Rosetting, the adherence of the iRBC to uninfected erythrocytes, has been found associated with severe malaria and found to be mediated by the NTS-DBL1α-domain of Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1). Here we show that the reactivity of plasma of Cameroonian children with the surface of the FCR3S1.2-iRBC correlated with the capacity to disrupt rosettes and with the antibody reactivity with a recombinant PfEMP1 (NTS-DBL1α of IT4var60) expressed by parasite FCR3S1.2. The plasma-reactivity in a microarray, consisting of 96 overlapping 15-mer long peptides covering the NTS-DBL1α domain from IT4var60 sequence, was compared with their capacity to disrupt rosettes and we identified five peptides where the reactivity were correlated. Three of the peptides were localized in subdomain-1 and 2. The other two peptide-sequences were localized in the NTS-domain and in subdomain-3. Further, principal component analysis and orthogonal partial least square analysis generated a model that supported these findings. In conclusion, human antibody reactivity with short linear-peptides of NTS-DBL1α of PfEMP1 suggests subdomains 1 and 2 to hold anti-rosetting epitopes recognized by anti-rosetting antibodies. The data suggest rosetting to be mediated by the variable areas of PfEMP1 but also to involve structurally relatively conserved areas of the molecule that may induce biologically active antibodies.

  13. PfEMP1 – A Parasite Protein Family of Key Importance in Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Immunity and Pathogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hviid, Lars; Jensen, Anja T R

    2015-01-01

    to be a central element in the pathogenesis of the disease. It is mediated by the interaction of parasite ligands on the erythrocyte surface and a range of host receptor molecules in many organs and tissues. Among several proteins and protein families implicated in this process, the P. falciparum erythrocyte...... membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family of high-molecular weight and highly variable antigens appears to be the most prominent. In this chapter, we aim to provide a systematic overview of the current knowledge about these proteins, their structure, their function, how they are presented on the erythrocyte...

  14. Telomeric Heterochromatin in Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosaura Hernandez-Rivas

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Until very recently, little was known about the chromatin structure of the telomeres and subtelomeric regions in Plasmodium falciparum. In yeast and Drosophila melanogaster, chromatin structure has long been known to be an important aspect in the regulation and functioning of these regions. Telomeres and subtelomeric regions are enriched in epigenetic marks that are specific to heterochromatin, such as methylation of lysine 9 of histone H3 and lysine 20 of histone H4. In P. falciparum, histone modifications and the presence of both the heterochromatin “writing” (PfSir2, PKMT and “reading” (PfHP1 machinery at telomeric and subtelomeric regions indicate that these regions are likely to have heterochromatic structure that is epigenetically regulated. This structure may be important for telomere functions such as the silencing of the var gene family implicated in the cytoadherence and antigenic variation of these parasites.

  15. Reduced in vitro doxycycline susceptibility in plasmodium falciparum field isolates from Kenya is associated with PfTetQ KYNNNN sequence polymorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achieng, Angela O; Ingasia, Luiser A; Juma, Dennis W; Cheruiyot, Agnes C; Okudo, Charles A; Yeda, Redemptah A; Cheruiyot, Jelagat; Akala, Hoseah M; Johnson, Jacob; Andangalu, Ben; Eyase, Fredrick; Jura, Walter G Z O; Kamau, Edwin

    2014-10-01

    Doxycycline is widely used for malaria prophylaxis by international travelers. However, there is limited information on doxycycline efficacy in Kenya, and genetic polymorphisms associated with reduced efficacy are not well defined. In vitro doxycycline susceptibility profiles for 96 Plasmodium falciparum field isolates from Kenya were determined. Genetic polymorphisms were assessed in P. falciparum metabolite drug transporter (Pfmdt) and P. falciparum GTPase tetQ (PftetQ) genes. Copy number variation of the gene and the number of KYNNNN amino acid motif repeats within the protein encoded by PftetQ were determined. Reduced in vitro susceptibility to doxycycline was defined by 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) of ≥35,000 nM. The odds ratio (OR) of having 2 PfTetQ KYNNNN amino acid repeats in isolates with IC50s of >35,000 nM relative to those with IC50s of IC50 of 6,971 nM, whereas those with a Pfmdt copy number of >1 had a median IC50 of 9,912 nM (P = 0.0245). Isolates with 1 copy of PftetQ had a median IC50 of 6,370 nM, whereas isolates with a PftetQ copy number of >1 had a median IC50 of 3,422 nM (P IC50 of 26,165 nM, whereas isolates with 3 PfTetQ KYNNNN repeats had a median IC50 of 3,352 nM (P = 0.0023). PfTetQ sequence polymorphism is associated with a reduced doxycycline susceptibility phenotype in Kenyan isolates and is a potential marker for susceptibility testing.

  16. Plasmodium falciparum PfA-M1 aminopeptidase is trafficked via the parasitophorous vacuole and marginally delivered to the food vacuole

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nyalwidhe Julius

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Plasmodium falciparum PfA-M1 aminopeptidase, encoded by a single copy gene, displays a neutral optimal activity at pH 7.4. It is thought to be involved in haemoglobin degradation and/or invasion of the host cells. Although a series of inhibitors developed against PfA-M1 suggest that this enzyme is a promising target for therapeutic intervention, the biological function(s of the three different forms of the enzyme (p120, p96 and p68 are not fully understood. Two recent studies using PfA-M1 transfections have also provided conflicting results on PfA-M1 localization within or outside the food vacuole. Alternative destinations, such as the nucleus, have also been proposed. Methods By using a combination of techniques, such as cellular and biochemical fractionations, biochemical analysis, mass-spectrometry, immunofluorescence assays and live imaging of GFP fusions to various PfA-M1 domains, evidence is provided for differential localization and behaviour of the three different forms of PfA-M1 in the infected red blood cell which had not been established before. Results The high molecular weight p120 form of PfA-M1, the only version of the protein with a hydrophobic transmembrane domain, is detected both inside the parasite and in the parasitophorous vacuole while the processed p68 form is strictly soluble and localized within the parasite. The transient intermediate and soluble p96 form is localized at the border of parasitophorous vacuole and within the parasite in a compartment sensitive to high concentrations of saponin. Upon treatment with brefeldin A, the PfA-M1 maturation is blocked and the enzyme remains in a compartment close to the nucleus. Conclusions The PfA-M1 trafficking/maturation scenario that emerges from this data indicates that PfA-M1, synthesized as the precursor p120 form, is targeted to the parasitophorous vacuole via the parasite endoplasmic reticulum/Golgi, where it is converted into the transient p96

  17. PfGBP: una proteína de unión al telómero de Plasmodium falciparum

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    Eliana Calvo

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Los telómeros son estructuras complejas de ADN y proteína localizadas en el extremo de los cromosomas eucariotes. Su principal función es proteger el extremo cromosomal de ser reconocido y procesado como ADNs fracturado, evitando así eventos de recombinación y fusión que conducen a inestabilidad cromosomal. El ADN telomérico consta de secuencias cortas, repetidas una tras otra, ricas en guanina; la cadena rica en guanina se extiende formando una región de cadena sencilla denominada extremo 3´ protuberante. Las proteínas por su parte, se pueden clasificar en: dsBPs, o proteínas de unión a la cadena doble, GBPs aquellas que reconocen específicamente el extremo protuberante y, proteínas que las interconectan mediante interacciones proteína-proteína. El gen PF3D7_1006800 de Plasmodium falciparum codifica para una proteína putativa similar a una GBP de Criptosporidium parvum, con el fin de establecer si esta proteína de P. falciparum presenta la capacidad de unión al ADN telomérico del parásito, se produjo una proteína recombinante a partir de la región codificante del gen, se purificó y se utilizó en ensayos de unión a ADN, y en la generación de anticuerpos policlonales específicos contra PfGBP. Nuestros resultados indican que la proteína de P. falciparum es una proteína nuclear con capacidad de unión al ADN telomérico in vitro, por lo que podría ser parte del complejo proteico encargado de proteger y/o mantener el telómero in vivo.

  18. A Novel Domain Cassette Identifies Plasmodium falciparum PfEMP1 Proteins Binding ICAM-1 and Is a Target of Cross-Reactive, Adhesion-Inhibitory Antibodies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bengtsson, Anja; Jørgensen, Louise; Rask, Thomas Salhøj

    2013-01-01

    Cerebral Plasmodium falciparum malaria is characterized by adhesion of infected erythrocytes (IEs) to the cerebral microvasculature. This has been linked to parasites expressing the structurally related group A subset of the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family of IE...... genes from six genetically distinct P. falciparum parasites. The three domains in the cassette, which we call DC4, had a high level of sequence identity and cluster together phylogenetically. Erythrocytes infected by these parasites and selected in vitro for expression of DC4 adhered specifically...

  19. The synthetic Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite peptide PfCS102 as a malaria vaccine candidate: a randomized controlled phase I trial.

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    Régine Audran

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Fully efficient vaccines against malaria pre-erythrocytic stage are still lacking. The objective of this dose/adjuvant-finding study was to evaluate the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of a vaccine candidate based on a peptide spanning the C-terminal region of Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCS102 in malaria naive adults. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Thirty-six healthy malaria-naive adults were randomly distributed into three dose blocks (10, 30 and 100 microg and vaccinated with PfCS102 in combination with either Montanide ISA 720 or GSK proprietary Adjuvant System AS02A at days 0, 60, and 180. Primary end-point (safety and reactogenicity was based on the frequency of adverse events (AE and of abnormal biological safety tests; secondary-end point (immunogenicity on P. falciparum specific cell-mediated immunity and antibody response before and after immunization. The two adjuvant formulations were well tolerated and their safety profile was good. Most AEs were local and, when systemic, involved mainly fatigue and headache. Half the volunteers in AS02A groups experienced severe AEs (mainly erythema. After the third injection, 34 of 35 volunteers developed anti-PfCS102 and anti-sporozoite antibodies, and 28 of 35 demonstrated T-cell proliferative responses and IFN-gamma production. Five of 22 HLA-A2 and HLA-A3 volunteers displayed PfCS102 specific IFN-gamma secreting CD8(+ T cell responses. Responses were only marginally boosted after the 3(rd vaccination and remained stable for 6 months. For both adjuvants, the dose of 10 microg was less immunogenic in comparison to 30 and 100 microg that induced similar responses. AS02A formulations with 30 microg or 100 microg PfCS102 induced about 10-folds higher antibody and IFN-gamma responses than Montanide formulations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: PfCS102 peptide was safe and highly immunogenic, allowing the design of more advanced trials to test its potential

  20. Prioritization of active antimalarials using structural interaction profile of Plasmodium falciparum enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (PfENR)-triclosan derivatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, S P; George, L B; Jasrai, Y T; Pandya, H A

    2015-01-01

    An empirical relationship between the experimental inhibitory activities of triclosan derivatives and its computationally predicted Plasmodium falciparum enoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) reductase (PfENR) dock poses was developed to model activities of known antimalarials. A statistical model was developed using 57 triclosan derivatives with significant measures (r = 0.849, q(2) = 0.619, s = 0.481) and applied on structurally related and structurally diverse external datasets. A substructure-based search on ChEMBL malaria dataset (280 compounds) yielded only two molecules with significant docking energy, whereas eight active antimalarials (EC(50) < 100 nM, tested on 3D7 strain) with better predicted activities (pIC(50) ~ 7) from Open Access Malaria Box (400 compounds) were prioritized. Further, calculations on the structurally diverse rhodanine molecules (known PfENR inhibitors) distinguished actives (experimental IC(50) = 0.035 μM; predicted pIC(50) = 6.568) and inactives (experimental IC(50) = 50 μM; predicted pIC50 = -4.078), which showed that antimalarials possessing dock poses similar to experimental interaction profiles can be used as leads to test experimentally on enzyme assays.

  1. Artemether resistance in vitro is linked to mutations in PfATP6 that also interact with mutations in PfMDR1 in travellers returning with Plasmodium falciparum infections.

    KAUST Repository

    Pillai, Dylan R

    2012-04-27

    BACKGROUND: Monitoring resistance phenotypes for Plasmodium falciparum, using in vitro growth assays, and relating findings to parasite genotype has proved particularly challenging for the study of resistance to artemisinins. METHODS: Plasmodium falciparum isolates cultured from 28 returning travellers diagnosed with malaria were assessed for sensitivity to artemisinin, artemether, dihydroartemisinin and artesunate and findings related to mutations in pfatp6 and pfmdr1. RESULTS: Resistance to artemether in vitro was significantly associated with a pfatp6 haplotype encoding two amino acid substitutions (pfatp6 A623E and S769N; (mean IC50 (95% CI) values of 8.2 (5.7 - 10.7) for A623/S769 versus 623E/769 N 13.5 (9.8 - 17.3) nM with a mean increase of 65%; p = 0.012). Increased copy number of pfmdr1 was not itself associated with increased IC50 values for artemether, but when interactions between the pfatp6 haplotype and increased copy number of pfmdr1 were examined together, a highly significant association was noted with IC50 values for artemether (mean IC50 (95% CI) values of 8.7 (5.9 - 11.6) versus 16.3 (10.7 - 21.8) nM with a mean increase of 87%; p = 0.0068). Previously described SNPs in pfmdr1 are also associated with differences in sensitivity to some artemisinins. CONCLUSIONS: These findings were further explored in molecular modelling experiments that suggest mutations in pfatp6 are unlikely to affect differential binding of artemisinins at their proposed site, whereas there may be differences in such binding associated with mutations in pfmdr1. Implications for a hypothesis that artemisinin resistance may be exacerbated by interactions between PfATP6 and PfMDR1 and for epidemiological studies to monitor emerging resistance are discussed.

  2. Sequence variation of PfEMP1-DBLα in association with rosette formation in Plasmodium falciparum isolates causing severe and uncomplicated malaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig Alister

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Rosetting and cytoadherence of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells have been associated with severity of malaria. ICAM-1 and CD36 are the main host cell receptors, while PfEMP1-DBLα is a major parasite ligand, which can contribute to rosette formation. This study is aimed at demonstrating whether the highly polymorphic PfEMP1-DBLα sequences occurring among Thai isolates causing severe and uncomplicated malaria are associated with their ability to form rosettes and reflected the clinical outcome of the patients. Methods Two hundred and ninety five PfEMP1-DBLα sequences from Thai clinical isolates causing severe and uncomplicated malaria were evaluated by sequencing and direct comparison using the specific text string analysis functions in Microsoft Excel and Perl. The relationships between the PfEMP1-DBLα sequences were also analysed by network analysis. The binding abilities of parasitized red blood cells (PRBCs to CD36, wild type ICAM-1, ICAM-1Kilifi and ICAM-1S22/A under static condition were included. Results Two hundred and eighty one non-identical amino acid sequences were identified (p = 0.027. By using a simple non-phylogenetic approach to visualize the sharing of polymorphic blocks (position specific polymorphic block, PSPB and cys/PoLV among DBLα sequences, the sequence group 1 was split from the other five sequence groups. The isolates belonging to sequence group 5 gave the highest mean rosetting rate (21.31%. However, within sequence group 2 and group 6, the isolates causing severe malaria had significantly higher rosetting rate than those causing uncomplicated malaria (p = 0.014, p = 0.007, respectively. Conclusion This is the first report of PfEMP1-DBLα analysis in clinical Thai isolates using semi-conserved features (cys/PoLV and PSPBs. The cys/PoLV group 5 gave the highest rosetting rate. PfEMP1-DBLα domains in Thai isolates are highly diverse, however, clinical isolates from severe and

  3. Evasion of immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria by IgM masking of protective IgG epitopes in infected erythrocyte surface-exposed PfEMP1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barfod, Lea; Dalgaard, Michael B; Pleman, Suzan T

    2011-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria is a major cause of mortality and severe morbidity. Its virulence is related to the parasite's ability to evade host immunity through clonal antigenic variation and tissue-specific adhesion of infected erythrocytes (IEs). The P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein...... epitopes not prone to IgM masking are likely to be particularly important targets of acquired protective immunity to P. falciparum malaria....

  4. Antibodies against PfEMP1, RIFIN, MSP3 and GLURP are acquired during controlled Plasmodium falciparum malaria infections in naïve volunteers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Turner, Louise; Wang, Christian W; Lavstsen, Thomas;

    2011-01-01

    Antibodies to polymorphic antigens expressed during the parasites erythrocytic stages are important mediators of protective immunity against P. falciparum malaria. Therefore, polymorphic blood stage antigens like MSP3, EBA-175 and GLURP and variant surface antigens PfEMP1 and RIFIN are considered...... antigens, PfEMP1 and RIFIN as well as MSP3 and GLURP, are acquired during a single short low density P. falciparum infection in non-immune individuals including strain transcendent PfEMP1 immune responses. These data indicate that the immunogenicity of the variant surface antigens is similar to the less...... diverse merozoite antigens. The acquisition of a broad and strain transcendent repertoire of PfEMP1 antibodies may reflect a parasite strategy of expressing most or all PfEMP1 variants at liver release optimizing the likelihood of survival and establishment of chronic infections in the new host....

  5. The Plasmodium falciparum malaria M1 alanyl aminopeptidase (PfA-M1: insights of catalytic mechanism and function from MD simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter M Jones

    Full Text Available Malaria caused by several species of Plasmodium is major parasitic disease of humans, causing 1-3 million deaths worldwide annually. The widespread resistance of the human parasite to current drug therapies is of major concern making the identification of new drug targets urgent. While the parasite grows and multiplies inside the host erythrocyte it degrades the host cell hemoglobin and utilizes the released amino acids to synthesize its own proteins. The P. falciparum malarial M1 alanyl-aminopeptidase (PfA-M1 is an enzyme involved in the terminal stages of hemoglobin digestion and the generation of an amino acid pool within the parasite. The enzyme has been validated as a potential drug target since inhibitors of the enzyme block parasite growth in vitro and in vivo. In order to gain further understanding of this enzyme, molecular dynamics simulations using data from a recent crystal structure of PfA-M1 were performed. The results elucidate the pentahedral coordination of the catalytic Zn in these metallo-proteases and provide new insights into the roles of this cation and important active site residues in ligand binding and in the hydrolysis of the peptide bond. Based on the data, we propose a two-step catalytic mechanism, in which the conformation of the active site is altered between the Michaelis complex and the transition state. In addition, the simulations identify global changes in the protein in which conformational transitions in the catalytic domain are transmitted at the opening of the N-terminal 8 Å-long channel and at the opening of the 30 Å-long C-terminal internal chamber that facilitates entry of peptides to the active site and exit of released amino acids. The possible implications of these global changes with regard to enzyme function are discussed.

  6. Structure-based drug design studies of the interactions of ent-kaurane diterpenes derived from Wedelia paludosa with the Plasmodium falciparum sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase PfATP6

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Silqueira Martins Guimarães

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is responsible for more deaths around the world than any other parasitic disease. Due to the emergence of strains that are resistant to the current chemotherapeutic antimalarial arsenal, the search for new antimalarial drugs remains urgent though hampered by a lack of knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms of artemisinin resistance. Semisynthetic compounds derived from diterpenes from the medicinal plant Wedelia paludosa were tested in silico against the Plasmodium falciparum Ca2+-ATPase, PfATP6. This protein was constructed by comparative modelling using the three-dimensional structure of a homologous protein, 1IWO, as a scaffold. Compound 21 showed the best docking scores, indicating a better interaction with PfATP6 than that of thapsigargin, the natural inhibitor. Inhibition of PfATP6 by diterpene compounds could promote a change in calcium homeostasis, leading to parasite death. These data suggest PfATP6 as a potential target for the antimalarial ent-kaurane diterpenes.

  7. Plasmodium falciparum isolates from southern Ghana exhibit polymorphisms in the SERCA-type PfATPase6 though sensitive to artesunate in vitro

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    Ofori Michael F

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In 2005, Ghana replaced chloroquine with artemisinin-based combination therapy as the first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria. The aim of this work was to determine for the first time, polymorphisms in the putative pfATPase6 and pftctp, pfmdr1, pfcrt genes in Ghanaian isolates, particularly at a time when there is no report on artemisinin resistance in malaria parasites from Ghana. The sensitivity of parasite isolates to anti-malaria drugs were also evaluated for a possible association with polymorphisms in these genes. Methods The prevalence of point mutations in the above Plasmodium falciparum genes were assessed from filter-paper blood blot samples by DNA sequencing. In vitro drug sensitivity test was carried out on some of the blood samples from volunteers visiting hospitals/clinics in southern Ghana using a modified version of the standard WHO Mark III micro-test. Results All successfully tested parasite isolates were sensitive to artesunate; while 19.4%, 29.0% and 51.6% were resistant to quinine, amodiaquine and chloroquine respectively. The geometric mean of IC50 value for artesunate was 0.73 nM (95% CI, 0.38-1.08, amodiaquine 30.69 nM (95% CI, 14.18-47.20 and chloroquine 58.73 nM (95% CI, 38.08-79.38. Twenty point mutations were observed in pfATPase6 gene, with no L263E and S769N. All mutations found were low in frequency, except D639G which was observed in about half of the isolates but was not associated with artesunate response (p = 0.42. The pftctp gene is highly conserved as no mutation was observed, while CVIET which is chloroquine-resistant genotype at codon 72-76 of the pfcrt gene was identified in about half of the isolates; this was consistent with chloroquine IC50 values (p = 0.001. Mutations were present in pfmdr1 gene but were not associated with artemisinin response (p = 1.00. Conclusion The pfATPase6 gene is highly polymorphic with D639G appearing to be fixed in Ghanaian isolates. These may just

  8. Antibodies against PfEMP1, RIFIN, MSP3 and GLURP Are Acquired during Controlled Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Infections in Naive Volunteers.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Turner, L.; Wang, C.W.; Lavstsen, T.; Mwakalinga, S.B.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Hermsen, C.C.; Theander, T.G.

    2011-01-01

    Antibodies to polymorphic antigens expressed during the parasites erythrocytic stages are important mediators of protective immunity against P. falciparum malaria. Therefore, polymorphic blood stage antigens like MSP3, EBA-175 and GLURP and variant surface antigens PfEMP1 and RIFIN are considered

  9. The generation and evaluation of recombinant human IgA specific for Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1-19 (PfMSP119

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corran Patrick H

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human immunoglobulin G (IgG plays an important role in mediating protective immune responses to malaria. Although human serum immunoglobulin A (IgA is the second most abundant class of antibody in the circulation, its contribution, if any, to protective responses against malaria is not clear. Results To explore the mechanism(s by which IgA may mediate a protective effect, we generated fully human IgA specific for the C-terminal 19-kDa region of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 (PfMSP119, a major target of protective immune responses. This novel human IgA bound antigen with an affinity comparable to that seen for an epitope-matched protective human IgG1. Furthermore, the human IgA induced significantly higher NADPH-mediated oxidative bursts and degranulation from human neutrophils than the epitope-matched human IgG1 from which it was derived. Despite showing efficacy in in vitro functional assays, the human IgA failed to protect against parasite challenge in vivo in mice transgenic for the human Fcα receptor (FcαRI/CD89. A minority of the animals treated with IgA, irrespective of FcαRI expression, showed elevated serum TNF-α levels and concomitant mouse anti-human antibody (MAHA responses. Conclusions The lack of protection afforded by MSP119-specific IgA against parasite challenge in mice transgenic for human FcαRI suggests that this antibody class does not play a major role in control of infection. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that protective capacity may have been compromised in this model due to rapid clearance and inappropriate bio-distribution of IgA, and differences in FcαRI expression profile between humans and transgenic mice.

  10. Analyzing Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 gene expression by a next generation sequencing based method

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jespersen, Jakob S.; Petersen, Bent; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine;

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for most cases of severe malaria and causes >1 million deaths every year. The particular virulence of this Plasmodium species is highly associated with the expression of certain members of the Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1(PfEMP1) family...

  11. The association between naturally acquired IgG subclass specific antibodies to the PfRH5 invasion complex and protection from Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, Rupert; Reiling, Linda; Feng, Gaoqian; Drew, Damien R.; Mueller, Ivo; Siba, Peter M.; Tsuboi, Takafumi; Richards, Jack S.; Fowkes, Freya J. I.; Beeson, James G.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the targets and mechanisms of human immunity to malaria is important for advancing the development of highly efficacious vaccines and serological tools for malaria surveillance. The PfRH5 and PfRipr proteins form a complex on the surface of P. falciparum merozoites that is essential for invasion of erythrocytes and are vaccine candidates. We determined IgG subclass responses to these proteins among malaria-exposed individuals in Papua New Guinea and their association with protection from malaria in a longitudinal cohort of children. Cytophilic subclasses, IgG1 and IgG3, were predominant with limited IgG2 and IgG4, and IgG subclass-specific responses were higher in older children and those with active infection. High IgG3 to PfRH5 and PfRipr were significantly and strongly associated with reduced risk of malaria after adjusting for potential confounding factors, whereas associations for IgG1 responses were generally weaker and not statistically significant. Results further indicated that malaria exposure leads to the co-acquisition of IgG1 and IgG3 to PfRH5 and PfRipr, as well as to other PfRH invasion ligands, PfRH2 and PfRH4. These findings suggest that IgG3 responses to PfRH5 and PfRipr may play a significant role in mediating naturally-acquired immunity and support their potential as vaccine candidates and their use as antibody biomarkers of immunity. PMID:27604417

  12. High throughput functional assays of the variant antigen PfEMP1 reveal a single domain in the 3D7 Plasmodium falciparum genome that binds ICAM1 with high affinity and is targeted by naturally acquired neutralizing antibodies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew V Oleinikov

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes bind endothelial receptors to sequester in vascular beds, and binding to ICAM1 has been implicated in cerebral malaria. Binding to ICAM1 may be mediated by the variant surface antigen family PfEMP1: for example, 6 of 21 DBLbetaC2 domains from the IT4 strain PfEMP1 repertoire were shown to bind ICAM1, and the PfEMP1 containing these 6 domains are all classified as Group B or C type. In this study, we surveyed binding of ICAM1 to 16 DBLbetaC2 domains of the 3D7 strain PfEMP1 repertoire, using a high throughput Bioplex assay format. Only one DBL2betaC2 domain from the Group A PfEMP1 PF11_0521 showed strong specific binding. Among these 16 domains, DBL2betaC2(PF11_0521 best preserved the residues previously identified as conserved in ICAM1-binding versus non-binding domains. Our analyses further highlighted the potential role of conserved residues within predominantly non-conserved flexible loops in adhesion, and, therefore, as targets for intervention. Our studies also suggest that the structural/functional DBLbetaC2 domain involved in ICAM1 binding includes about 80 amino acid residues upstream of the previously suggested DBLbetaC2 domain. DBL2betaC2(PF11_0521 binding to ICAM1 was inhibited by immune sera from east Africa but not by control US sera. Neutralizing antibodies were uncommon in children but common in immune adults from east Africa. Inhibition of binding was much more efficient than reversal of binding, indicating a strong interaction between DBL2betaC2(PF11_0521 and ICAM1. Our high throughput approach will significantly accelerate studies of PfEMP1 binding domains and protective antibody responses.

  13. Plasmodium falciparum Plasmodium helical interspersed subtelomeric proteins contribute to cytoadherence and anchor P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 to the host cell cytoskeleton

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oberli, Alexander; Zurbrügg, Laura; Rusch, Sebastian;

    2016-01-01

    Adherence of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to host endothelium is conferred through the parasite-derived virulence factor P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), the major contributor to malaria severity. PfEMP1 located at knob structures on the erythrocyte surface is...

  14. [Erythrocytes infected by Plasmodium falciparum activate human platelets].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polack, B; Peyron, F; Sheick Zadiuddin, I; Kolodié, L; Ambroise-Thomas, P

    1990-01-01

    Blood platelets are involved in Plasmodium falciparum malaria pathology as shown by thrombocytopenia and increased plasma level of two alpha granule proteins: beta thromboglobulin (beta TG) and platelet factor 4 (PF4). In this study we demonstrate that Plasmodium falciparum parasitized erythrocytes activate directly the secretion of beta TG and PF4 by human platelets. This secretion is related to parasitemia and occurs immediately after contact. Treatment of parasited erythrocytes by trypsin and diffusion chamber experiments suggest that platelet activation is triggered by parasitic substances shed on erythrocyte membrane and released in the culture medium.

  15. Structural Studies on Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) Malaria Antigens Using Small Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christoffersen, Stig

    against placental malaria, VAR2CSA was studied extensively. By the use of SAXS on multiple truncated VAR2CSA constructs it was possible to combine the acquired information and present a structural model for the DBL and CIDR domain arrangement in VAR2CSA. This work was published in Journal of Biological...... symptoms and vaccine research is focused on trying to mimic or advance this immune acquisition. Immunity is primarily caused by acquisition of antibodies directed against a family of Plasmodium protein antigens called PfEMP1s located on the surface of infected erythrocytes. The PfEMP1 proteins are adhesive...... knowledge for these proteins is required. During the time course of this PhD thesis I have studied a number of PfEMP1 proteins using the SAXS technique. This biophysical technique has gained widespread attention during the past decade due to scientific and computational developments. SAXS is X...

  16. Characterisation and expression of a PP1 serine/threonine protein phosphatase (PfPP1 from the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum: demonstration of its essential role using RNA interference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Musiyenko Alla

    2002-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Reversible protein phosphorylation is relatively unexplored in the intracellular protozoa of the Apicomplexa family that includes the genus Plasmodium, to which belong the causative agents of malaria. Members of the PP1 family represent the most highly conserved protein phosphatase sequences in phylogeny and play essential regulatory roles in various cellular pathways. Previous evidence suggested a PP1-like activity in Plasmodium falciparum, not yet identified at the molecular level. Results We have identified a PP1 catalytic subunit from P. falciparum and named it PfPP1. The predicted primary structure of the 304-amino acid long protein was highly similar to PP1 sequences of other species, and showed conservation of all the signature motifs. The purified recombinant protein exhibited potent phosphatase activity in vitro. Its sensitivity to specific phosphatase inhibitors was characteristic of the PP1 class. The authenticity of the PfPP1 cDNA was further confirmed by mutational analysis of strategic amino acid residues important in catalysis. The protein was expressed in all erythrocytic stages of the parasite. Abrogation of PP1 expression by synthetic short interfering RNA (siRNA led to inhibition of parasite DNA synthesis. Conclusions The high sequence similarity of PfPP1 with other PP1 members suggests conservation of function. Phenotypic gene knockdown studies using siRNA confirmed its essential role in the parasite. Detailed studies of PfPP1 and its regulation may unravel the role of reversible protein phosphorylation in the signalling pathways of the parasite, including glucose metabolism and parasitic cell division. The use of siRNA could be an important tool in the functional analysis of Apicomplexan genes.

  17. Unique properties of Plasmodium falciparum porphobilinogen deaminase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagaraj, Viswanathan Arun; Arumugam, Rajavel; Gopalakrishnan, Bulusu; Jyothsna, Yeleswarapu Sri; Rangarajan, Pundi N; Padmanaban, Govindarajan

    2008-01-04

    The hybrid pathway for heme biosynthesis in the malarial parasite proposes the involvement of parasite genome-coded enzymes of the pathway localized in different compartments such as apicoplast, mitochondria, and cytosol. However, knowledge on the functionality and localization of many of these enzymes is not available. In this study, we demonstrate that porphobilinogen deaminase encoded by the Plasmodium falciparum genome (PfPBGD) has several unique biochemical properties. Studies carried out with PfPBGD partially purified from parasite membrane fraction, as well as recombinant PfPBGD lacking N-terminal 64 amino acids expressed and purified from Escherichia coli cells (DeltaPfPBGD), indicate that both the proteins are catalytically active. Surprisingly, PfPBGD catalyzes the conversion of porphobilinogen to uroporphyrinogen III (UROGEN III), indicating that it also possesses uroporphyrinogen III synthase (UROS) activity, catalyzing the next step. This obviates the necessity to have a separate gene for UROS that has not been so far annotated in the parasite genome. Interestingly, DeltaPfP-BGD gives rise to UROGEN III even after heat treatment, although UROS from other sources is known to be heat-sensitive. Based on the analysis of active site residues, a DeltaPfPBGDL116K mutant enzyme was created and the specific activity of this recombinant mutant enzyme is 5-fold higher than DeltaPfPBGD. More interestingly, DeltaPfPBGDL116K catalyzes the formation of uroporphyrinogen I (UROGEN I) in addition to UROGEN III, indicating that with increased PBGD activity the UROS activity of PBGD may perhaps become rate-limiting, thus leading to non-enzymatic cyclization of preuroporphyrinogen to UROGEN I. PfPBGD is localized to the apicoplast and is catalytically very inefficient compared with the host red cell enzyme.

  18. Plasmodium falciparum infection causes proinflammatory priming of human TLR responses.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McCall, M.B.B.; Netea, M.G.; Hermsen, C.C.; Jansen, T.; Jacobs, L.; Golenbock, D.; Ven, A.J.A.M. van der; Sauerwein, R.W.

    2007-01-01

    TLRs are a major group of pattern recognition receptors that are crucial in initiating innate immune responses and are capable of recognizing Plasmodium ligands. We have investigated TLR responses during acute experimental P. falciparum (P.f.) infection in 15 malaria-naive volunteers. TLR-4 response

  19. Antibodies and Plasmodium falciparum merozoites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramasamy, R; Ramasamy, M; Yasawardena, S

    There is considerable interest in using merozoite proteins in a vaccine against falciparum malaria. Observations that antibodies to merozoite surface proteins block invasion are a basis for optimism. This article draws attention to important and varied aspects of how antibodies to Plasmodium

  20. 3-Halo Chloroquine Derivatives Overcome Plasmodium falciparum Chloroquine Resistance Transporter-Mediated Drug Resistance in P. falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edaye, Sonia; Tazoo, Dagobert; Bohle, D Scott; Georges, Elias

    2015-12-01

    Polymorphism in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) was shown to cause chloroquine resistance. In this report, we examined the antimalarial potential of novel 3-halo chloroquine derivatives (3-chloro, 3-bromo, and 3-iodo) against chloroquine-susceptible and -resistant P. falciparum. All three derivatives inhibited the proliferation of P. falciparum; with 3-iodo chloroquine being most effective. Moreover, 3-iodo chloroquine was highly effective at potentiating and reversing chloroquine toxicity of drug-susceptible and -resistant P. falciparum.

  1. Plasmodium falciparum malaria associated with ABO blood ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria associated with ABO blood phenotypes and ... out to investigate the relationship between blood group types and P. falciparum ... of long lasting treated (LLT) mosquito bed nets and the prevalence of infection.

  2. Localization of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transport proteins PfMRP1, PfMRP2, and PfMDR5 at the Plasmodium falciparum plasma membrane.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kavishe, R.A.; Heuvel, J.M.W. van den; Vegte-Bolmer, M. van de; Luty, A.J.; Russel, F.G.M.; Koenderink, J.B.

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The spread of drug resistance has been a major obstacle to the control of malaria. The mechanisms underlying drug resistance in malaria seem to be complex and multigenic. The current literature on multiple drug resistance against anti-malarials has documented PfMDR1, an ATP-binding casse

  3. Tetany with Plasmodium falciparum infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, P S; Singh, Neha

    2012-07-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is a malarial infection with high morbidity and wide spectrum of atypical presentation. Here we report an unusual presentation of malaria as tetany with alteration in calcium,phosphate and magnesium metabolism Hypocalcaemia in malaria can cause prolonged Q-Tc interval which could be arisk factor for quinine cardiotoxicity and sudden death Hence monitoring of serum calcium in severe malarial infection and cautious use of quinine in such patients is very important in management

  4. Parasites causing cerebral falciparum malaria bind multiple endothelial receptors and express EPCR and ICAM-1-binding PfEMP1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tuikue Ndam, Nicaise; Moussiliou, Azizath; Lavstsen, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Background: Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) mediates the binding and accumulation of infected erythrocytes (IE) to blood vessels and tissues. Specific interactions have been described between PfEMP1 and human endothelial proteins CD36, intercellular adhesion molecule-1...

  5. Biochemical and structural characterization of Plasmodium falciparum glutamate dehydrogenase 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zocher, Kathleen; Fritz-Wolf, Karin; Kehr, Sebastian; Fischer, Marina; Rahlfs, Stefan; Becker, Katja

    2012-05-01

    Glutamate dehydrogenases (GDHs) play key roles in cellular redox, amino acid, and energy metabolism, thus representing potential targets for pharmacological interventions. Here we studied the functional network provided by the three known glutamate dehydrogenases of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The recombinant production of the previously described PfGDH1 as hexahistidyl-tagged proteins was optimized. Additionally, PfGDH2 was cloned, recombinantly produced, and characterized. Like PfGDH1, PfGDH2 is an NADP(H)-dependent enzyme with a specific activity comparable to PfGDH1 but with slightly higher K(m) values for its substrates. The three-dimensional structure of hexameric PfGDH2 was solved to 3.1 Å resolution. The overall structure shows high similarity with PfGDH1 but with significant differences occurring at the subunit interface. As in mammalian GDH1, in PfGDH2 the subunit-subunit interactions are mainly assisted by hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions, whereas in PfGDH1 these contacts are mediated by networks of salt bridges and hydrogen bonds. In accordance with this, the known bovine GDH inhibitors hexachlorophene, GW5074, and bithionol were more effective on PfGDH2 than on PfGDH1. Subcellular localization was determined for all three plasmodial GDHs by fusion with the green fluorescent protein. Based on our data, PfGDH1 and PfGDH3 are cytosolic proteins whereas PfGDH2 clearly localizes to the apicoplast, a plastid-like organelle specific for apicomplexan parasites. This study provides new insights into the structure and function of GDH isoenzymes of P. falciparum, which represent potential targets for the development of novel antimalarial drugs.

  6. Plasmodium falciparum Plasmodium helical interspersed subtelomeric proteins contribute to cytoadherence and anchor P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 to the host cell cytoskeleton

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oberli, Alexander; Zurbrügg, Laura; Rusch, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    Adherence of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to host endothelium is conferred through the parasite-derived virulence factor P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), the major contributor to malaria severity. PfEMP1 located at knob structures on the erythrocyte surface is...

  7. Safety, Immunogenicity, and Protective Efficacy of Intradermal Immunization with Aseptic, Purified, Cryopreserved Plasmodium falciparum Sporozoites in Volunteers Under Chloroquine Prophylaxis : A Randomized Controlled Trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    G.J.H. Baestians (Guido); M.P.A. van Meer (Maurits); A. Scholzen (Anja); J.M. Obiero (Joshua); M. Vatanshenassan (Mansoureh); T. van Grinsven (Tim); B.K.L. Sim (B. Kim Lee); P.F. Billingsley (Peter); E.R. James (Eric); A. Gunasekera (Anusha); E.M. Bijker (Else); G-J. van Gemert (Geert-Jan); M. van de Vegte-Bolmer (Magda); W. Graumans (Wouter); C.C. Hermsen (Cornelus); Q. de Mast (Quirijn); A.J.A.M. van der Ven (André); S.L. Hoffman (Stephen); R.W. Sauerwein (Robert)

    2015-01-01

    markdownabstractImmunization of volunteers under chloroquine prophylaxis by bites of *Plasmodium falciparum* sporozoite (PfSPZ)–infected mosquitoes induces > 90% protection against controlled human malaria infection (CHMI). We studied intradermal immunization with cryopreserved, infectious PfSPZ in

  8. Molecular monitoring of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin in Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Genton Blaise

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs are recommended for use against uncomplicated malaria in areas of multi-drug resistant malaria, such as sub-Saharan Africa. However, their long-term usefulness in these high transmission areas remains unclear. It has been suggested that documentation of the S769N PfATPase6 mutations may indicate an emergence of artemisinin resistance of Plasmodium falciparum in the field. The present study assessed PfATPase6 mutations (S769N and A623E in 615 asymptomatic P. falciparum infections in Tanzania but no mutant genotype was detected. This observation suggests that resistance to artemisinin has not yet been selected in Tanzania, supporting the Ministry of Health's decision to adopt artemether+lumefantrine as first-line malaria treatment. The findings recommend further studies to assess PfATPase6 mutations in sentinel sites and verify their usefulness in monitoring emergency of ACT resistance.

  9. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction of malate dehydrogenase from Plasmodium falciparum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wrenger, Carsten; Mueller, Ingrid B.; Butzloff, Sabine; Jordanova, Rositsa; Lunev, Sergey; Groves, Matthew R.

    2012-01-01

    The expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction characterization of malate dehydrogenase (MDH) from the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfMDH) are reported. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the function and role of PfMDH, the protein was purified to

  10. A new world malaria map: Plasmodium falciparum endemicity in 2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gething Peter W

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Transmission intensity affects almost all aspects of malaria epidemiology and the impact of malaria on human populations. Maps of transmission intensity are necessary to identify populations at different levels of risk and to evaluate objectively options for disease control. To remain relevant operationally, such maps must be updated frequently. Following the first global effort to map Plasmodium falciparum malaria endemicity in 2007, this paper describes the generation of a new world map for the year 2010. This analysis is extended to provide the first global estimates of two other metrics of transmission intensity for P. falciparum that underpin contemporary questions in malaria control: the entomological inoculation rate (PfEIR and the basic reproductive number (PfR. Methods Annual parasite incidence data for 13,449 administrative units in 43 endemic countries were sourced to define the spatial limits of P. falciparum transmission in 2010 and 22,212 P. falciparum parasite rate (PfPR surveys were used in a model-based geostatistical (MBG prediction to create a continuous contemporary surface of malaria endemicity within these limits. A suite of transmission models were developed that link PfPR to PfEIR and PfR and these were fitted to field data. These models were combined with the PfPR map to create new global predictions of PfEIR and PfR. All output maps included measured uncertainty. Results An estimated 1.13 and 1.44 billion people worldwide were at risk of unstable and stable P. falciparum malaria, respectively. The majority of the endemic world was predicted with a median PfEIR of less than one and a median PfRc of less than two. Values of either metric exceeding 10 were almost exclusive to Africa. The uncertainty described in both PfEIR and PfR was substantial in regions of intense transmission. Conclusions The year 2010 has a particular significance as an evaluation milestone for malaria global health policy. The

  11. Plasmodium falciparum Plasmodium helical interspersed subtelomeric proteins contribute to cytoadherence and anchor P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 to the host cell cytoskeleton

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oberli, Alexander; Zurbrügg, Laura; Rusch, Sebastian;

    2016-01-01

    Adherence of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to host endothelium is conferred through the parasite-derived virulence factor P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), the major contributor to malaria severity. PfEMP1 located at knob structures on the erythrocyte surface...... is anchored to the cytoskeleton, and the Plasmodium helical interspersed subtelomeric (PHIST) gene family plays a role in many host cell modifications including binding the intracellular domain of PfEMP1. Here, we show that conditional reduction of the PHIST protein PFE1605w strongly reduces adhesion...... of infected erythrocytes to the endothelial receptor CD36. Adhesion to other endothelial receptors was less affected or even unaltered by PFE1605w depletion, suggesting that PHIST proteins might be optimized for subsets of PfEMP1 variants. PFE1605w does not play a role in PfEMP1 transport, but it directly...

  12. Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium cynomolgi

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Chatterjee, Soumendranath; Mukhopadhyay, Priyanka; Bandyopadhyay, Raktima; Dhal, Paltu; Biswal, Debraj; Bandyopadhyay, Prabir Kumar

    18S ribosomal RNA gene sequences of different species of Plasmodium were aligned and analyzed to determine the molecular diversity among different species of Plasmodium. AT content of P. cynomolgi, P. ovale, P. falciparum, P. vivax and P...

  13. Anti-Plasmodium falciparum invasion ligand antibodies in a low malaria transmission region, Loreto, Peru

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villasis, Elizabeth; Lopez-Perez, Mary; Torres, Katherine

    2012-01-01

    , PfRh2a and PfRh2b and IgG3 response for PfRh2a were also negatively correlated with parasitaemia. Conclusions: These data suggest that falciparum malaria patients who develop clinical immunity (asymptomatic parasitaemia) in a low transmission setting such as the Peruvian Amazon have antibody......Background: Erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium falciparum is a complex process that involves two families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL) and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh) proteins. Antibodies that inhibit merozoite attachment and invasion are believed to be important in mediating naturally...

  14. Analysis of Quaternary Structure of a [LDH-like] Malate Dehydrogenase of Plasmodium falciparum with Oligomeric Mutants

    Science.gov (United States)

    L-Malate dehydrogenase (PfMDH) from Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent for the most severe form of malaria, has shown remarkable similarities to L-lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH). PfMDH is more closely related to [LDH-like] MDHs characterized in archea and other prokaryotes. Initial sequence a...

  15. Structure and Function of Plasmodium falciparum malate dehydrogenase: Role of Critical Amino Acids in C-substrate Binding Procket

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malaria parasite thrives on anaerobic fermentation of glucose for energy. Earlier studies from our lab have demonstrated that a cytosolic malate dehydrogenase (PfMDH) with striking similarity to lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH) might complement PfLDH function in Plasmodium falciparum. The N-terminal g...

  16. Immunoglobulin G antibody reactivity to a group A Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 and protection from em>P. falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Magistrado, Pamela A; Lusingu, John; Vestergaard, Lasse S;

    2007-01-01

    Variant surface antigens (VSA) on the surface of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells play a major role in the pathogenesis of malaria and are key targets for acquired immunity. The best-characterized VSA belong to the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family. In areas...... where P. falciparum is endemic, parasites causing severe malaria and malaria in young children with limited immunity tend to express semiconserved PfEMP1 molecules encoded by group A var genes. Here we investigated antibody responses of Tanzanians who were 0 to 19 years old to PF11_0008, a group A PfEMP...

  17. Kinetics of B Cell responses to Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 in Ghanaian women naturally exposed to malaria parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ampomah, Paulina; Stevenson, Liz; Ofori, Michael F

    2014-01-01

    Naturally acquired protective immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria takes years to develop. It relies mainly on Abs, particularly IgG specific for Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) proteins on the infected erythrocyte surface. It is only partially understood why...... confirmed earlier reports of high atypical memory B cell frequencies among residents of P. falciparum-endemic areas, and indicated an additional effect of pregnancy. Our study provides new knowledge regarding immunity to P. falciparum malaria and underpins efforts to develop PfEMP1-based vaccines against...

  18. A molecular mechanism of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mbengue, Alassane; Bhattacharjee, Souvik; Pandharkar, Trupti; Liu, Haining; Estiu, Guillermina; Stahelin, Robert V; Rizk, Shahir S; Njimoh, Dieudonne L; Ryan, Yana; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Nguon, Chea; Ghorbal, Mehdi; Lopez-Rubio, Jose-Juan; Pfrender, Michael; Emrich, Scott; Mohandas, Narla; Dondorp, Arjen M; Wiest, Olaf; Haldar, Kasturi

    2015-04-30

    Artemisinins are the cornerstone of anti-malarial drugs. Emergence and spread of resistance to them raises risk of wiping out recent gains achieved in reducing worldwide malaria burden and threatens future malaria control and elimination on a global level. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed parasite genetic loci associated with artemisinin resistance. However, there is no consensus on biochemical targets of artemisinin. Whether and how these targets interact with genes identified by GWAS, remains unknown. Here we provide biochemical and cellular evidence that artemisinins are potent inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PfPI3K), revealing an unexpected mechanism of action. In resistant clinical strains, increased PfPI3K was associated with the C580Y mutation in P. falciparum Kelch13 (PfKelch13), a primary marker of artemisinin resistance. Polyubiquitination of PfPI3K and its binding to PfKelch13 were reduced by the PfKelch13 mutation, which limited proteolysis of PfPI3K and thus increased levels of the kinase, as well as its lipid product phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PI3P). We find PI3P levels to be predictive of artemisinin resistance in both clinical and engineered laboratory parasites as well as across non-isogenic strains. Elevated PI3P induced artemisinin resistance in absence of PfKelch13 mutations, but remained responsive to regulation by PfKelch13. Evidence is presented for PI3P-dependent signalling in which transgenic expression of an additional kinase confers resistance. Together these data present PI3P as the key mediator of artemisinin resistance and the sole PfPI3K as an important target for malaria elimination.

  19. Reduced erythrocyte deformability associated with hypoargininemia during Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, Juliana; Buffet, Pierre A; Ciceron, Liliane; Milon, Geneviève; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Safeukui, Innocent

    2014-01-20

    The mechanisms underlying reduced red blood cell (RBC) deformability during Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) malaria remain poorly understood. Here, we explore the possible involvement of the L-arginine and nitric oxide (NO) pathway on RBC deformability in Pf-infected patients and parasite cultures. RBC deformability was reduced during the acute attack (day0) and returned to normal values upon convalescence (day28). Day0 values correlated with plasma L-arginine levels (r = 0.69; p = 0.01) and weakly with parasitemia (r = -0.38; p = 0.006). In vitro, day0 patient's plasma incubated with ring-stage cultures at 41°C reduced RBC deformability, and this effect correlated strongly with plasma L-arginine levels (r = 0.89; p falciparum malaria may altogether impair NO production and reduce RBC deformability, particularly at febrile temperature.

  20. Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Endemicity in Indonesia in 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elyazar, Iqbal R. F.; Gething, Peter W.; Patil, Anand P.; Rogayah, Hanifah; Kusriastuti, Rita; Wismarini, Desak M.; Tarmizi, Siti N.; Baird, J. Kevin; Hay, Simon I.

    2011-01-01

    Background Malaria control programs require a detailed understanding of the contemporary spatial distribution of infection risk to efficiently allocate resources. We used model based geostatistics (MBG) techniques to generate a contemporary map of Plasmodium falciparum malaria risk in Indonesia in 2010. Methods Plasmodium falciparum Annual Parasite Incidence (PfAPI) data (2006–2008) were used to map limits of P. falciparum transmission. A total of 2,581 community blood surveys of P. falciparum parasite rate (PfPR) were identified (1985–2009). After quality control, 2,516 were included into a national database of age-standardized 2–10 year old PfPR data (PfPR2–10) for endemicity mapping. A Bayesian MBG procedure was used to create a predicted surface of PfPR2–10 endemicity with uncertainty estimates. Population at risk estimates were derived with reference to a 2010 human population count surface. Results We estimate 132.8 million people in Indonesia, lived at risk of P. falciparum transmission in 2010. Of these, 70.3% inhabited areas of unstable transmission and 29.7% in stable transmission. Among those exposed to stable risk, the vast majority were at low risk (93.39%) with the reminder at intermediate (6.6%) and high risk (0.01%). More people in western Indonesia lived in unstable rather than stable transmission zones. In contrast, fewer people in eastern Indonesia lived in unstable versus stable transmission areas. Conclusion While further feasibility assessments will be required, the immediate prospects for sustained control are good across much of the archipelago and medium term plans to transition to the pre-elimination phase are not unrealistic for P. falciparum. Endemicity in areas of Papua will clearly present the greatest challenge. This P. falciparum endemicity map allows malaria control agencies and their partners to comprehensively assess the region-specific prospects for reaching pre-elimination, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of

  1. Limited artemisinin resistance-associated polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum K13-propeller and PfATPase6 gene isolated from Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian Li

    2016-04-01

    Conclusions: This study initially offers an insight of K13-propeller and PfATPase6 polymorphisms on Bioko Island, EG. It suggests no widespread ART resistance or tolerance in the region, and might be helpful for developing and updating guidance for the use of ART-based combination therapies (ACTs.

  2. PfPI3K, a Phosphatidylinsoitol-3 kinase in Plasmodium falciparum, is exported to the host erythrocyte and is involved in hemoglobin trafficking

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Vaid, A

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available corresponds to PlasmoDb annotated gene PFE0765w, which may not have any introns and is predicted to encode a 2133 amino acid protein. PfPI3K shares high homology with the catalytic and signature helical domain of PI3Ks (Supplementary Material, Table I...

  3. Expression and biochemical characterization of Plasmodium falciparum DNA ligase I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buguliskis, Jeffrey S; Casta, Louis J; Butz, Charles E; Matsumoto, Yoshihiro; Taraschi, Theodore F

    2007-10-01

    We report that Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) encodes a 912 amino acid ATP-dependent DNA ligase. Protein sequence analysis of Pf DNA ligase I indicates a strong sequence similarity, particularly in the C-terminal region, to DNA ligase I homologues. The activity of recombinant Pf DNA ligase I (PfLigI) was investigated using protein expressed in HEK293 cells. The PfLigI gene product is approximately 94kDa and catalyzes phosphodiester bond formation on a singly nicked DNA substrate. The enzyme is most active at alkaline pH (8.5) and with Mg(2+) or Mn(2+) and ATP as cofactors. Kinetic studies of PfLigI revealed that the enzyme has similar substrate affinity (K(m) 2.6nM) as compared to human DNA ligase I and k(cat) (2.3x10(-3)s(-1)) and k(cat)/K(m) (8.8x10(5)M(-1)s(-1)) which are similar to other ATP-dependent DNA ligases. PfLigI was able to join RNA-DNA substrates only when the RNA sequence was upstream of the nick, confirming that it is DNA ligase I and has no associated DNA ligase III like activity.

  4. Serological evidence of discrete spatial clusters of Plasmodium falciparum parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bejon, Philip; Turner, Louise; Lavstsen, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Malaria transmission may be considered to be homogenous with well-mixed parasite populations (as in the classic Ross/Macdonald models). Marked fine-scale heterogeneity of transmission has been observed in the field (i.e., over a few kilometres), but there are relatively few data on the degree of ...... of mixing. Since the Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) is highly polymorphic, the host's serological responses may be used to infer exposure to parasite sub-populations....

  5. Targeting NAD+ metabolism in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica K O'Hara

    Full Text Available Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ is an essential metabolite utilized as a redox cofactor and enzyme substrate in numerous cellular processes. Elevated NAD+ levels have been observed in red blood cells infected with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, but little is known regarding how the parasite generates NAD+. Here, we employed a mass spectrometry-based metabolomic approach to confirm that P. falciparum lacks the ability to synthesize NAD+ de novo and is reliant on the uptake of exogenous niacin. We characterized several enzymes in the NAD+ pathway and demonstrate cytoplasmic localization for all except the parasite nicotinamidase, which concentrates in the nucleus. One of these enzymes, the P. falciparum nicotinate mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (PfNMNAT, is essential for NAD+ metabolism and is highly diverged from the human homolog, but genetically similar to bacterial NMNATs. Our results demonstrate the enzymatic activity of PfNMNAT in vitro and demonstrate its ability to genetically complement the closely related Escherichia coli NMNAT. Due to the similarity of PfNMNAT to the bacterial enzyme, we tested a panel of previously identified bacterial NMNAT inhibitors and synthesized and screened twenty new derivatives, which demonstrate a range of potency against live parasite culture. These results highlight the importance of the parasite NAD+ metabolic pathway and provide both novel therapeutic targets and promising lead antimalarial compounds.

  6. Antimalarial Benzoxaboroles Target Plasmodium falciparum Leucyl-tRNA Synthetase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonoiki, Ebere; Palencia, Andres; Guo, Denghui; Ahyong, Vida; Dong, Chen; Li, Xianfeng; Hernandez, Vincent S; Zhang, Yong-Kang; Choi, Wai; Gut, Jiri; Legac, Jennifer; Cooper, Roland; Alley, M R K; Freund, Yvonne R; DeRisi, Joseph; Cusack, Stephen; Rosenthal, Philip J

    2016-08-01

    There is a need for new antimalarials, ideally with novel mechanisms of action. Benzoxaboroles have been shown to be active against bacteria, fungi, and trypanosomes. Therefore, we investigated the antimalarial activity and mechanism of action of 3-aminomethyl benzoxaboroles against Plasmodium falciparum Two 3-aminomethyl compounds, AN6426 and AN8432, demonstrated good potency against cultured multidrug-resistant (W2 strain) P. falciparum (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50] of 310 nM and 490 nM, respectively) and efficacy against murine Plasmodium berghei infection when administered orally once daily for 4 days (90% effective dose [ED90], 7.4 and 16.2 mg/kg of body weight, respectively). To characterize mechanisms of action, we selected parasites with decreased drug sensitivity by culturing with stepwise increases in concentration of AN6426. Resistant clones were characterized by whole-genome sequencing. Three generations of resistant parasites had polymorphisms in the predicted editing domain of the gene encoding a P. falciparum leucyl-tRNA synthetase (LeuRS; PF3D7_0622800) and in another gene (PF3D7_1218100), which encodes a protein of unknown function. Solution of the structure of the P. falciparum LeuRS editing domain suggested key roles for mutated residues in LeuRS editing. Short incubations with AN6426 and AN8432, unlike artemisinin, caused dose-dependent inhibition of [(14)C]leucine incorporation by cultured wild-type, but not resistant, parasites. The growth of resistant, but not wild-type, parasites was impaired in the presence of the unnatural amino acid norvaline, consistent with a loss of LeuRS editing activity in resistant parasites. In summary, the benzoxaboroles AN6426 and AN8432 offer effective antimalarial activity and act, at least in part, against a novel target, the editing domain of P. falciparum LeuRS.

  7. Structural Studies on Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) Malaria Antigens Using Small Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christoffersen, Stig

    and allow infected erythrocytes to attach to endothelial cells and tissues. As a consequence infected erythrocytes sequester in the bloodstream, clotting blood vesicles and leading to severe and potentially fatal disease symptoms. The PfEMP1 proteins are multidomain antigens consisting of two types......-ray scattering from solutions and has in recent years proven very effective for obtaining structural information in the 10-15 Å resolution range for proteins. The technique is especially valuable for proteins that have proven difficult to crystallize for macromolecular high-resolution (... purposes. Macromolecular crystallography is typically the biophysical method of choice for obtaining detailed structural information but it unfortunately requires the formation of X-ray scattering protein crystals. The protein crystallization step remains a major bottleneck for X-ray protein...

  8. 含恶性疟原虫Pf70基因片段表达载体DNA的免疫学特性%Immune characteristics of plasmid DNA containing Plasmodium falciparum Pf70 gene fragment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    叶凯; 李其岚; 徐洪; KirondeFredAlexanderS; 马辉文

    2003-01-01

    目的研究恶性疟原虫Pf70 DNA片段作为DNA疫苗候选抗原基因的可能性. 方法应用PCR方法从含有恶性疟原虫Pf70基因DNA片段的质粒pGEX-Pf70中扩增出包含Pf70 DNA片段的长度为957bp的PCR产物.将其插入带有乙肝表面抗原基因的真核表达载体pCMV-S中,构建出重组质粒pCMV-S-Pf70.用提纯的重组质粒pCMV-S-Pf70作为DNA免疫制剂,以质粒pCMV-S DNA和经过谷胱甘肽亲和层析法纯化的融合蛋白GST-Pf70作为对照,免疫昆明种小白鼠.每隔14d加强免疫1次,加强免疫2次后第7天采小鼠全血,用流式细胞仪检测CD8+ T淋巴细胞和CD4+ T淋巴细胞的水平,以检测体液免疫和细胞免疫状况. 结果接种了重组质粒pCMV-S-Pf70小鼠CD8+ T淋巴细胞的绝对量增加,其百分比含量增加了39%;CD4+ T淋巴细胞的相对含量保持恒定,绝对量稍有增加.用ELISA法分别检测经重组质粒pCMV-S-Pf70免疫的小鼠和经融合蛋白GST-Pf70免疫的小鼠血清中抗Pf70蛋白质的抗体滴度,发现前者抗体滴度约为1∶800,远远低于后者的滴度(1∶5 000).研究结果证明,重组质粒pCMV-S-Pf70 DNA可以诱导小鼠产生很强的细胞免疫和相对于蛋白质免疫而言较弱的体液免疫;Pf70蛋白质可以诱导小鼠产生很强的体液免疫. 结论恶性疟原虫红内期Pf70 DNA片段是有前景的红内期DNA疫苗候选抗原基因片段.

  9. Plant-based production of recombinant Plasmodium surface protein pf38 and evaluation of its potential as a vaccine candidate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, Tatjana; Thom, Pascal; Koch, Natalie; Spiegel, Holger; Addai-Mensah, Otchere; Fischer, Rainer; Reimann, Andreas; Pradel, Gabriele; Fendel, Rolf; Schillberg, Stefan; Scheuermayer, Matthias; Schinkel, Helga

    2013-01-01

    Pf38 is a surface protein of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum. In this study, we produced and purified recombinant Pf38 and a fusion protein composed of red fluorescent protein and Pf38 (RFP-Pf38) using a transient expression system in the plant Nicotiana benthamiana. To our knowledge, this is the first description of the production of recombinant Pf38. To verify the quality of the recombinant Pf38, plasma from semi-immune African donors was used to confirm specific binding to Pf38. ELISA measurements revealed that immune responses to Pf38 in this African subset were comparable to reactivities to AMA-1 and MSP119. Pf38 and RFP-Pf38 were successfully used to immunise mice, although titres from these mice were low (on average 1∶11.000 and 1∶39.000, respectively). In immune fluorescence assays, the purified IgG fraction from the sera of immunised mice recognised Pf38 on the surface of schizonts, gametocytes, macrogametes and zygotes, but not sporozoites. Growth inhibition assays using αPf38 antibodies demonstrated strong inhibition (≥60%) of the growth of blood-stage P. falciparum. The development of zygotes was also effectively inhibited by αPf38 antibodies, as determined by the zygote development assay. Collectively, these results suggest that Pf38 is an interesting candidate for the development of a malaria vaccine.

  10. Plant-based production of recombinant Plasmodium surface protein pf38 and evaluation of its potential as a vaccine candidate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatjana Feller

    Full Text Available Pf38 is a surface protein of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum. In this study, we produced and purified recombinant Pf38 and a fusion protein composed of red fluorescent protein and Pf38 (RFP-Pf38 using a transient expression system in the plant Nicotiana benthamiana. To our knowledge, this is the first description of the production of recombinant Pf38. To verify the quality of the recombinant Pf38, plasma from semi-immune African donors was used to confirm specific binding to Pf38. ELISA measurements revealed that immune responses to Pf38 in this African subset were comparable to reactivities to AMA-1 and MSP119. Pf38 and RFP-Pf38 were successfully used to immunise mice, although titres from these mice were low (on average 1∶11.000 and 1∶39.000, respectively. In immune fluorescence assays, the purified IgG fraction from the sera of immunised mice recognised Pf38 on the surface of schizonts, gametocytes, macrogametes and zygotes, but not sporozoites. Growth inhibition assays using αPf38 antibodies demonstrated strong inhibition (≥60% of the growth of blood-stage P. falciparum. The development of zygotes was also effectively inhibited by αPf38 antibodies, as determined by the zygote development assay. Collectively, these results suggest that Pf38 is an interesting candidate for the development of a malaria vaccine.

  11. Multiple Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 variants per genome can bind IgM via its Fc fragment Fcμ

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jeppesen, Anine; Ditlev, Sisse Bolm; Soroka, Vladyslav

    2015-01-01

    The Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) adhesive proteins expressed on the surfaces of infected erythrocytes (IEs) are of key importance in the pathogenesis of P. falciparum malaria. Several structurally and functionally defined PfEMP1 types have been associated...

  12. Evidence for in vitro and in vivo expression of the conserved VAR3 (type 3) plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Christian W; Lavstsen, Thomas; Bengtsson, Dominique C

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Members of the Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) adhesion antigen family are major contributors to the pathogenesis of P. falciparum malaria infections. The PfEMP1-encoding var genes are among the most diverse sequences in nature, but three genes...

  13. 5-Aminopyrazole-4-carboxamide analogues are selective inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum microgametocyte exflagellation and potential malaria transmission blocking agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wenlin; Hulverson, Matthew A; Zhang, Zhongsheng; Choi, Ryan; Hart, Kevin J; Kennedy, Mark; Vidadala, Rama Subba Rao; Maly, Dustin J; Van Voorhis, Wesley C; Lindner, Scott E; Fan, Erkang; Ojo, Kayode K

    2016-11-15

    Plasmodium falciparum calcium-dependent protein kinase 4 (PfCDPK4) is essential for the exflagellation of male gametocytes. Inhibition of PfCDPK4 is an effective way of blocking the transmission of malaria by mosquitoes. A series of 5-aminopyrazole-4-carboxamide analogues are demonstrated to be potent inhibitors of PfCDPK4. The compounds are also able to block exflagellation of Plasmodium falciparum male gametocytes without observable toxicity to mammalian cells. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 Diversity in Seven Genomes – Divide and Conquer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rask, Thomas Salhøj; Hansen, Daniel Aaen; Theander, Thor G.

    2010-01-01

    The var gene encoded hyper-variable Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family mediates cytoadhesion of infected erythrocytes to human endothelium. Antibodies blocking cytoadhesion are important mediators of malaria immunity acquired by endemic populations. The development...

  15. Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of the aspartate aminotransferase of Plasmodium falciparum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jain, Rishabh; Jordanova, Rositsa; Mueller, Ingrid B.; Wrenger, Carsten; Groves, Matthew R.

    Aspartate aminotransferases (EC 2.6.1.1) catalyse the conversion of aspartate and alpha-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and glutamate in a reversible manner. Thus, the aspartate aminotransferase of Plasmodium falciparum (PfAspAT) plays a central role in the transamination of amino acids. Recent

  16. Bioinformatics analysis for structure and function ofCPR ofPlasmodium falciparum

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZhigangFan; Lingmin Zhang; GuogangYan; QiangWu; XiufengGan; Saifeng Zhong; GuifenLin

    2011-01-01

    Objective:To analyse the structure and function ofNADPH-cytochrome p450 reductase(CYPOR orCPR) fromPlasmodium falciparum (Pf), and to predict its’ drug target and vaccine target. Methods: The structure, function, drug target and vaccine target ofCPR fromPlasmodium falciparum were analyzed and predicted by bioinformatics methods.Results:PfCPR, which was olderCPR, had close relationship with theCPR from otherPlasmodium species, but it was distant from its hosts, such asHomo sapiens andAnopheles.PfCPR was located in the cellular nucleus ofPlasmodium falciparum.335aa-352aa and591aa -608aa were inserted the interior side of the nuclear membrane, while151aa-265aa was located in the nucleolus organizer regions.PfCPR had40 function sites and44 protein-protein binding sites in amino acid sequence. The teriary structure of 1aa-700aa was forcep-shaped with wings.15 segments ofPfCPR had no homology withHomo sapien CPR and most were exposed on the surface of the protein. These segments had25 protein-protein binding sites. While13other segments all possessed function sites. Conclusions: The evolution or genesis ofPlasmodium falciparum is earlier than those ofHomo sapiens. PfCPR is a possible resistance site of antimalarial drug and may involve immune evasion, which is associated with parasite of sporozoite in hepatocytes.PfCPR is unsuitable as vaccine target, but it has at least 13 ideal drug targets.

  17. Plasmodium falciparum Malaria, Southern Algeria, 2007

    OpenAIRE

    Boubidi, Saïd C; Gassen, Ibrahim; Khechache, Yacine; Lamali, Karima; Tchicha, Boualem; Brengues, Cécile; Menegon, Michela; Severini, Carlo; Fontenille, Didier; Harrat, Zoubir

    2010-01-01

    An outbreak of Plasmodium falciparum malaria occurred in Tinzaouatine in southern Algeria in 2007. The likely vector, Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, had not been detected in Algeria. Genes for resistance to chloroquine were detected in the parasite. The outbreak shows the potential for an increase in malaria vectors in Algeria.

  18. Congenital Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in Washington, DC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Castillo, Melissa; Szymanski, Ann Marie; Slovin, Ariella; Wong, Edward C C; DeBiasi, Roberta L

    2017-01-11

    Congenital malaria is rare in the United States, but is an important diagnosis to consider when evaluating febrile infants. Herein, we describe a case of congenital Plasmodium falciparum malaria in a 2-week-old infant born in the United States to a mother who had emigrated from Nigeria 3 months before delivery. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  19. Plasmodium falciparum Malaria, Southern Algeria, 2007

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gassen, Ibrahim; Khechache, Yacine; Lamali, Karima; Tchicha, Boualem; Brengues, Cécile; Menegon, Michela; Severini, Carlo; Fontenille, Didier; Harrat, Zoubir

    2010-01-01

    An outbreak of Plasmodium falciparum malaria occurred in Tinzaouatine in southern Algeria in 2007. The likely vector, Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, had not been detected in Algeria. Genes for resistance to chloroquine were detected in the parasite. The outbreak shows the potential for an increase in malaria vectors in Algeria. PMID:20113565

  20. Plasmodium falciparum Malaria, Southern Algeria, 2007

    OpenAIRE

    Boubidi, Saïd C; Gassen, Ibrahim; Khechache, Yacine; Lamali, Karima; Tchicha, Boualem; Brengues, Cécile; Menegon, Michela; Severini, Carlo; Fontenille, Didier; Harrat, Zoubir

    2010-01-01

    An outbreak of Plasmodium falciparum malaria occurred in Tinzaouatine in southern Algeria in 2007. The likely vector, Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, had not been detected in Algeria. Genes for resistance to chloroquine were detected in the parasite. The outbreak shows the potential for an increase in malaria vectors in Algeria.

  1. Hierarchical, domain type-specific acquisition of antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 in Tanzanian children

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cham, Gerald K K; Turner, Louise; Kurtis, Jonathan D

    2010-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) is a variant antigen expressed on the surface of malaria-infected erythrocytes. PfEMP1 attaches to the vascular lining and allows infected erythrocytes to avoid filtration through the spleen. Each parasite genome encodes about 60...

  2. Expression of the domain cassette 8 Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 is associated with cerebral malaria in Benin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bertin, Gwladys I; Lavstsen, Thomas; Guillonneau, François

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein-1 (PfEMP-1) is a highly polymorphic adherence receptor expressed on the surface of infected erythrocytes. Based on sequence homology PfEMP-1 variants have been grouped into three major groups A-C, the highly conserved VAR2CSA variants, and semi-c...

  3. Anti-Plasmodium falciparum invasion ligand antibodies in a low malaria transmission region, Loreto, Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Villasis Elizabeth

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium falciparum is a complex process that involves two families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh proteins. Antibodies that inhibit merozoite attachment and invasion are believed to be important in mediating naturally acquired immunity and immunity generated by parasite blood stage vaccine candidates. The hypotheses tested in this study were 1 that antibody responses against specific P. falciparum invasion ligands (EBL and PfRh differ between symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals living in the low-transmission region of the Peruvian Amazon and 2, such antibody responses might have an association, either direct or indirect, with clinical immunity observed in asymptomatically parasitaemic individuals. Methods ELISA was used to assess antibody responses (IgG, IgG1 and IgG3 against recombinant P. falciparum invasion ligands of the EBL (EBA-175, EBA-181, EBA-140 and PfRh families (PfRh1, PfRh2a, PfRh2b, PfRh4 and PfRh5 in 45 individuals infected with P. falciparum from Peruvian Amazon. Individuals were classified as having symptomatic malaria (N=37 or asymptomatic infection (N=8. Results Antibody responses against both EBL and PfRh family proteins were significantly higher in asymptomatic compared to symptomatic individuals, demonstrating an association with clinical immunity. Significant differences in the total IgG responses were observed with EBA-175, EBA-181, PfRh2b, and MSP119 (as a control. IgG1 responses against EBA-181, PfRh2a and PfRh2b were significantly higher in the asymptomatic individuals. Total IgG antibody responses against PfRh1, PfRh2a, PfRh2b, PfRh5, EBA-175, EBA-181 and MSP119 proteins were negatively correlated with level of parasitaemia. IgG1 responses against EBA-181, PfRh2a and PfRh2b and IgG3 response for PfRh2a were also negatively correlated with parasitaemia. Conclusions These data suggest that falciparum malaria patients who develop

  4. Functional characterization of a SUMO deconjugating protease of Plasmodium falciparum using newly identified small molecule inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponder, Elizabeth L; Albrow, Victoria E; Leader, Brittany A; Békés, Miklós; Mikolajczyk, Jowita; Fonović, Urša Pečar; Shen, Aimee; Drag, Marcin; Xiao, Junpeng; Deu, Edgar; Campbell, Amy J; Powers, James C; Salvesen, Guy S; Bogyo, Matthew

    2011-06-24

    Small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) is implicated in the regulation of numerous biological processes including transcription, protein localization, and cell cycle control. Protein modification by SUMO is found in Plasmodium falciparum; however, its role in the regulation of the parasite life cycle is poorly understood. Here we describe functional studies of a SUMO-specific protease (SENP) of P. falciparum, PfSENP1 (PFL1635w). Expression of the catalytic domain of PfSENP1 and biochemical profiling using a positional scanning substrate library demonstrated that this protease has unique cleavage sequence preference relative to the human SENPs. In addition, we describe a class of small molecule inhibitors of this protease. The most potent lead compound inhibited both recombinant PfSENP1 activity and P. falciparum replication in infected human blood. These studies provide valuable new tools for the study of SUMOylation in P. falciparum. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Hemoglobinopathies: slicing the Gordian knot of Plasmodium falciparum malaria pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Steve M; Cerami, Carla; Fairhurst, Rick M

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria kills over 500,000 children every year and has been a scourge of humans for millennia. Owing to the co-evolution of humans and P. falciparum parasites, the human genome is imprinted with polymorphisms that not only confer innate resistance to falciparum malaria, but also cause hemoglobinopathies. These genetic traits--including hemoglobin S (HbS), hemoglobin C (HbC), and α-thalassemia--are the most common monogenic human disorders and can confer remarkable degrees of protection from severe, life-threatening falciparum malaria in African children: the risk is reduced 70% by homozygous HbC and 90% by heterozygous HbS (sickle-cell trait). Importantly, this protection is principally present for severe disease and largely absent for P. falciparum infection, suggesting that these hemoglobinopathies specifically neutralize the parasite's in vivo mechanisms of pathogenesis. These hemoglobin variants thus represent a "natural experiment" to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which P. falciparum produces clinical morbidity, which remain partially obscured due to the complexity of interactions between this parasite and its human host. Multiple lines of evidence support a restriction of parasite growth by various hemoglobinopathies, and recent data suggest this phenomenon may result from host microRNA interference with parasite metabolism. Multiple hemoglobinopathies mitigate the pathogenic potential of parasites by interfering with the export of P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) to the surface of the host red blood cell. Few studies have investigated their effects upon the activation of the innate and adaptive immune systems, although recent murine studies suggest a role for heme oxygenase-1 in protection. Ultimately, the identification of mechanisms of protection and pathogenesis can inform future therapeutics and preventive measures. Hemoglobinopathies slice the "Gordian knot" of host and parasite

  6. Hemoglobinopathies: Slicing the Gordian Knot of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Pathogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Steve M.; Cerami, Carla; Fairhurst, Rick M.

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria kills over 500,000 children every year and has been a scourge of humans for millennia. Owing to the co-evolution of humans and P. falciparum parasites, the human genome is imprinted with polymorphisms that not only confer innate resistance to falciparum malaria, but also cause hemoglobinopathies. These genetic traits—including hemoglobin S (HbS), hemoglobin C (HbC), and α-thalassemia—are the most common monogenic human disorders and can confer remarkable degrees of protection from severe, life-threatening falciparum malaria in African children: the risk is reduced 70% by homozygous HbC and 90% by heterozygous HbS (sickle-cell trait). Importantly, this protection is principally present for severe disease and largely absent for P. falciparum infection, suggesting that these hemoglobinopathies specifically neutralize the parasite's in vivo mechanisms of pathogenesis. These hemoglobin variants thus represent a “natural experiment” to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which P. falciparum produces clinical morbidity, which remain partially obscured due to the complexity of interactions between this parasite and its human host. Multiple lines of evidence support a restriction of parasite growth by various hemoglobinopathies, and recent data suggest this phenomenon may result from host microRNA interference with parasite metabolism. Multiple hemoglobinopathies mitigate the pathogenic potential of parasites by interfering with the export of P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) to the surface of the host red blood cell. Few studies have investigated their effects upon the activation of the innate and adaptive immune systems, although recent murine studies suggest a role for heme oxygenase-1 in protection. Ultimately, the identification of mechanisms of protection and pathogenesis can inform future therapeutics and preventive measures. Hemoglobinopathies slice the “Gordian knot” of host and parasite

  7. Hemoglobinopathies: slicing the Gordian knot of Plasmodium falciparum malaria pathogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steve M Taylor

    Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum malaria kills over 500,000 children every year and has been a scourge of humans for millennia. Owing to the co-evolution of humans and P. falciparum parasites, the human genome is imprinted with polymorphisms that not only confer innate resistance to falciparum malaria, but also cause hemoglobinopathies. These genetic traits--including hemoglobin S (HbS, hemoglobin C (HbC, and α-thalassemia--are the most common monogenic human disorders and can confer remarkable degrees of protection from severe, life-threatening falciparum malaria in African children: the risk is reduced 70% by homozygous HbC and 90% by heterozygous HbS (sickle-cell trait. Importantly, this protection is principally present for severe disease and largely absent for P. falciparum infection, suggesting that these hemoglobinopathies specifically neutralize the parasite's in vivo mechanisms of pathogenesis. These hemoglobin variants thus represent a "natural experiment" to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which P. falciparum produces clinical morbidity, which remain partially obscured due to the complexity of interactions between this parasite and its human host. Multiple lines of evidence support a restriction of parasite growth by various hemoglobinopathies, and recent data suggest this phenomenon may result from host microRNA interference with parasite metabolism. Multiple hemoglobinopathies mitigate the pathogenic potential of parasites by interfering with the export of P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1 to the surface of the host red blood cell. Few studies have investigated their effects upon the activation of the innate and adaptive immune systems, although recent murine studies suggest a role for heme oxygenase-1 in protection. Ultimately, the identification of mechanisms of protection and pathogenesis can inform future therapeutics and preventive measures. Hemoglobinopathies slice the "Gordian knot" of host and

  8. A multidomain adhesion protein family expressed in Plasmodium falciparum is essential for transmission to the mosquito.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pradel, Gabriele; Hayton, Karen; Aravind, L; Iyer, Lakshminarayan M; Abrahamsen, Mitchell S; Bonawitz, Annemarie; Mejia, Cesar; Templeton, Thomas J

    2004-06-07

    The recent sequencing of several apicomplexan genomes has provided the opportunity to characterize novel antigens essential for the parasite life cycle that might lead to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic markers. Here we have screened the Plasmodium falciparum genome sequence for genes encoding extracellular multidomain putative adhesive proteins. Three of these identified genes, named PfCCp1, PfCCp2, and PfCCp3, have multiple adhesive modules including a common Limulus coagulation factor C domain also found in two additional Plasmodium genes. Orthologues were identified in the Cryptosporidium parvum genome sequence, indicating an evolutionary conserved function. Transcript and protein expression analysis shows sexual stage-specific expression of PfCCp1, PfCCp2, and PfCCp3, and cellular localization studies revealed plasma membrane-associated expression in mature gametocytes. During gametogenesis, PfCCps are released and localize surrounding complexes of newly emerged microgametes and macrogametes. PfCCp expression markedly decreased after formation of zygotes. To begin to address PfCCp function, the PfCCp2 and PfCCp3 gene loci were disrupted by homologous recombination, resulting in parasites capable of forming oocyst sporozoites but blocked in the salivary gland transition. Our results describe members of a conserved apicomplexan protein family expressed in sexual stage Plasmodium parasites that may represent candidates for subunits of a transmission-blocking vaccine.

  9. Crystal structure of phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase from Plasmodium falciparum in complex with amodiaquine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Soon Goo; Alpert, Tara D.; Jez, Joseph M. (WU)

    2012-07-17

    Phosphoethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PMT) is essential for phospholipid biogenesis in the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum. PfPMT catalyzes the triple methylation of phosphoethanolamine to produce phosphocholine, which is then used for phosphatidylcholine synthesis. Here we describe the 2.0 {angstrom} resolution X-ray crystal structure of PfPMT in complex with amodiaquine. To better characterize inhibition of PfPMT by amodiaquine, we determined the IC{sub 50} values of a series of aminoquinolines using a direct radiochemical assay. Both structural and functional analyses provide a possible approach for the development of new small molecule inhibitors of PfPMT.

  10. Identification and Localization of Minimal MHC-restricted CD8+ T Cell Epitopes within the Plasmodium falciparum AMA1 Protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-24

    Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the...A, Muratova O, Awkal M, et al: Phase 1 clinical trial of apical membrane antigen 1: an asexual blood-stage vaccine for Plasmodium falciparum malaria...PfCP-2.9, an asexual blood-stage vaccine candidate of Plasmodium falciparum. Malar J 2010, 9(1):94. 40. Senger T, Becker MR, Schadlich L, Waterboer T

  11. Survival strategies of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    OpenAIRE

    Ramya, TNC; Surolia, Namita; Surolia, Avadhesha

    2002-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, the protozoan parasite causing falciparum malaria, is undoubtedly highly versatile when it comes to survival and defence strategies. Strategies adopted by the asexual blood stages of Plasmodium range from unique pathways of nutrient uptake to immune evasion strategies and multiple drug resistance. Studying the survival strategies of Plasmodium could help us envisage strategies of tackling one of the worst scourges of mankind.

  12. Maternal-foetal transfer of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax antibodies in a low transmission setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charnaud, Sarah C.; McGready, Rose; Herten-Crabb, Asha; Powell, Rosanna; Guy, Andrew; Langer, Christine; Richards, Jack S.; Gilson, Paul R.; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Tsuboi, Takafumi; Narum, David L.; Pimanpanarak, Mupawjay; Simpson, Julie A.; Beeson, James G.; Nosten, François; Fowkes, Freya J. I.

    2016-01-01

    During pregnancy immunolglobulin G (IgG) antibodies are transferred from mother to neonate across the placenta. Studies in high transmission areas have shown transfer of P. falciparum-specific IgG, but the extent and factors influencing maternal-foetal transfer in low transmission areas co-endemic for both P. falciparum and P. vivax are unknown. Pregnant women were screened weekly for Plasmodium infection. Mother-neonate paired serum samples at delivery were tested for IgG to antigens from P. falciparum, P. vivax and other infectious diseases. Antibodies to malarial and non-malarial antigens were highly correlated between maternal and neonatal samples (median [range] spearman ρ = 0.78 [0.57–0.93]), although Plasmodium spp. antibodies tended to be lower in neonates than mothers. Estimated gestational age at last P. falciparum infection, but not P. vivax infection, was positively associated with antibody levels in the neonate (P. falciparum merozoite, spearman ρ median [range] 0.42 [0.33–0.66], PfVAR2CSA 0.69; P. vivax ρ = 0.19 [0.09–0.3]). Maternal-foetal transfer of anti-malarial IgG to Plasmodium spp. antigens occurs in low transmission settings. P. vivax IgG acquisition is not associated with recent exposure unlike P. falciparum IgG, suggesting a difference in acquisition of antibodies. IgG transfer is greatest in the final weeks of pregnancy which has implications for the timing of future malaria vaccination strategies in pregnant women. PMID:26861682

  13. The Clp Chaperones and Proteases of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bakkouri, Majida El; Pow, Andre; Mulichak, Anne; Cheung, Kevin L.Y.; Artz, Jennifer D.; Amani, Mehrnaz; Fell, Stuart; de Koning-Ward, Tania F.; Goodman, C. Dean; McFadden, Geoffrey I.; Ortega, Joaquin; Hui, Raymond; Houry, Walid A. (McMaster U.); (Melbourne); (Toronto); (Deakin); (HWMRI)

    2015-02-09

    The Clp chaperones and proteases play an important role in protein homeostasis in the cell. They are highly conserved across prokaryotes and found also in the mitochondria of eukaryotes and the chloroplasts of plants. They function mainly in the disaggregation, unfolding and degradation of native as well as misfolded proteins. Here, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the Clp chaperones and proteases in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The parasite contains four Clp ATPases, which we term PfClpB1, PfClpB2, PfClpC and PfClpM. One PfClpP, the proteolytic subunit, and one PfClpR, which is an inactive version of the protease, were also identified. Expression of all Clp chaperones and proteases was confirmed in blood-stage parasites. The proteins were localized to the apicoplast, a non-photosynthetic organelle that accommodates several important metabolic pathways in P. falciparum, with the exception of PfClpB2 (also known as Hsp101), which was found in the parasitophorous vacuole. Both PfClpP and PfClpR form mostly homoheptameric rings as observed by size-exclusion chromatography, analytical ultracentrifugation and electron microscopy. The X-ray structure of PfClpP showed the protein as a compacted tetradecamer similar to that observed for Streptococcus pneumoniae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis ClpPs. Our data suggest the presence of a ClpCRP complex in the apicoplast of P. falciparum.

  14. Glycerol inhibits water permeation through Plasmodium falciparum aquaglyceroporin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Liao Y

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum aquaglyceroporin (PfAQP) is a multifunctional membrane protein in the plasma membrane of P. falciparum, the parasite that causes the most severe form of malaria. The current literature has established the science of PfAQP's structure, functions, and hydrogen-bonding interactions but left unanswered the following fundamental question: does glycerol modulate water permeation through aquaglyceroporin that conducts both glycerol and water? This paper provides an affirmative answer to this question of essential importance to the protein's functions. On the basis of the chemical-potential profile of glycerol from the extracellular bulk region, throughout PfAQP's conducting channel, to the cytoplasmic bulk region, this study shows the existence of a bound state of glycerol inside aquaglyceroporin's permeation pore, from which the dissociation constant is approximately 14μM. A glycerol molecule occupying the bound state occludes the conducting pore through which permeating molecules line up in single file by hydrogen-bonding with one another and with the luminal residues of aquaglyceroporin. In this way, glycerol inhibits permeation of water and other permeants through aquaglyceroporin. The biological implications of this theory are discussed and shown to agree with the existent in vitro data. It turns out that the structure of aquaglyceroporin is perfect for the van der Waals interactions between the protein and glycerol to cause the existence of the bound state deep inside the conducting pore and, thus to play an unexpected but significant role in aquaglyceroporin's functions.

  15. Guillain-Barré syndrome in Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    OpenAIRE

    Wijesundere, A.

    1992-01-01

    A patient with Plasmodium falciparum malaria developed peripheral neuropathy. Clinical, cerebro-spinal fluid examination and nerve conduction studies confirmed Guillain-Barré syndrome, not previously reported in P. falciparum malaria.

  16. Regulation of antigenic variation in Plasmodium falciparum: censoring freedom of expression?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, Michael F; Reeder, John C; Brown, Graham V

    2003-03-01

    Plasmodium falciparum employs a strategy of clonal antigenic variation to evade the host immune response during the intraerythrocytic stage of its life cycle. The major variant parasite molecule is the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein (PfEMP)1, which is encoded by the var multigene family. The parasite switches between different PfEMP1 molecules through regulation of var transcription. Recent studies have shed considerable light on this process, but much remains unknown. However, striking parallels between transcriptional control of var and genes in other organisms provide direction for future studies.

  17. Cross-reactive anti-PfCLAG9 antibodies in the sera of asymptomatic parasite carriers of Plasmodium vivax

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Joana D'Arc Neves; Zanchi, Fernando Berton; Rodrigues, Francisco Lurdevanhe da Silva; Honda, Eduardo Rezende; Katsuragawa, Tony Hiroschi; Pereira, Dhélio Batista; Taborda, Roger Lafontaine Mesquita; Tada, Mauro Shugiro; Ferreira, Ricardo de Godoi Mattos; Pereira-da-Silva, Luiz Hildebrando

    2013-01-01

    The PfCLAG9 has been extensively studied because their immunogenicity. Thereby, the gene product is important for therapeutics interventions and a potential vaccine candidate. Antibodies against synthetic peptides corresponding to selected sequences of the Plasmodium falciparum antigen PfCLAG9 were found in sera of falciparum malaria patients from Rondônia, in the Brazilian Amazon. Much higher antibody titres were found in semi-immune and immune asymptomatic parasite carriers than in subjects suffering clinical infections, corroborating original findings in Papua Guinea. However, sera of Plasmodium vivax patients from the same Amazon area, in particular from asymptomatic vivax parasite carriers, reacted strongly with the same peptides. Bioinformatic analyses revealed regions of similarity between P. falciparum Pfclag9 and the P. vivax ortholog Pvclag7. Indirect fluorescent microscopy analysis showed that antibodies against PfCLAG9 peptides elicited in BALB/c mice react with human red blood cells (RBCs) infected with both P. falciparum and P. vivax parasites. The patterns of reactivity on the surface of the parasitised RBCs are very similar. The present observations support previous findings that PfCLAG9 may be a target of protective immune responses and raises the possibility that the cross reactive antibodies to PvCLAG7 in mixed infections play a role in regulate the fate of Plasmodium mixed infections. PMID:23440122

  18. Cross-reactive anti-PfCLAG9 antibodies in the sera of asymptomatic parasite carriers of Plasmodium vivax

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana D'Arc Neves Costa

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The PfCLAG9 has been extensively studied because their immunogenicity. Thereby, the gene product is important for therapeutics interventions and a potential vaccine candidate. Antibodies against synthetic peptides corresponding to selected sequences of the Plasmodium falciparum antigen PfCLAG9 were found in sera of falciparum malaria patients from Rondônia, in the Brazilian Amazon. Much higher antibody titres were found in semi-immune and immune asymptomatic parasite carriers than in subjects suffering clinical infections, corroborating original findings in Papua Guinea. However, sera of Plasmodium vivax patients from the same Amazon area, in particular from asymptomatic vivax parasite carriers, reacted strongly with the same peptides. Bioinformatic analyses revealed regions of similarity between P. falciparum Pfclag9 and the P. vivax ortholog Pvclag7. Indirect fluorescent microscopy analysis showed that antibodies against PfCLAG9 peptides elicited in BALB/c mice react with human red blood cells (RBCs infected with both P. falciparum and P. vivax parasites. The patterns of reactivity on the surface of the parasitised RBCs are very similar. The present observations support previous findings that PfCLAG9 may be a target of protective immune responses and raises the possibility that the cross reactive antibodies to PvCLAG7 in mixed infections play a role in regulate the fate of Plasmodium mixed infections.

  19. Sequential, ordered acquisition of antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 domains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cham, Gerald K K; Turner, Louise; Lusingu, John;

    2009-01-01

    The binding of erythrocytes infected with mature blood stage parasites to the vascular bed is key to the pathogenesis of malignant malaria. The binding is mediated by members of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family. PfEMP1s can be divided into groups, and it has pr....... The identification of PfEMP1 domains expressed by parasites causing disease in infants and young children is important for development of vaccines protecting against severe malaria....

  20. J-dot targeting of an exported HSP40 in Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Wiebke; Külzer, Simone; Engels, Sonja; Zhang, Qi; Ingmundson, Alyssa; Rug, Melanie; Maier, Alexander G; Przyborski, Jude M

    2016-07-01

    Plasmodium falciparum exports a large number of proteins to its host cell, the mature human erythrocyte, where they are involved in host cell modification. Amongst the proteins trafficked to the host cell, many are heat shock protein (HSP)40 homologues. We previously demonstrated that at least two exported PfHSP40s (referred to as PFE55 and PFA660) localise to mobile structures in the P. falciparum-infected erythrocyte (Kulzer et al., 2010), termed J-dots. The complete molecular content of these structures has not yet been completely resolved, however it is known that they also contain an exported HSP70, PfHSP70x, and are potentially involved in transport of the major cytoadherance ligand, PfEMP1, through the host cell. To understand more about the nature of the association of exported HSP40s with J-dots, here we have studied the signal requirements for recruitment of the proteins to these structures. By expressing various exported GFP chimeras, we can demonstrate that the predicted substrate binding domain is necessary and sufficient for J-dot targeting. This targeting only occurs in human erythrocytes infected with P. falciparum, as it is not conserved when expressing a P. falciparum HSP40 in Plasmodium berghei-infected murine red blood cells, suggesting that J-dots are P. falciparum-specific. This data reveals a new mechanism for targeting of exported proteins to intracellular structures in the P. falciparum-infected erythrocyte.

  1. Exploring the folate pathway in Plasmodium falciparum

    OpenAIRE

    Hyde, John E.

    2005-01-01

    As in centuries past, the main weapon against human malaria infections continues to be intervention with drugs, despite the widespread and increasing frequency of parasite populations that are resistant to one or more of the available compounds. This is a particular problem with the lethal species of parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, which claims some two million lives per year as well as causing enormous social and economic problems. Amongst the antimalarial drugs currently in clinical use, t...

  2. Genetic diversity of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum in Honduras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lopez Ana

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding the population structure of Plasmodium species through genetic diversity studies can assist in the design of more effective malaria control strategies, particularly in vaccine development. Central America is an area where malaria is a public health problem, but little is known about the genetic diversity of the parasite’s circulating species. This study aimed to investigate the allelic frequency and molecular diversity of five surface antigens in field isolates from Honduras. Methods Five molecular markers were analysed to determine the genotypes of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum from endemic areas in Honduras. Genetic diversity of ama-1, msp-1 and csp was investigated for P. vivax, and msp-1 and msp-2 for P. falciparum. Allelic frequencies were calculated and sequence analysis performed. Results and conclusion A high genetic diversity was observed within Plasmodium isolates from Honduras. A different number of genotypes were elucidated: 41 (n = 77 for pvama-1; 23 (n = 84 for pvcsp; and 23 (n = 35 for pfmsp-1. Pvcsp sequences showed VK210 as the only subtype present in Honduran isolates. Pvmsp-1 (F2 was the most polymorphic marker for P. vivax isolates while pvama-1 was least variable. All three allelic families described for pfmsp-1 (n = 30 block 2 (K1, MAD20, and RO33, and both allelic families described for the central domain of pfmsp-2 (n = 11 (3D7 and FC27 were detected. However, K1 and 3D7 allelic families were predominant. All markers were randomly distributed across the country and no geographic correlation was found. To date, this is the most complete report on molecular characterization of P. vivax and P. falciparum field isolates in Honduras with regards to genetic diversity. These results indicate that P. vivax and P. falciparum parasite populations are highly diverse in Honduras despite the low level of transmission.

  3. Gametocytogenesis : the puberty of Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariey Frédéric

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The protozoan Plasmodium falciparum has a complex life cycle in which asexual multiplication in the vertebrate host alternates with an obligate sexual reproduction in the anopheline mosquito. Apart from the apparent recombination advantages conferred by sex, P. falciparum has evolved a remarkable biology and adaptive phenotypes to insure its transmission despite the dangers of sex. This review mainly focuses on the current knowledge on commitment to sexual development, gametocytogenesis and the evolutionary significance of various aspects of gametocyte biology. It goes further than pure biology to look at the strategies used to improve successful transmission. Although gametocytes are inevitable stages for transmission and provide a potential target to fight malaria, they have received less attention than the pathogenic asexual stages. There is a need for research on gametocytes, which are a fascinating stage, responsible to a large extent for the success of P. falciparum.

  4. Crystal Structure Analyses of the Fosmidomycin-Target Enzyme from Plasmodium Falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umeda, Tomonobu; Kusakabe, Yoshio; Tanaka, Nobutada

    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the death of more than a million people each year. Fosmidomycin has proved to be efficient in the treatment of P. falciparum malaria through the inhibition of 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase (DXR), an enzyme of the non-mevalonate pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis, which is absent in humans. Crystal structure analyses of P. falciparum DXR (PfDXR) revealed that (i) an intrinsic flexibility of the PfDXR molecule accounts for the induced-fit movement to accommodate the bound inhibitor in the active site, and (ii) a cis arrangement of the oxygen atoms of the hydroxamate group of the bound inhibitor is essential for tight binding of the inhibitor to the active site metal. We believe that our study will serve as a useful guide to develop more potent PfDXR inhibitors.

  5. PfHRP2 and PfLDH antigen detection for monitoring the efficacy of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT in the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deloron Philippe

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An assessment of the accuracy of two malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDT for the detection of Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2 or Pf lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH was undertaken in children aged between six and 59 months included in an anti-malarial efficacy study in Benin. Methods In Allada (Benin, 205 children aged 6-59 months with falciparum malaria received either artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ, artemether-lumefantrine (AL, or sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP. Children included in the study were simultaneously followed by both RDT and high-quality microscopy for up to 42 days. Results At the time of inclusion, PfHRP2-based tests were positive in 203 children (99% and PfLDH-based tests were positive in 204 (99.5%. During follow-up, independent of the treatment received, only 17.3% (28/162 of children effectively cured were negative with the PfHRP2 RDT at day 3, with a gradual increase in specificity until day 42. The specificity of antigen detection with the PfLDH test was 87% (141/162 on day 3, and between 92% and 100% on days 7 to 42. A statistical difference was observed between the persistence of PfHRP2 and PfLDH antigenaemia during follow-up in children treated with artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT but not with SP. Conclusion Although both RDTs are as sensitive as microscopy in detecting true malaria cases, the PfHRP2 RDT had very low specificity during follow-up until day 28. On the other hand, the PfLDH test could be used to detect failures and, therefore, to assess anti-malarial efficacy.

  6. A nuclear targeting system in Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kochakarn Theerarat

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The distinct differences in gene control mechanisms acting in the nucleus between Plasmodium falciparum and the human host could lead to new potential drug targets for anti-malarial development. New molecular toolkits are required for dissecting molecular machineries in the P. falciparum nucleus. One valuable tool commonly used in model organisms is protein targeting to specific sub-cellular locations. Targeting proteins to specified locations allows labeling of organelles for microscopy, or testing of how the protein of interest modulates organelle function. In recent years, this approach has been developed for various malaria organelles, such as the mitochondrion and the apicoplast. A tool for targeting a protein of choice to the P. falciparum nucleus using an exogenous nuclear localization sequence is reported here. Methods To develop a nuclear targeting system, a putative nuclear localization sequence was fused with green fluorescent protein (GFP. The nuclear localization sequence from the yeast transcription factor Gal4 was chosen because of its well-defined nuclear localization signal. A series of truncated Gal4 constructs was also created to narrow down the nuclear localization sequence necessary for P. falciparum nuclear import. Transfected parasites were analysed by fluorescent and laser-scanning confocal microscopy. Results The nuclear localization sequence of Gal4 is functional in P. falciparum. It effectively transported GFP into the nucleus, and the first 74 amino acid residues were sufficient for nuclear localization. Conclusions The Gal4 fusion technique enables specific transport of a protein of choice into the P. falciparum nucleus, and thus provides a tool for labeling nuclei without using DNA-staining dyes. The finding also indicates similarities between the nuclear transport mechanisms of yeast and P. falciparum. Since the nuclear transport system has been thoroughly studied in yeast, this could give clues

  7. An FtsH protease is recruited to the mitochondrion of Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aiman Tanveer

    Full Text Available The two organelles, apicoplast and mitochondrion, of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have unique morphology in liver and blood stages; they undergo complex branching and looping prior to division and segregation into daughter merozoites. Little is known about the molecular processes and proteins involved in organelle biogenesis in the parasite. We report the identification of an AAA+/FtsH protease homolog (PfFtsH1 that exhibits ATP- and Zn(2+-dependent protease activity. PfFtsH1 undergoes processing, forms oligomeric assemblies, and is associated with the membrane fraction of the parasite cell. Generation of a transfectant parasite line with hemagglutinin-tagged PfFtsH1, and immunofluorescence assay with anti-PfFtsH1 Ab demonstrated that the protein localises to P. falciparum mitochondria. Phylogenetic analysis and the single transmembrane region identifiable in PfFtsH1 suggest that it is an i-AAA like inner mitochondrial membrane protein. Expression of PfFtsH1 in Escherichia coli converted a fraction of bacterial cells into division-defective filamentous forms implying a sequestering effect of the Plasmodium factor on the bacterial homolog, indicative of functional conservation with EcFtsH. These results identify a membrane-associated mitochondrial AAA+/FtsH protease as a candidate regulatory protein for organelle biogenesis in P. falciparum.

  8. Plasmodium falciparum var genes expressed in children with severe malaria encode CIDRα1 domains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jespersen, Jakob S.; Wang, Christian W.; Mkumbaye, Sixbert I.;

    2016-01-01

    Most severe Plasmodium falciparum infections are experienced by young children. Severe symptoms are precipitated by vascular sequestration of parasites expressing a particular subset of the polymorphic P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) adhesion molecules. Parasites binding human...... endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) through the CIDRα1 domain of certain PfEMP1 were recently associated with severe malaria in children. However, it has remained unclear to which extend the EPCR-binding CIDRα1 domains epitomize PfEMP1 expressed in severe malaria. Here, we characterized the near full......-length transcripts dominating the var transcriptome in children with severe malaria and found that the only common feature of the encoded PfEMP1 was CIDRα1 domains. Such genes were highly and dominantly expressed in both children with severe malarial anaemia and cerebral malaria. These observations support...

  9. Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax specific lactate dehydrogenase: genetic polymorphism study from Indian isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keluskar, Priyadarshan; Singh, Vineeta; Gupta, Purva; Ingle, Sanjay

    2014-08-01

    Control and eradication of malaria is hindered by the acquisition of drug resistance by Plasmodium species. This has necessitated a persistent search for novel drugs and more efficient targets. Plasmodium species specific lactate dehydrogenase is one of the potential therapeutic and diagnostic targets, because of its indispensable role in endoerythrocytic stage of the parasite. A target molecule that is highly conserved in the parasite population can be more effectively used in diagnostics and therapeutics, hence, in the present study polymorphism in PfLDH (Plasmodiumfalciparum specific LDH) and PvLDH (Plasmodiumvivax specific LDH) genes was analyzed using PCR-single strand confirmation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) and sequencing. Forty-six P. falciparum and thirty-five P. vivax samples were screened from different states of India. Our findings have revealed presence of a single PfLDH genotype and six PvLDH genotypes among the studied samples. Interestingly, along with synonymous substitutions, nonsynonymous substitutions were reported to be present for the first time in the PvLDH genotypes. Further, through amino acid sequence alignment and homology modeling studies we observed that the catalytic residues were conserved in all PvLDH genotypes and the nonsynonymous substitutions have not altered the enzyme structure significantly. Evolutionary genetics studies have confirmed that PfLDH and PvLDH loci are under strong purifying selection. Phylogenetic analysis of the pLDH gene sequences revealed that P. falciparum compared to P. vivax, has recent origin. The study therefore supports PfLDH and PvLDH as suitable therapeutic and diagnostic targets as well as phylogenetic markers to understand the genealogy of malaria species.

  10. Crystal structure of lipoate-bound lipoate ligase 1, LipL1, from Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra, Alfredo J; Afanador, Gustavo A; Prigge, Sean T

    2017-09-01

    Plasmodium falciparum lipoate protein ligase 1 (PfLipL1) is an ATP-dependent ligase that belongs to the biotin/lipoate A/B protein ligase family (PFAM PF03099). PfLipL1 is the only known canonical lipoate ligase in Pf and functions as a redox switch between two lipoylation routes in the parasite mitochondrion. Here, we report the crystal structure of a deletion construct of PfLipL1 (PfLipL1Δ243-279 ) bound to lipoate, and validate the lipoylation activity of this construct in both an in vitro lipoylation assay and a cell-based lipoylation assay. This characterization represents the first step in understanding the redox dependence of the lipoylation mechanism in malaria parasites. Proteins 2017; 85:1777-1783. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. The Plasmodium falciparum var gene transcription strategy at the onset of blood stage infection in a human volunteer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Christian W; Hermsen, Cornelus C; Sauerwein, Robert W;

    2009-01-01

    The var genes encode a family of adhesion receptor proteins, Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), which profoundly influence malaria pathogenesis. Only a single var gene is transcribed and one PfEMP1 expressed per P.falciparum parasite. Here we present the in vivo...... transcript distribution of var genes in a P. falciparum-infected non-immune individual and show that the initial expression of PfEMP1 is based on a strategy that allows all or most variants of PfEMP1s to be expressed by the parasite population at the onset of the blood stage infection....

  12. Complement evasion by Plasmodium falciparum

    OpenAIRE

    Holopainen, Saila

    2008-01-01

    Patologian oppiaine Malaria remains one of the major health problems in many tropical countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Among the most characteristic features of the malaria pathogens, protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium, is their ability to evade the immune defences of the host for extended periods of time. The complement system (C) is an essential part of the innate system in the first line of defense. It consists of over 30 soluble or membrane-bound components. C...

  13. An innovative shape equation to quantify the morphological characteristics of parasitized red blood cells by Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karimi, Alireza; Navidbakhsh, Mahdi; Motevalli Haghi, Afsaneh; Faghihi, Shahab

    2013-04-01

    The morphology of red blood cells is affected significantly during maturation of malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. A novel shape equation is presented that defines shape of parasitized red blood cells by P. falciparum (Pf-red blood cells) and P. vivax (Pv-red blood cells) at four stages of infection. The Giemsa-stained thin blood films are prepared using blood samples collected from healthy donors, patients having P. falciparum and P. vivax malaria. The diameter and thickness of healthy red blood cells plus Pf-red blood cells and Pv-red blood cells at each stage of infection are measured from their optical images using Olysia and Scanning Probe Image Processor softwares, respectively. Using diameters and thicknesses of parasitized red blood cells, a shape equation is fitted and relative two-dimensional shapes are plotted using MATHEMATICA. The shape of Pf-red blood cell drastically changes at ring stage as its thickness increases by 82%, while Pv-red blood cell remains biconcave (30% increase in thickness). By trophozoite and subsequent schizont stage, the Pf-red blood cell entirely loses its biconcave shape and becomes near spherical (diameter and thickness of ~8 µm). The Pv-red blood cell remains biconcave throughout the parasite development even though its volume increases. These results could have practical use for faster diagnosis, prediction, and treatment of human malaria and sickle-cell diseases.

  14. Spatiotemporal and functional characterisation of the Plasmodium falciparum cGMP-dependent protein kinase.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine S Hopp

    Full Text Available Signalling by 3'-5'-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP exists in virtually all eukaryotes. In the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium, the cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG has previously been reported to play a critical role in four key stages of the life cycle. The Plasmodium falciparum isoform (PfPKG is essential for the initiation of gametogenesis and for blood stage schizont rupture and work on the orthologue from the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei (PbPKG has shown additional roles in ookinete differentiation and motility as well as liver stage schizont development. In the present study, PfPKG expression and subcellular location in asexual blood stages was investigated using transgenic epitope-tagged PfPKG-expressing P. falciparum parasites. In Western blotting experiments and immunofluorescence analysis (IFA, maximal PfPKG expression was detected at the late schizont stage. While IFA suggested a cytosolic location, a degree of overlap with markers of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER was found and subcellular fractionation showed some association with the peripheral membrane fraction. This broad localisation is consistent with the notion that PfPKG, as with the mammalian orthologue, has numerous cellular substrates. This idea is further supported by the global protein phosphorylation pattern of schizonts which was substantially changed following PfPKG inhibition, suggesting a complex role for PfPKG during schizogony.

  15. High prevalence of drug-resistance mutations in Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax in southern Ethiopia

    OpenAIRE

    Schunk, Mirjam; Kumma, Wondimagegn P.; Barreto Miranda, Isabel; Maha E. Osman; Roewer, Susanne; Alano, Abraham; Loescher, Thomas; Bienzle, Ulrich; Mockenhaupt, Frank P

    2006-01-01

    Background: In Ethiopia, malaria is caused by both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Drug resistance of P. falciparum to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) and chloroquine (CQ) is frequent and intense in some areas. Methods: In 100 patients with uncomplicated malaria from Dilla, southern Ethiopia, P. falciparum dhfr and dhps mutations as well as P. vivax dhfr polymorphisms associated with resistance to SP and P. falciparum pfcrt and pfmdr1 mutations conferring CQ resistance were assesse...

  16. Desferrioxamine suppresses Plasmodium falciparum in Aotus monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollack, S; Rossan, R N; Davidson, D E; Escajadillo, A

    1987-02-01

    Clinical observation has suggested that iron deficiency may be protective in malaria, and we have found that desferrioxamine (DF), an iron-specific chelating agent, inhibited Plasmodium falciparum growth in vitro. It was difficult to be confident that DF would be effective in an intact animal, however, because continuous exposure to DF was required in vitro and, in vivo, DF is rapidly excreted. Also, the in vitro effect of DF was overcome by addition of iron to the culture and in vivo there are potentially high local iron concentrations when iron is absorbed from the diet or released from reticuloendothelial cells. We now show that DF given by constant subcutaneous infusion does suppress parasitemia in P. falciparum-infected Aotus monkeys.

  17. A Plasmodium falciparum Homologue of Plasmodium vivax Reticulocyte Binding Protein (PvRBP1) Defines a Trypsin-resistant Erythrocyte Invasion Pathway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayner, Julian C.; Vargas-Serrato, Esmeralda; Huber, Curtis S.; Galinski, Mary R.; Barnwell, John W.

    2001-01-01

    Invasion of erythrocytes by Plasmodium merozoites is an intricate process involving multiple receptor-ligand interactions. The glycophorins and an unknown trypsin sensitive factor are all erythrocyte receptors used during invasion by the major human pathogen Plasmodium falciparum. However, only one erythrocyte receptor, Glycophorin A, has a well-established cognate parasite ligand, the merozoite protein erythrocyte binding antigen-175 (EBA-175). The involvement of several other parasite proteins during invasion have been proposed, but no direct evidence links them with a specific invasion pathway. Here we report the identification and characterization of P. falciparum normocyte binding protein 1 (PfNBP1), an ortholog of Plasmodium vivax reticulocyte binding protein-1. PfNBP1 binds to a sialic acid dependent trypsin-resistant receptor on the erythrocyte surface that appears to be distinct from known invasion receptors. Antibodies against PfNBP1 can inhibit invasion of trypsinized erythrocytes and two P. falciparum strains that express truncated PfNBP1 are unable to invade trypsinized erythrocytes. One of these strain, 7G8, also does not invade Glycophorin B–negative erythrocytes. PfNBP1 therefore defines a novel trypsin-resistant invasion pathway and adds a level of complexity to current models for P. falciparum erythrocyte invasion. PMID:11733572

  18. Functional analysis of sirtuin genes in multiple Plasmodium falciparum strains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine J Merrick

    Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of severe human malaria, employs antigenic variation to avoid host immunity. Antigenic variation is achieved by transcriptional switching amongst polymorphic var genes, enforced by epigenetic modification of chromatin. The histone-modifying 'sirtuin' enzymes PfSir2a and PfSir2b have been implicated in this process. Disparate patterns of var expression have been reported in patient isolates as well as in cultured strains. We examined var expression in three commonly used laboratory strains (3D7, NF54 and FCR-3 in parallel. NF54 parasites express significantly lower levels of var genes compared to 3D7, despite the fact that 3D7 was originally a clone of the NF54 strain. To investigate whether this was linked to the expression of sirtuins, genetic disruption of both sirtuins was attempted in all three strains. No dramatic changes in var gene expression occurred in NF54 or FCR-3 following PfSir2b disruption, contrasting with previous observations in 3D7. In 3D7, complementation of the PfSir2a genetic disruption resulted in a significant decrease in previously-elevated var gene expression levels, but with the continued expression of multiple var genes. Finally, rearranged chromosomes were observed in the 3D7 PfSir2a knockout line. Our results focus on the potential for parasite genetic background to contribute to sirtuin function in regulating virulence gene expression and suggest a potential role for sirtuins in maintaining genome integrity.

  19. Functional analysis of sirtuin genes in multiple Plasmodium falciparum strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrick, Catherine J; Jiang, Rays H Y; Skillman, Kristen M; Samarakoon, Upeka; Moore, Rachel M; Dzikowski, Ron; Ferdig, Michael T; Duraisingh, Manoj T

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of severe human malaria, employs antigenic variation to avoid host immunity. Antigenic variation is achieved by transcriptional switching amongst polymorphic var genes, enforced by epigenetic modification of chromatin. The histone-modifying 'sirtuin' enzymes PfSir2a and PfSir2b have been implicated in this process. Disparate patterns of var expression have been reported in patient isolates as well as in cultured strains. We examined var expression in three commonly used laboratory strains (3D7, NF54 and FCR-3) in parallel. NF54 parasites express significantly lower levels of var genes compared to 3D7, despite the fact that 3D7 was originally a clone of the NF54 strain. To investigate whether this was linked to the expression of sirtuins, genetic disruption of both sirtuins was attempted in all three strains. No dramatic changes in var gene expression occurred in NF54 or FCR-3 following PfSir2b disruption, contrasting with previous observations in 3D7. In 3D7, complementation of the PfSir2a genetic disruption resulted in a significant decrease in previously-elevated var gene expression levels, but with the continued expression of multiple var genes. Finally, rearranged chromosomes were observed in the 3D7 PfSir2a knockout line. Our results focus on the potential for parasite genetic background to contribute to sirtuin function in regulating virulence gene expression and suggest a potential role for sirtuins in maintaining genome integrity.

  20. RELATIONSHIP OF HEPATIC AND RENAL DYSFUNCTION WITH HAEMORRHEOLOGICAL PARAMETERS IN PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM MALARIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valluri Satya

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The clinical pattern of malaria has changed worldwide including India in last decade. Earlier cerebral malaria was the predominant manifestation of severe malaria, whereas now the combination of jaundice and renal failure are more common. Severe haemorrhage is seen in upto 5% of patients with severe malaria. Studies on renal and hepatic dys function in Plasmodium falciparum malaria are a plenty, but there is a paucity of studies correlating haemorrheological abnormalities with hepatic and renal dysfunction in Plasmodium falciparum malaria. METHODS : 100 patients of malaria with positive periph eral blood smear for plasmodium falciparum , out of which 50 cases with AKI and Hepatic failure during the period January 2012 - June 2013. I n department of general medicine, Government General Hospital, Kakinada. GROUP A : Comprising 50 consecutive adult pat ients of all age groups and both genders who had jaundice or renal failure or both at the time of admission. GROUP B: comprising 50 consecutive cases of plasmodium falciparum malaria and had no complications. RESULTS: In group A patients all parameters are significantly raised as compared to group B patients. CONCLUSION: 10% of patients had clinically overt bleeding manifestations, this indicates subclinical haemorrheological dysfunction in patients suffering from falciparum malaria with hepatic and renal d ysfunction, high incidence of subclinical DIC, evidenced by prolonged aPTT (56%, low total platelet count (58%, and PT (20%. An observational, screening, analytical prospective study. 100 cases of PF positive complicated and uncomplicated cases during t he period - January 2012 - June 2013

  1. Evidence That Mutant PfCRT Facilitates the Transmission to Mosquitoes of Chloroquine-Treated Plasmodium Gametocytes

    OpenAIRE

    Ecker, Andrea; Lakshmanan, Viswanathan; Sinnis, Photini; Coppens, Isabelle; Fidock, David A

    2011-01-01

    Resistance of the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum to the antimalarial drug chloroquine has rapidly spread from several independent origins and is now widely prevalent throughout the majority of malaria-endemic areas. Field studies have suggested that chloroquine-resistant strains might be more infective to mosquito vectors. To test the hypothesis that the primary chloroquine resistance determinant, mutations in PfCRT, facilitates parasite transmission under drug pressure, we hav...

  2. A redesigned CRISPR/Cas9 system for marker-free genome editing in Plasmodium falciparum

    OpenAIRE

    Lu, Junnan; TONG, Ying; Pan, Jiaqiang; Yang, Yijun; Liu, Quan; Tan, Xuefang; Zhao, Siting; Qin, Li; Chen, Xiaoping

    2016-01-01

    Background A highly efficient CRISPR/Cas9-based marker-free genome editing system has been established in Plasmodium falciparum (Pf). However, with the current methods, two drug-selectable markers are needed for episome retention, which may present hurdles for consecutive genome manipulations due to the limited number of available selectable markers. The loading capacity of donor DNA is also unsatisfactory due to the large size of the Cas9 nuclease and sgRNA co-expression system, which limits...

  3. Molecular surveillance of antimalarial drug resistance related genes in Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Eritrea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menegon, Michela; Nurahmed, Abduselam M; Talha, Albadawi A; Nour, Bakri Y M; Severini, Carlo

    2016-05-01

    The introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy has led to extraordinary results in malaria control, however the recent emergence of partial resistance to artemisinin therapy in Southeast Asia jeopardizes these successes. This study aimed at investigating resistance to the antimalarial drugs by evaluating the polymorphisms in the PfK13, Pfcrt and Pfmdr1 genes in Plasmodium falciparum isolates obtained from patients in Eritrea.

  4. B-cell responses to pregnancy-restricted and -unrestricted Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 antigens in Ghanaian women naturally exposed to malaria parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ampomah, Paulina; Stevenson, Liz; Ofori, Michael F

    2014-01-01

    Protective immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria acquired after natural exposure is largely antibody mediated. IgG-specific P. falciparum EMP1 (PfEMP1) proteins on the infected erythrocyte surface are particularly important. The transient antibody responses and the slowly acquired protective...

  5. Cytoadhesion to gC1qR through Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 in severe malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Magallón-Tejada, Ariel; Machevo, Sónia; Cisteró, Pau

    2016-01-01

    Cytoadhesion of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes to gC1qR has been associated with severe malaria, but the parasite ligand involved is currently unknown. To assess if binding to gC1qR is mediated through the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family, we analyzed by s...

  6. A Plasmodium falciparum S33 proline aminopeptidase is associated with changes in erythrocyte deformability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Fabio L; Dixon, Matthew W A; Stack, Colin M; Teuscher, Franka; Taran, Elena; Jones, Malcolm K; Lovas, Erica; Tilley, Leann; Brown, Christopher L; Trenholme, Katharine R; Dalton, John P; Gardiner, Donald L; Skinner-Adams, Tina S

    2016-10-01

    Infection with the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium falciparum is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. One of the striking features of this parasite is its ability to remodel and decrease the deformability of host red blood cells, a process that contributes to disease. To further understand the virulence of Pf we investigated the biochemistry and function of a putative Pf S33 proline aminopeptidase (PfPAP). Unlike other P. falciparum aminopeptidases, PfPAP contains a predicted protein export element that is non-syntenic with other human infecting Plasmodium species. Characterization of PfPAP demonstrated that it is exported into the host red blood cell and that it is a prolyl aminopeptidase with a preference for N-terminal proline substrates. In addition genetic deletion of this exopeptidase was shown to lead to an increase in the deformability of parasite-infected red cells and in reduced adherence to the endothelial cell receptor CD36 under flow conditions. Our studies suggest that PfPAP plays a role in the rigidification and adhesion of infected red blood cells to endothelial surface receptors, a role that may make this protein a novel target for anti-disease interventions strategies.

  7. Atypical and classical memory B cells produce Plasmodium falciparum neutralizing antibodies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Muellenbeck, Matthias F; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Amulic, Borko

    2013-01-01

    Antibodies can protect from Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) infection and clinical malaria disease. However, in the absence of constant reexposure, serum immunoglobulin (Ig) levels rapidly decline and full protection from clinical symptoms is lost, suggesting that B cell memory is functionally impaire...... that constant immune activation rather than impaired memory function leads to the accumulation of AtM in malaria. Understanding the memory B cell response to natural Pf infection may be key to the development of a malaria vaccine that induces long-lived protection.......Antibodies can protect from Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) infection and clinical malaria disease. However, in the absence of constant reexposure, serum immunoglobulin (Ig) levels rapidly decline and full protection from clinical symptoms is lost, suggesting that B cell memory is functionally impaired....... We show at the single cell level that natural Pf infection induces the development of classical memory B cells (CM) and atypical memory B cells (AtM) that produce broadly neutralizing antibodies against blood stage Pf parasites. CM and AtM contribute to anti-Pf serum IgG production, but only AtM show...

  8. Detection of antibodies to variant antigens on Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes by flow cytometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Staalsoe, T; Giha, H A; Dodoo, D;

    1999-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Naturally induced antibodies binding to surface antigens of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes can be detected by direct agglutination of infected erythrocytes or by indirect immunofluorescence on intact, unfixed, infected erythrocytes. Agglutinating antibodies have previously...... been shown to recognise Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1). This protein is inserted by the parasite into the host cell membrane and mediates the adhesion to the venular endothelium of the host organism in vivo. METHODS: Erythrocytes infected at high parasitaemias...... with ethidium-bromide-labelled mature forms of P. falciparum parasites were sequentially exposed to immune plasma, goat anti-human immunoglobulin (Ig) G, and fluorescein-isothiocyanate-conjugated rabbit anti-goat Ig. Plasma antibodies recognising antigens exposed on the surface of parasitised erythrocytes were...

  9. IgG antibodies to endothelial protein C receptor-binding Cysteine-rich interdomain region domains of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 are acquired early in life in individuals exposed to malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Turner, Louise; Lavstsen, Thomas; Mmbando, Bruno P

    2015-01-01

    Severe malaria syndromes are precipitated by Plasmodium falciparum parasites binding to endothelial receptors on the vascular lining. This binding is mediated by members of the highly variant P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family. We have previously identified a subset of Pf...

  10. Bioinformatic Identification of Peptidomimetic-Based Inhibitors against Plasmodium falciparum Antigen AMA1

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1 (PfAMA1) is a valuable vaccine candidate and exported on the merozoite surface at the time of erythrocyte invasion. PfAMA1 interacts with rhoptry neck protein PfRON2, a component of the rhoptry protein complex, which forms the tight junction at the time of invasion. Phage display studies have identified a 15-residue (F1) and a 20-residue (R1) peptide that bind to PfAMA1 and block the invasion of erythrocytes. Cocrystal structures of central region of PfAMA1 containing disulfide-linked clusters (domains I and II) with R1 peptide and a peptide derived from PfRON2 showed strong structural similarity in binding. The peptides bound to a hydrophobic groove surrounded by domain I and II loops. In this study, peptidomimetics based on the crucial PfAMA1-binding residues of PfRON2 peptide have been identified. Top 5 peptidomimetics when checked for their docking on the region of PfAMA1 encompassing the hydrophobic groove were found to dock on the groove. Drug-like molecules having structural similarity to the top 5 peptidomimetics were identified based on their binding ability to PfAMA1 hydrophobic groove in blind docking. These inhibitors provide potential lead compounds, which could be used in the development of antimalarials targeting PfAMA1. PMID:25580351

  11. A World Malaria Map: Plasmodium falciparum Endemicity in 2007

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hay, Simon I; Guerra, Carlos A; Gething, Peter W; Patil, Anand P; Tatem, Andrew J; Noor, Abdisalan M; Kabaria, Caroline W; Manh, Bui H; Elyazar, Iqbal R. F; Brooker, Simon; Smith, David L; Moyeed, Rana A; Snow, Robert W

    2009-01-01

    Background Efficient allocation of resources to intervene against malaria requires a detailed understanding of the contemporary spatial distribution of malaria risk. It is exactly 40 y since the last global map of malaria endemicity was published. This paper describes the generation of a new world map of Plasmodium falciparum malaria endemicity for the year 2007. Methods and Findings A total of 8,938 P. falciparum parasite rate (PfPR) surveys were identified using a variety of exhaustive search strategies. Of these, 7,953 passed strict data fidelity tests for inclusion into a global database of PfPR data, age-standardized to 2–10 y for endemicity mapping. A model-based geostatistical procedure was used to create a continuous surface of malaria endemicity within previously defined stable spatial limits of P. falciparum transmission. These procedures were implemented within a Bayesian statistical framework so that the uncertainty of these predictions could be evaluated robustly. The uncertainty was expressed as the probability of predicting correctly one of three endemicity classes; previously stratified to be an informative guide for malaria control. Population at risk estimates, adjusted for the transmission modifying effects of urbanization in Africa, were then derived with reference to human population surfaces in 2007. Of the 1.38 billion people at risk of stable P. falciparum malaria, 0.69 billion were found in Central and South East Asia (CSE Asia), 0.66 billion in Africa, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia (Africa+), and 0.04 billion in the Americas. All those exposed to stable risk in the Americas were in the lowest endemicity class (PfPR2−10 ≤ 5%). The vast majority (88%) of those living under stable risk in CSE Asia were also in this low endemicity class; a small remainder (11%) were in the intermediate endemicity class (PfPR2−10 > 5 to < 40%); and the remaining fraction (1%) in high endemicity (PfPR2−10 ≥ 40%) areas. High endemicity was widespread in the

  12. Effects of sevuparin on rosette formation and cytoadherence of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saiwaew, Somporn; Sritabal, Juntima; Piaraksa, Nattaporn; Keayarsa, Srisuda; Ruengweerayut, Ronnatrai; Utaisin, Chirapong; Sila, Patima; Niramis, Rangsan; Udomsangpetch, Rachanee; Charunwatthana, Prakaykaew; Pongponratn, Emsri; Pukrittayakamee, Sasithon; Leitgeb, Anna M.; Wahlgren, Mats; Lee, Sue J.; Day, Nicholas P. J.; White, Nicholas J.; Dondorp, Arjen M.; Chotivanich, Kesinee

    2017-01-01

    In severe falciparum malaria cytoadherence of parasitised red blood cells (PRBCs) to vascular endothelium (causing sequestration) and to uninfected red cells (causing rosette formation) contribute to microcirculatory flow obstruction in vital organs. Heparin can reverse the underlying ligand-receptor interactions, but may increase the bleeding risks. As a heparin-derived polysaccharide, sevuparin has been designed to retain anti-adhesive properties, while the antithrombin-binding domains have been eliminated, substantially diminishing its anticoagulant activity. Sevuparin has been evaluated recently in patients with uncomplicated falciparum malaria, and is currently investigated in a clinical trial for sickle cell disease. The effects of sevuparin on rosette formation and cytoadherence of Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Thailand were investigated. Trophozoite stages of P. falciparum-infected RBCs (Pf-iRBCs) were cultured from 49 patients with malaria. Pf-iRBCs were treated with sevuparin at 37°C and assessed in rosetting and in cytoadhesion assays with human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMECs) under static and flow conditions. The proportion of Pf-iRBCs forming rosettes ranged from 6.5% to 26.0% (median = 12.2%). Rosetting was dose dependently disrupted by sevuparin (50% disruption by 250 μg/mL). Overall 57% of P. falciparum isolates bound to HDMECs under static conditions; median (interquartile range) Pf-iRBC binding was 8.5 (3.0–38.0) Pf-iRBCs/1000 HDMECs. Sevuparin in concentrations ≥ 100 μg/mL inhibited cytoadherence. Sevuparin disrupts P. falciparum rosette formation in a dose dependent manner and inhibits cytoadherence to endothelial cells. The data support assessment of sevuparin as an adjunctive treatment to the standard therapy in severe falciparum malaria. PMID:28249043

  13. In silico screening for Plasmodium falciparum enoyl-ACP reductase inhibitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindert, Steffen; Tallorin, Lorillee; Nguyen, Quynh G.; Burkart, Michael D.; McCammon, J. Andrew

    2015-01-01

    The need for novel therapeutics against Plasmodium falciparum is urgent due to recent emergence of multi-drug resistant malaria parasites. Since fatty acids are essential for both the liver and blood stages of the malarial parasite, targeting fatty acid biosynthesis is a promising strategy for combatting P. falciparum. We present a combined computational and experimental study to identify novel inhibitors of enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase ( PfENR) in the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway. A small-molecule database from ChemBridge was docked into three distinct PfENR crystal structures that provide multiple receptor conformations. Two different docking algorithms were used to generate a consensus score in order to rank possible small molecule hits. Our studies led to the identification of five low-micromolar pyrimidine dione inhibitors of PfENR.

  14. Characterization of a Plasmodium falciparum macrophage-migration inhibitory factor homologue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordery, Damien V; Kishore, Uday; Kyes, Sue; Shafi, Mohammed J; Watkins, Katherine R; Williams, Thomas N; Marsh, Kevin; Urban, Britta C

    2007-03-15

    Macrophage-migration inhibitory factor (MIF), one of the first cytokines described, has a broad range of proinflammatory properties. The genome sequencing project of Plasmodium falciparum identified a parasite homologue of MIF. The protein is expressed during the asexual blood stages of the parasite life cycle that cause malarial disease. The identification of a parasite homologue of MIF raised the question of whether it affects monocyte function in a manner similar to its human counterpart. Recombinant P. falciparum MIF (PfMIF) was generated and used in vitro to assess its influence on monocyte function. Antibodies generated against PfMIF were used to determine the expression profile and localization of the protein in blood-stage parasites. Antibody responses to PfMIF were determined in Kenyan children with acute malaria and in control subjects. PfMIF protein was expressed in asexual blood-stage parasites, localized to the Maurer's cleft. In vitro treatment of monocytes with PfMIF inhibited random migration and reduced the surface expression of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2, TLR4, and CD86. These results indicate that PfMIF is released during blood-stage malaria and potentially modulates the function of monocytes during acute P. falciparum infection.

  15. Characterization of Plasmodium falciparum adenylyl cyclase-β and its role in erythrocytic stage parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Salazar

    Full Text Available The most severe form of human malaria is caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The second messenger cAMP has been shown to be important for the parasite's ability to infect the host's liver, but its role during parasite growth inside erythrocytes, the stage responsible for symptomatic malaria, is less clear. The P. falciparum genome encodes two adenylyl cyclases, the enzymes that synthesize cAMP, PfACα and PfACβ. We now show that one of these, PfACβ, plays an important role during the erythrocytic stage of the P. falciparum life cycle. Biochemical characterization of PfACβ revealed a marked pH dependence, and sensitivity to a number of small molecule inhibitors. These inhibitors kill parasites growing inside red blood cells. One particular inhibitor is selective for PfACβ relative to its human ortholog, soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC; thus, PfACβ represents a potential target for development of safe and effective antimalarial therapeutics.

  16. Overlapping antigenic repertoires of variant antigens expressed on the surface of erythrocytes infected by Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Giha, H A; Staalsoe, T; Dodoo, D;

    1999-01-01

    Antibodies against variable antigens expressed on the surface of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes are believed to be important for protection against malaria. A target for these antibodies is the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1, PfEMP1, which is encoded by around 50 var...... genes and undergoes clonal variation. Using agglutination and mixed agglutination tests and flow cytometry to analyse the recognition of variant antigens on parasitized erythrocytes by plasma antibodies from individuals living in Daraweesh in eastern Sudan, an area of seasonal and unstable malaria...

  17. A Next-generation Genetically Attenuated Plasmodium falciparum Parasite Created by Triple Gene Deletion

    OpenAIRE

    Mikolajczak, Sebastian A.; Lakshmanan, Viswanathan; Fishbaugher, Matthew; Camargo, Nelly; Harupa, Anke; Kaushansky, Alexis; Douglass, Alyse N.; Baldwin, Michael; Healer, Julie; O'Neill, Matthew; Phuong, Thuan; Cowman, Alan; Kappe, Stefan H. I.

    2014-01-01

    Immunization with live-attenuated Plasmodium sporozoites completely protects against malaria infection. Genetic engineering offers a versatile platform to create live-attenuated sporozoite vaccine candidates. We previously generated a genetically attenuated parasite (GAP) by deleting the P52 and P36 genes in the NF54 wild-type (WT) strain of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf p52−/p36− GAP). Preclinical assessment of p52−/p36− GAP in a humanized mouse model indicated an early and severe liver stage gr...

  18. Expression of a type B RIFIN in Plasmodium falciparum merozoites and gametes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mwakalinga, Steven B; Wang, Christian W; Bengtsson, Dominique C

    2012-01-01

    were used in immunofluorescence and confocal imaging of 3D7 parasites throughout the asexual reproduction and sexual development to examine the expression of PF13_0006. Furthermore, reactivity to recombinant PF13_0006 was measured in plasma samples collected from individuals from both East and West......ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The ability of Plasmodium falciparum to undergo antigenic variation, by switching expression among protein variants encoded by multigene families, such as var, rif and stevor, is key to the survival of this parasite in the human host. The RIFIN protein family can be divided...

  19. Plasmodium Riboprotein PfP0 Induces a Deviant Humoral Immune Response in Balb/c Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sulabha Pathak

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Passive immunization with antibodies to recombinant Plasmodium falciparum P0 riboprotein (rPfP0, 61–316 amino acids provides protection against malaria. Carboxy-terminal 16 amino acids of the protein (PfP0C0 are conserved and show 69% identity to human and mouse P0. Antibodies to this domain are found in 10–15% of systemic lupus erythematosus patients. We probed the nature of humoral response to PfP0C0 by repeatedly immunizing mice with rPfP0. We failed to raise stable anti-PfP0C0 hybridomas from any of the 21 mice. The average serum anti-PfP0C0 titer remained low (5.1±1.3×104. Pathological changes were observed in the mice after seven boosts. Adsorption with dinitrophenyl hapten revealed that the anti-PfP0C0 response was largely polyreactive. This polyreactivity was distributed across all isotypes. Similar polyreactive responses to PfP0 and PfP0C0 were observed in sera from malaria patients. Our data suggests that PfP0 induces a deviant humoral response, and this may contribute to immune evasion mechanisms of the parasite.

  20. Structure, localization and histone binding properties of nuclear-associated nucleosome assembly protein from Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maier Alexander G

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nucleosome assembly proteins (NAPs are histone chaperones that are crucial for the shuttling and incorporation of histones into nucleosomes. NAPs participate in the assembly and disassembly of nucleosomes thus contributing to chromatin structure organization. The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum contains two nucleosome assembly proteins termed PfNapL and PfNapS. Methods Three-dimensional crystal structure of PfNapS has been determined and analysed. Gene knockout and localization studies were also performed on PfNapS using transfection studies. Fluorescence spectroscopy was performed to identify histone-binding sites on PfNapS. Extensive sequence and structural comparisons were done with the crystal structures available for NAP/SET family of proteins. Results Crystal structure of PfNapS shares structural similarity with previous structures from NAP/SET family. Failed attempts to knock-out the gene for PfNapS from malaria parasite suggest essentiality in the parasite. GFP-fused PfNapS fusion protein targeting indicates cellular localization of PfNapS in the parasite nucleus. Fluorescence spectroscopy data suggest that PfNapS interacts with core histones (tetramer, octamer, H3, H4, H2A and H2B at a different site from its interaction with linker histone H1. This analysis illustrates two regions on the PfNapS dimer as the possible sites for histone recognition. Conclusions This work presents a thorough analysis of the structural, functional and regulatory attributes of PfNapS from P. falciparum with respect to previously studied histone chaperones.

  1. Plasmodium falciparum signal peptide peptidase cleaves malaria heat shock protein 101 (HSP101). Implications for gametocytogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baldwin, Michael; Russo, Crystal; Li, Xuerong [Department of Developmental, Molecular and Chemical Biology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111 (United States); Chishti, Athar H., E-mail: athar.chishti@tufts.edu [Department of Developmental, Molecular and Chemical Biology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111 (United States); Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Programs in Physiology, Pharmacology, and Microbiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111 (United States)

    2014-08-08

    Highlights: • PfSPP is an ER resident protease. • PfSPP is expressed both as a monomer and dimer. • The signal peptide of HSP101 is the first known substrate of PfSPP. • Reduced PfSPP activity may significantly affect ER homeostasis. - Abstract: Previously we described the identification of a Plasmodium falciparum signal peptide peptidase (PfSPP) functioning at the blood stage of malaria infection. Our studies also demonstrated that mammalian SPP inhibitors prevent malaria parasite growth at the late-ring/early trophozoite stage of intra-erythrocytic development. Consistent with its role in development, we tested the hypothesis that PfSPP functions at the endoplasmic reticulum of P.falciparum where it cleaves membrane-bound signal peptides generated following the enzyme activity of signal peptidase. The localization of PfSPP to the endoplasmic reticulum was confirmed by immunofluorescence microscopy and immunogold electron microscopy. Biochemical analysis indicated the existence of monomer and dimer forms of PfSPP in the parasite lysate. A comprehensive bioinformatics screen identified several candidate PfSPP substrates in the parasite genome. Using an established transfection based in vivo luminescence assay, malaria heat shock protein 101 (HSP101) was identified as a substrate of PfSPP, and partial inhibition of PfSPP correlated with the emergence of gametocytes. This finding unveils the first known substrate of PfSPP, and provides new perspectives for the function of intra-membrane proteolysis at the erythrocyte stage of malaria parasite life cycle.

  2. Molecular Aspects of Plasmodium falciparum Infection during Pregnancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicaise Tuikue Ndam

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Cytoadherence of Plasmodium-falciparum-parasitized red blood cells (PRBCs to host receptors is the key phenomenon in the pathological process of the malaria disease. Some of these interactions can originate poor outcomes responsible for 1 to 3 million annual deaths mostly occurring among children in sub-Saharan Africa. Pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM represents an important exception of the disease occurring at adulthood in malaria endemic settings. Consequences of this are shared between the mother (maternal anemia and the baby (low birth weight and infant mortality. Demonstrating that parasites causing PAM express specific variant surface antigens (VSAPAM, including the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1 variant VAR2CSA, that are targets for protective immunity has strengthened the possibility for the development of PAM-specific vaccine. In this paper, we review the molecular basis of malaria pathogenesis attributable to the erythrocyte stages of the parasites, and findings supporting potential anti-PAM vaccine components evidenced in PAM.

  3. International population movements and regional Plasmodium falciparum malaria elimination strategies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Andrew J. Tatem; David L. Smith; Susan Hanson

    2010-01-01

    ... to areas targeted for elimination. Here, census-based migration data were analyzed with network analysis tools, Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission maps, and global population databases to map globally communities of countries...

  4. Peripheral blood cell signatures of Plasmodium falciparum infection during pregnancy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ibitokou, Samad; Oesterholt, Mayke; Brutus, Laurent;

    2012-01-01

    Sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in placental intervillous spaces causes inflammation and pathology. Knowledge of the profiles of immune cells associated with the physiopathology of pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) is scarce. We conducted a longitudinal, prospective...

  5. Heterologous Protection against Malaria after Immunization with Plasmodium falciparum Sporozoites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schats, R.; Bijker, E.M.; Gemert, G.J.A. van; Graumans, W.; Vegte-Bolmer, M. van de; Lieshout, L. van; Haks, M.C.; Hermsen, C.C.; Scholzen, A.; Visser, L.G.; Sauerwein, R.W.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Sterile protection in >90% of volunteers against homologous Plasmodium falciparum infection has been achieved only using the controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) model. This efficient model involves whole parasite immunizations under chloroquine prophylaxis (CPS-immunization),

  6. Interactive transcriptome analysis of malaria patients and infecting Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamagishi, Junya; Natori, Anna; Tolba, Mohammed E M; Mongan, Arthur E; Sugimoto, Chihiro; Katayama, Toshiaki; Kawashima, Shuichi; Makalowski, Wojciech; Maeda, Ryuichiro; Eshita, Yuki; Tuda, Josef; Suzuki, Yutaka

    2014-09-01

    To understand the molecular mechanisms of parasitism in vivo, it is essential to elucidate how the transcriptomes of the human hosts and the infecting parasites affect one another. Here we report the RNA-seq analysis of 116 Indonesian patients infected with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (Pf). We extracted RNAs from their peripheral blood as a mixture of host and parasite transcripts and mapped the RNA-seq tags to the human and Pf reference genomes to separate the respective tags. We were thus able to simultaneously analyze expression patterns in both humans and parasites. We identified human and parasite genes and pathways that correlated with various clinical data, which may serve as primary targets for drug developments. Of particular importance, we revealed characteristic expression changes in the human innate immune response pathway genes including TLR2 and TICAM2 that correlated with the severity of the malaria infection. We also found a group of transcription regulatory factors, JUND, for example, and signaling molecules, TNFAIP3, for example, that were strongly correlated in the expression patterns of humans and parasites. We also identified several genetic variations in important anti-malaria drug resistance-related genes. Furthermore, we identified the genetic variations which are potentially associated with severe malaria symptoms both in humans and parasites. The newly generated data should collectively lay a unique foundation for understanding variable behaviors of the field malaria parasites, which are far more complex than those observed under laboratory conditions.

  7. Exported Epoxide Hydrolases Modulate Erythrocyte Vasoactive Lipids during Plasmodium falciparum Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie J. Spillman

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Erythrocytes are reservoirs of important epoxide-containing lipid signaling molecules, including epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs. EETs function as vasodilators and anti-inflammatory modulators in the bloodstream. Bioactive EETs are hydrolyzed to less active diols (dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acids by epoxide hydrolases (EHs. The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum infects host red blood cells (RBCs and exports hundreds of proteins into the RBC compartment. In this study, we show that two parasite epoxide hydrolases, P. falciparum epoxide hydrolases 1 (PfEH1 and 2 (PfEH2, both with noncanonical serine nucleophiles, are exported to the periphery of infected RBCs. PfEH1 and PfEH2 were successfully expressed in Escherichia coli, and they hydrolyzed physiologically relevant erythrocyte EETs. Mutations in active site residues of PfEH1 ablated the ability of the enzyme to hydrolyze an epoxide substrate. Overexpression of PfEH1 or PfEH2 in parasite-infected RBCs resulted in a significant alteration in the epoxide fatty acids stored in RBC phospholipids. We hypothesize that the parasite disruption of epoxide-containing signaling lipids leads to perturbed vascular function, creating favorable conditions for binding and sequestration of infected RBCs to the microvascular endothelium.

  8. Biochemical and genetic analysis of the phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Jennifer M; Takebe, Sachiko; Choi, Jae-Yeon; El Bissati, Kamal; Witola, William H; Bobenchik, April M; Hoch, Jeffrey C; Voelker, Dennis R; Mamoun, Choukri Ben

    2008-03-21

    The PfPMT enzyme of Plasmodium falciparum, the agent of severe human malaria, is a member of a large family of known and predicted phosphoethanolamine methyltransferases (PMTs) recently identified in plants, worms, and protozoa. Functional studies in P. falciparum revealed that PfPMT plays a critical role in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine via a plant-like pathway involving serine decarboxylation and phosphoethanolamine methylation. Despite their important biological functions, PMT structures have not yet been solved, and nothing is known about which amino acids in these enzymes are critical for catalysis and binding to S-adenosyl-methionine and phosphoethanolamine substrates. Here we have performed a mutational analysis of PfPMT focused on 24 residues within and outside the predicted catalytic motif. The ability of PfPMT to complement the choline auxotrophy of a yeast mutant defective in phospholipid methylation enabled us to characterize the activity of the PfPMT mutants. Mutations in residues Asp-61, Gly-83 and Asp-128 dramatically altered PfPMT activity and its complementation of the yeast mutant. Our analyses identify the importance of these residues in PfPMT activity and set the stage for advanced structural understanding of this class of enzymes.

  9. Limited variation in vaccine candidate Plasmodium falciparum Merozoite Surface Protein-6 over multiple transmission seasons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Branch OraLee H

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum Merozoite Surface Protein-6 (PfMSP6 is a component of the complex proteinacious coat that surrounds P. falciparum merozoites. This location, and the presence of anti-PfMSP6 antibodies in P. falciparum-exposed individuals, makes PfMSP6 a potential blood stage vaccine target. However, genetic diversity has proven to be a major hurdle for vaccines targeting other blood stage P. falciparum antigens, and few endemic field studies assessing PfMSP6 gene diversity have been conducted. This study follows PfMSP6 diversity in the Peruvian Amazon from 2003 to 2006 and is the first longitudinal assessment of PfMSP6 sequence dynamics. Methods Parasite DNA was extracted from 506 distinct P. falciparum infections spanning the transmission seasons from 2003 to 2006 as part of the Malaria Immunology and Genetics in the Amazon (MIGIA cohort study near Iquitos, Peru. PfMSP6 was amplified from each sample using a nested PCR protocol, genotyped for allele class by agarose gel electrophoresis, and sequenced to detect diversity. Allele frequencies were analysed using JMP v.8.0.1.0 and correlated with clinical and epidemiological data collected as part of the MIGIA project. Results Both PfMSP6 allele classes, K1-like and 3D7-like, were detected at the study site, confirming that both are globally distributed. Allele frequencies varied significantly between transmission seasons, with 3D7-class alleles dominating and K1-class alleles nearly disappearing in 2005 and 2006. There was a significant association between allele class and village location (p-value = 0.0008, but no statistically significant association between allele class and age, sex, or symptom status. No intra-allele class sequence diversity was detected. Conclusions Both PfMSP6 allele classes are globally distributed, and this study shows that allele frequencies can fluctuate significantly between communities separated by only a few kilometres, and over time in the

  10. Structure of Plasmodium falciparum orotate phosphoribosyltransferase with autologous inhibitory protein–protein interactions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, Shiva; Krishnamoorthy, Kalyanaraman; Mudeppa, Devaraja G.; Rathod, Pradipsinh K., E-mail: rathod@chem.washington.edu [University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States)

    2015-04-21

    P. falciparum orotate phosphoribosyltransferase, a potential target for antimalarial drugs and a conduit for prodrugs, crystallized as a structure with eight molecules per asymmetric unit that included some unique parasite-specific auto-inhibitory interactions between catalytic dimers. The most severe form of malaria is caused by the obligate parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRTase) is the fifth enzyme in the de novo pyrimidine-synthesis pathway in the parasite, which lacks salvage pathways. Among all of the malaria de novo pyrimidine-biosynthesis enzymes, the structure of P. falciparum OPRTase (PfOPRTase) was the only one unavailable until now. PfOPRTase that could be crystallized was obtained after some low-complexity sequences were removed. Four catalytic dimers were seen in the asymmetic unit (a total of eight polypeptides). In addition to revealing unique amino acids in the PfOPRTase active sites, asymmetric dimers in the larger structure pointed to novel parasite-specific protein–protein interactions that occlude the catalytic active sites. The latter could potentially modulate PfOPRTase activity in parasites and possibly provide new insights for blocking PfOPRTase functions.

  11. Mosquito Vectors and the Globalization of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Zilversmit, Martine M; Neafsey, Daniel E; Hartl, Daniel L; Barillas-Mury, Carolina

    2016-11-23

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains a devastating public health problem. Recent discoveries have shed light on the origin and evolution of Plasmodium parasites and their interactions with their vertebrate and mosquito hosts. P. falciparum malaria originated in Africa from a single horizontal transfer between an infected gorilla and a human, and became global as the result of human migration. Today, P. falciparum malaria is transmitted worldwide by more than 70 different anopheline mosquito species. Recent studies indicate that the mosquito immune system can be a barrier to malaria transmission and that the P. falciparum Pfs47 gene allows the parasite to evade mosquito immune detection. Here, we review the origin and globalization of P. falciparum and integrate this history with analysis of the biology, evolution, and dispersal of the main mosquito vectors. This new perspective broadens our understanding of P. falciparum population structure and the dispersal of important parasite genetic traits.

  12. Active site similarity between human and Plasmodium falciparum phosphodiesterases: considerations for antimalarial drug design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Brittany L.; Thompson, Philip E.; Manallack, David T.

    2011-08-01

    The similarity between Plasmodium falciparum phosphodiesterase enzymes ( PfPDEs) and their human counterparts have been examined and human PDE9A was found to be a suitable template for the construction of homology models for each of the four PfPDE isoforms. In contrast, the architecture of the active sites of each model was most similar to human PDE1. Molecular docking was able to model cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) substrate binding in each case but a docking mode supporting cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) binding could not be found. Anticipating the potential of PfPDE inhibitors as anti-malarial drugs, a range of reported PDE inhibitors including zaprinast and sildenafil were docked into the model of PfPDEα. The results were consistent with their reported biological activities, and the potential of PDE1/9 inhibitor analogues was also supported by docking.

  13. Limited cross-reactivity among domains of the Plasmodium falciparum clone 3D7 erythrocyte membrane protein 1 family

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joergensen, Louise; Turner, Louise; Magistrado, Pamela

    2006-01-01

    The var gene-encoded Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family is responsible for antigenic variation and sequestration of infected erythrocytes during malaria. We have previously grouped the 60 PfEMP1 variants of P. falciparum clone 3D7 into groups A and B/A (category A...... from clone 3D7 by using a competition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a pool of plasma from 63 malaria-exposed Tanzanian individuals. We conclude that naturally acquired antibodies are largely directed toward epitopes varying between different domains with a few, mainly category A, domains...

  14. Acute kidney injury in imported Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L.C. Koopmans (Liese); M.E. van Wolfswinkel (Marlies); D.A. Hesselink (Dennis); E.J. Hoorn (Ewout); R. Koelewijn (Rob); J.J. van Hellemond (Jaap); P.J.J. van Genderen (Perry)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a known complication of malaria, and is reported to occur in up to 40 % of adult patients with a severe Plasmodium falciparum infection in endemic regions. To gain insight in the incidence and risk factors of AKI in imported P. falciparum malaria,

  15. Acute kidney injury in imported Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L.C. Koopmans, L.C. (Liese); M.E. van Wolfswinkel (Marlies); D.A. Hesselink (Dennis); E.J. Hoorn (Ewout); R. Koelewijn (Rob); J.J. van Hellemond (Jaap); P.J. van Genderen (P.)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a known complication of malaria, and is reported to occur in up to 40 % of adult patients with a severe Plasmodium falciparum infection in endemic regions. To gain insight in the incidence and risk factors of AKI in imported P. falciparum malaria,

  16. A slot blot immunoassay for quantitative detection of Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein in mosquito midgut oocyst.

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    Sanjai Kumar

    Full Text Available There is still a need for sensitive and reproducible immunoassays for quantitative detection of malarial antigens in preclinical and clinical phases of vaccine development and in epidemiology and surveillance studies, particularly in the vector host. Here we report the results of sensitivity and reproducibility studies for a research-grade, quantitative enhanced chemiluminescent-based slot blot assay (ECL-SB for detection of both recombinant Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (rPfCSP and native PfCSP from Oocysts (Pf Oocyst developing in the midguts of Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes. The ECL-SB detects as little as 1.25 pg of rPfCSP (linear range of quantitation 2.5-20 pg; R2 = 0.9505. We also find the earliest detectable expression of native PfCSP in Pf Oocyst by ECL-SB occurs on day 7 post feeding with infected blood meal. The ECL-SB was able to detect approximately as few as 0.5 day 8 Pf Oocysts (linear quantitation range 1-4, R2 = 0.9795 and determined that one Pf Oocyst expressed approximately 2.0 pg (0.5-3 pg of native PfCSP, suggesting a similar range of detection for recombinant and native forms of Pf CSP. The ECL-SB is highly reproducible; the Coefficient of Variation (CV for inter-assay variability for rPf CSP and native PfCSP were 1.74% and 1.32%, respectively. The CVs for intra-assay variability performed on three days for rPf CSP were 2.41%, 0.82% and 2% and for native Pf CSP 1.52%, 0.57%, and 1.86%, respectively. In addition, the ECL-SB was comparable to microscopy in determining the P. falciparum prevalence in mosquito populations that distinctly contained either high and low midgut Pf Oocyst burden. In whole mosquito samples, estimations of positivity for P. falciparum in the high and low burden groups were 83.3% and 23.3% by ECL-SB and 85.7% and 27.6% by microscopy. Based on its performance characteristics, ECL-SB could be valuable in vaccine development and to measure the parasite prevalence in mosquitoes

  17. Tudor domain proteins in protozoan parasites and characterization of Plasmodium falciparum tudor staphylococcal nuclease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossain, Manzar J; Korde, Reshma; Singh, Shivani; Mohmmed, Asif; Dasaradhi, P V N; Chauhan, V S; Malhotra, Pawan

    2008-04-01

    RNA-binding proteins play key roles in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. In eukaryotic cells, a multitude of RNA-binding proteins with several RNA-binding domains/motifs have been described. Here, we show the existence of two Tudor domain containing proteins, a survival of motor neuron (SMN)-like protein and a Staphylococcus aureus nuclease homologue referred to as TSN, in Plasmodium and other protozoan parasites. Activity analysis shows that Plasmodium falciparum TSN (PfTSN) possesses nuclease activity and Tudor domain is the RNA-binding domain. A specific inhibitor of micrococcal nucleases, 3',5'-deoxythymidine bisphosphate (pdTp) inhibits the nuclease as well as RNA-binding activities of the protein. PfTSN shows a predominant nuclear localization. Treatment of P. falciparum with pdTp, inhibited in vitro growth of both chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant strains of P. falciparum, while a four fold concentration of pdTp did not have any significant effect on the mammalian cell line, Huh-7D12. Altogether, these results suggest that PfTSN is an essential enzyme in the parasite's life cycle.

  18. Plasmodium falciparum Adhesins Play an Essential Role in Signalling and Activation of Invasion into Human Erythrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wai-Hong Tham

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The most severe form of malaria in humans is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The invasive form of malaria parasites is termed a merozoite and it employs an array of parasite proteins that bind to the host cell to mediate invasion. In Plasmodium falciparum, the erythrocyte binding-like (EBL and reticulocyte binding-like (Rh protein families are responsible for binding to specific erythrocyte receptors for invasion and mediating signalling events that initiate active entry of the malaria parasite. Here we have addressed the role of the cytoplasmic tails of these proteins in activating merozoite invasion after receptor engagement. We show that the cytoplasmic domains of these type 1 membrane proteins are phosphorylated in vitro. Depletion of PfCK2, a kinase implicated to phosphorylate these cytoplasmic tails, blocks P. falciparum invasion of red blood cells. We identify the crucial residues within the PfRh4 cytoplasmic domain that are required for successful parasite invasion. Live cell imaging of merozoites from these transgenic mutants show they attach but do not penetrate erythrocytes implying the PfRh4 cytoplasmic tail conveys signals important for the successful completion of the invasion process.

  19. The periodicity of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum in Venezuela.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grillet, María-Eugenia; El Souki, Mayida; Laguna, Francisco; León, José Rafael

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the periodicity of Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum incidence in time-series of malaria data (1990-2010) from three endemic regions in Venezuela. In particular, we determined whether disease epidemics were related to local climate variability and regional climate anomalies such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Malaria periodicity was found to exhibit unique features in each studied region. Significant multi-annual cycles of 2- to about 6-year periods were identified. The inter-annual variability of malaria cases was coherent with that of SSTs (ENSO), mainly at temporal scales within the 3-6 year periods. Additionally, malaria cases were intensified approximately 1 year after an El Niño event, a pattern that highlights the role of climate inter-annual variability in the epidemic patterns. Rainfall mediated the effect of ENSO on malaria locally. Particularly, rains from the last phase of the season had a critical role in the temporal dynamics of Plasmodium. The malaria-climate relationship was complex and transient, varying in strength with the region and species. By identifying temporal cycles of malaria we have made a first step in predicting high-risk years in Venezuela. Our findings emphasize the importance of analyzing high-resolution spatial-temporal data to better understand malaria transmission dynamics. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Enzyme Mechanism and Slow-Onset Inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum Enoyl-Acyl Carrier Protein Reductase by an Inorganic Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Medeiros, Patrícia Soares de Maria; Ducati, Rodrigo Gay; Basso, Luiz Augusto; Santos, Diógenes Santiago; da Silva, Luiz Hildebrando Pereira

    2011-01-01

    Malaria continues to be a major cause of children's morbidity and mortality worldwide, causing nearly one million deaths annually. The human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, synthesizes fatty acids employing the Type II fatty acid biosynthesis system (FAS II), unlike humans that rely on the Type I (FAS I) pathway. The FAS II system elongates acyl fatty acid precursors of the cell membrane in Plasmodium. Enoyl reductase (ENR) enzyme is a member of the FAS II system. Here we present steady-state kinetics, pre-steady-state kinetics, and equilibrium fluorescence spectroscopy data that allowed proposal of P. falciparum ENR (PfENR) enzyme mechanism. Moreover, building on previous results, the present study also evaluates the PfENR inhibition by the pentacyano(isoniazid)ferrateII compound. This inorganic complex represents a new class of lead compounds for the development of antimalarial agents focused on the inhibition of PfENR. PMID:21603269

  1. Kinetics of B cell responses to Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 in Ghanaian women naturally exposed to malaria parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ampomah, Paulina; Stevenson, Liz; Ofori, Michael F;

    2014-01-01

    Naturally acquired protective immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria takes years to develop. It relies mainly on Abs, particularly IgG specific for Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) proteins on the infected erythrocyte surface. It is only partially understood why...... acquisition of clinical protection takes years to develop, but it probably involves a range of immune-evasive parasite features, not least of which are PfEMP1 polymorphism and clonal variation. Parasite-induced subversion of immunological memory and expansion of "atypical" memory B cells may also contribute....... In this first, to our knowledge, longitudinal study of its kind, we measured B cell subset composition, as well as PfEMP1-specific Ab levels and memory B cell frequencies, in Ghanaian women followed from early pregnancy up to 1 y after delivery. Cell phenotypes and Ag-specific B cell function were assessed...

  2. The density of knobs on Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes depends on developmental age and varies among isolates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quadt, Katharina A; Barfod, Lea; Andersen, Daniel;

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The virulence of Plasmodium falciparum malaria is related to the parasite's ability to evade host immunity through clonal antigenic variation and tissue-specific adhesion of infected erythrocytes (IEs). The P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family expressed on dome....... Therefore, the aim of this study was to provide detailed information on isolate- and time-dependent differences in knob size and density. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used atomic force microscopy to characterize knobs on the surface of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes. Fourteen ex vivo isolates...

  3. Comparison of the antibody responses to Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum antigens in residents of Mandalay, Myanmar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Yeon-Joo

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The aim of this study was to investigate the profile of antibodies against several antigens of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum in Mandalay, Myanmar. Methods Malaria parasites were identified by microscopic examination. To test the antibodies against P. vivax and P. falciparum in sera, an indirect immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT was performed using asexual blood parasite antigens. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA was performed with circumsporozoite protein (CSP, Pvs25 and Pvs28 recombinant proteins of transmission-blocking vaccine candidates for P. vivax, and liver stage specific antigen-1 and -3 (PfLSA-1, PfLSA-3 for P. falciparum. Results Fourteen patients among 112 were found to be infected with P. vivax and 26 with P. falciparum by thick smear examination. Twenty-three patients were found to be infected with P. vivax, 19 with P. falciparum and five with both by thin smear examination. Blood samples were divided into two groups: Group I consisted of patients who were positive for infection by microscopic examination, and Group II consisted of those who showed symptoms, but were negative in microscopic examination. In P. falciparum, IgG against the blood stage antigen in Group I (80.8% was higher than in Group II (70.0%. In P. vivax, IgG against the blood stage antigen in Group I (53.8% was higher than in Group II (41.7%. However, the positivity rate of the PvCSP VK210 subtype in Group II (40.0% was higher than in Group I (23.1%. Similarly for the PvCSP VK247 subtype, Group II (21.7% was higher than that for Group I (9.6%. A similar pattern was observed in the ELISA using Pvs25 and Pvs28: positive rates of Group II were higher than those for Group I. However, those differences were not shown significant in statistics. Conclusions The positive rates for blood stage antigens of P. falciparum were higher in Group I than in Group II, but the positive rates for antigens of other stages (PfLSA-1 and -3

  4. Comparison of the antibody responses to Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum antigens in residents of Mandalay, Myanmar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Tong-Soo; Kim, Hyung-Hwan; Kim, Jung-Yeon; Kong, Yoon; Na, Byoung-Kuk; Lin, Khin; Moon, Sung-Ung; Kim, Yeon-Joo; Kwon, Myoung-Hee; Sohn, Youngjoo; Kim, Hyuck; Lee, Hyeong-Woo

    2011-08-06

    The aim of this study was to investigate the profile of antibodies against several antigens of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum in Mandalay, Myanmar. Malaria parasites were identified by microscopic examination. To test the antibodies against P. vivax and P. falciparum in sera, an indirect immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT) was performed using asexual blood parasite antigens. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was performed with circumsporozoite protein (CSP), Pvs25 and Pvs28 recombinant proteins of transmission-blocking vaccine candidates for P. vivax, and liver stage specific antigen-1 and -3 (PfLSA-1, PfLSA-3) for P. falciparum. Fourteen patients among 112 were found to be infected with P. vivax and 26 with P. falciparum by thick smear examination. Twenty-three patients were found to be infected with P. vivax, 19 with P. falciparum and five with both by thin smear examination. Blood samples were divided into two groups: Group I consisted of patients who were positive for infection by microscopic examination, and Group II consisted of those who showed symptoms, but were negative in microscopic examination. In P. falciparum, IgG against the blood stage antigen in Group I (80.8%) was higher than in Group II (70.0%). In P. vivax, IgG against the blood stage antigen in Group I (53.8%) was higher than in Group II (41.7%). However, the positivity rate of the PvCSP VK210 subtype in Group II (40.0%) was higher than in Group I (23.1%). Similarly for the PvCSP VK247 subtype, Group II (21.7%) was higher than that for Group I (9.6%). A similar pattern was observed in the ELISA using Pvs25 and Pvs28: positive rates of Group II were higher than those for Group I. However, those differences were not shown significant in statistics. The positive rates for blood stage antigens of P. falciparum were higher in Group I than in Group II, but the positive rates for antigens of other stages (PfLSA-1 and -3) showed opposite results. Similar to P. falciparum, the

  5. Fingerprinting the substrate specificity of M1 and M17 aminopeptidases of human malaria, Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Marcin Poreba

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of human malaria, expresses two aminopeptidases, PfM1AAP and PfM17LAP, critical to generating a free amino acid pool used by the intraerythrocytic stage of the parasite for proteins synthesis, growth and development. These exopeptidases are potential targets for the development of a new class of anti-malaria drugs. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To define the substrate specificity of recombinant forms of these two malaria aminopeptidases we used a new library consisting of 61 fluorogenic substrates derived both from natural and unnatural amino acids. We obtained a detailed substrate fingerprint for recombinant forms of the enzymes revealing that PfM1AAP exhibits a very broad substrate tolerance, capable of efficiently hydrolyzing neutral and basic amino acids, while PfM17LAP has narrower substrate specificity and preferentially cleaves bulky, hydrophobic amino acids. The substrate library was also exploited to profile the activity of the native aminopeptidases in soluble cell lysates of P. falciparum malaria. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This data showed that PfM1AAP and PfM17LAP are responsible for majority of the aminopeptidase activity in these extracts. These studies provide specific substrate and mechanistic information important for understanding the function of these aminopeptidases and could be exploited in the design of new inhibitors to specifically target these for anti-malaria treatment.

  6. Fingerprinting the Substrate Specificity of M1 and M17 Aminopeptidases of Human Malaria, Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poreba, Marcin; McGowan, Sheena; Skinner-Adams, Tina S.; Trenholme, Katharine R.; Gardiner, Donald L.; Whisstock, James C.; To, Joyce; Salvesen, Guy S.; Dalton, John P.; Drag, Marcin

    2012-01-01

    Background Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of human malaria, expresses two aminopeptidases, PfM1AAP and PfM17LAP, critical to generating a free amino acid pool used by the intraerythrocytic stage of the parasite for proteins synthesis, growth and development. These exopeptidases are potential targets for the development of a new class of anti-malaria drugs. Methodology/Principal Findings To define the substrate specificity of recombinant forms of these two malaria aminopeptidases we used a new library consisting of 61 fluorogenic substrates derived both from natural and unnatural amino acids. We obtained a detailed substrate fingerprint for recombinant forms of the enzymes revealing that PfM1AAP exhibits a very broad substrate tolerance, capable of efficiently hydrolyzing neutral and basic amino acids, while PfM17LAP has narrower substrate specificity and preferentially cleaves bulky, hydrophobic amino acids. The substrate library was also exploited to profile the activity of the native aminopeptidases in soluble cell lysates of P. falciparum malaria. Conclusions/Significance This data showed that PfM1AAP and PfM17LAP are responsible for majority of the aminopeptidase activity in these extracts. These studies provide specific substrate and mechanistic information important for understanding the function of these aminopeptidases and could be exploited in the design of new inhibitors to specifically target these for anti-malaria treatment. PMID:22359643

  7. Characterization of the Duffy-Binding-Like Domain of Plasmodium falciparum Blood-Stage Antigen 332

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    Sandra Nilsson

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Studies on Pf332, a major Plasmodium falciparum blood-stage antigen, have largely been hampered by the cross-reactive nature of antibodies generated against the molecule due to its high content of repeats, which are present in other malaria antigens. We previously reported the identification of a conserved domain in Pf332 with a high degree of similarity to the Duffy-binding-like (DBL domains of the erythrocyte-binding-like (EBL family. We here describe that antibodies towards Pf332-DBL are induced after repeated exposure to P. falciparum and that they are acquired early in life in areas of intense malaria transmission. Furthermore, a homology model of Pf332-DBL was found to be similar to the structure of the EBL-DBLs. Despite their similarities, antibodies towards Pf332-DBL did not display any cross-reactivity with EBL-proteins as demonstrated by immunofluorescence microscopy, Western blotting, and peptide microarray. Thus the DBL domain is an attractive region to use in further studies on the giant Pf332 molecule.

  8. A pathway for phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis in Plasmodium falciparum involving phosphoethanolamine methylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pessi, Gabriella; Kociubinski, Guillermo; Mamoun, Choukri Ben

    2004-04-20

    Plasmodium falciparum is the causative agent of the most severe form of human malaria. The rapid multiplication of the parasite within human erythrocytes requires an active production of new membranes. Phosphatidylcholine is the most abundant phospholipid in Plasmodium membranes, and the pathways leading to its synthesis are attractive targets for chemotherapy. In addition to its synthesis from choline, phosphatidylcholine is synthesized from serine via an unknown pathway. Serine, which is actively transported by Plasmodium from human serum and readily available in the parasite, is subsequently converted into phosphoethanolamine. Here, we describe in P. falciparum a plant-like S-adenosyl-l-methionine-dependent three-step methylation reaction that converts phosphoethanolamine into phosphocholine, a precursor for the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine. We have identified the gene, PfPMT, encoding this activity and shown that its product is an unusual phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase with no human homologs. P. falciparum phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase (Pfpmt) is a monopartite enzyme with a single catalytic domain that is responsible for the three-step methylation reaction. Interestingly, Pfpmt activity is inhibited by its product phosphocholine and by the phosphocholine analog, miltefosine. We show that miltefosine can also inhibit parasite proliferation within human erythrocytes. The importance of this enzyme in P. falciparum membrane biogenesis makes it a potential target for malaria chemotherapy.

  9. Evidence that mutant PfCRT facilitates the transmission to mosquitoes of chloroquine-treated Plasmodium gametocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecker, Andrea; Lakshmanan, Viswanathan; Sinnis, Photini; Coppens, Isabelle; Fidock, David A

    2011-01-15

    Resistance of the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum to the antimalarial drug chloroquine has rapidly spread from several independent origins and is now widely prevalent throughout the majority of malaria-endemic areas. Field studies have suggested that chloroquine-resistant strains might be more infective to mosquito vectors. To test the hypothesis that the primary chloroquine resistance determinant, mutations in PfCRT, facilitates parasite transmission under drug pressure, we have introduced a mutant or wild-type pfcrt allele into the rodent model malarial parasite Plasmodium berghei. Our results show that mutant PfCRT from the chloroquine-resistant 7G8 strain has no effect on asexual blood stage chloroquine susceptibility in vivo or ex vivo but confers a significant selective advantage in competitive mosquito infections in the presence of this drug, by protecting immature gametocytes from its lethal action. Enhanced infectivity to mosquitoes may have been a key factor driving the worldwide spread of mutant pfcrt.

  10. Protein-based signatures of functional evolution in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Kate B; Sinha, Ipsita; Bustamante, Leyla Y; Day, Nicholas Pj; White, Nicholas J; Woodrow, Charles J

    2011-09-14

    It has been known for over a decade that Plasmodium falciparum proteins are enriched in non-globular domains of unknown function. The potential for these regions of protein sequence to undergo high levels of genetic drift provides a fundamental challenge to attempts to identify the molecular basis of adaptive change in malaria parasites. Evolutionary comparisons were undertaken using a set of forty P. falciparum metabolic enzyme genes, both within the hominid malaria clade (P. reichenowi) and across the genus (P. chabaudi). All genes contained coding elements highly conserved across the genus, but there were also a large number of regions of weakly or non-aligning coding sequence. These displayed remarkable levels of non-synonymous fixed differences within the hominid malaria clade indicating near complete release from purifying selection (dN/dS ratio at residues non-aligning across genus: 0.64, dN/dS ratio at residues identical across genus: 0.03). Regions of low conservation also possessed high levels of hydrophilicity, a marker of non-globularity. The propensity for such regions to act as potent sources of non-synonymous genetic drift within extant P. falciparum isolates was confirmed at chromosomal regions containing genes known to mediate drug resistance in field isolates, where 150 of 153 amino acid variants were located in poorly conserved regions. In contrast, all 22 amino acid variants associated with drug resistance were restricted to highly conserved regions. Additional mutations associated with laboratory-selected drug resistance, such as those in PfATPase4 selected by spiroindolone, were similarly restricted while mutations in another calcium ATPase (PfSERCA, a gene proposed to mediate artemisinin resistance) that reach significant frequencies in field isolates were located exclusively in poorly conserved regions consistent with genetic drift. Coding sequences of malaria parasites contain prospectively definable domains subject to neutral or nearly

  11. Protein-based signatures of functional evolution in Plasmodium falciparum

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    Day Nicholas PJ

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been known for over a decade that Plasmodium falciparum proteins are enriched in non-globular domains of unknown function. The potential for these regions of protein sequence to undergo high levels of genetic drift provides a fundamental challenge to attempts to identify the molecular basis of adaptive change in malaria parasites. Results Evolutionary comparisons were undertaken using a set of forty P. falciparum metabolic enzyme genes, both within the hominid malaria clade (P. reichenowi and across the genus (P. chabaudi. All genes contained coding elements highly conserved across the genus, but there were also a large number of regions of weakly or non-aligning coding sequence. These displayed remarkable levels of non-synonymous fixed differences within the hominid malaria clade indicating near complete release from purifying selection (dN/dS ratio at residues non-aligning across genus: 0.64, dN/dS ratio at residues identical across genus: 0.03. Regions of low conservation also possessed high levels of hydrophilicity, a marker of non-globularity. The propensity for such regions to act as potent sources of non-synonymous genetic drift within extant P. falciparum isolates was confirmed at chromosomal regions containing genes known to mediate drug resistance in field isolates, where 150 of 153 amino acid variants were located in poorly conserved regions. In contrast, all 22 amino acid variants associated with drug resistance were restricted to highly conserved regions. Additional mutations associated with laboratory-selected drug resistance, such as those in PfATPase4 selected by spiroindolone, were similarly restricted while mutations in another calcium ATPase (PfSERCA, a gene proposed to mediate artemisinin resistance that reach significant frequencies in field isolates were located exclusively in poorly conserved regions consistent with genetic drift. Conclusion Coding sequences of malaria parasites contain

  12. Prediction of potential antimalarial targets of artemisinin based on protein information from whole genome of Plasmodium falciparum

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HAN LiPing; HUANG Qiang; NAN Peng; ZHONG Yang

    2009-01-01

    On the basis of the genomic data and protein pathway information about Plasmodium falciparum clone 3D7 from the NCBI taxonomy database and the KEGG database,eight key protein enzymes in the signal pathways were selected to perform molecular docking with artemisinin.The binding modes obtained from the molecular docking suggested that purine nucleoside phosphorylase (pfPNP),peptide deformylase (pfPDF),and ribose 5-phosphate isomerase (pfRpiA) may be involved in the antimalarial mode of action of artemisinin.Artemisinin exhibited its antimalarial activity probably by interfering with the metabolic pathways of purine,pyrimidine,methionine,glyoxylate and dicarboxylate,or pentose phosphate.

  13. Combating multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thu, Aung Myint; Phyo, Aung Pyae; Landier, Jordi; Parker, Daniel M; Nosten, François H

    2017-08-01

    Over the past 50 years, Plasmodium falciparum has developed resistance against all antimalarial drugs used against it: chloroquine, sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine, quinine, piperaquine and mefloquine. More recently, resistance to the artemisinin derivatives and the resulting failure of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) are threatening all major gains made in malaria control. Each time resistance has developed progressively, with delayed clearance of parasites first emerging only in a few regions, increasing in prevalence and geographic range, and then ultimately resulting in the complete failure of that antimalarial. Drawing from this repeated historical chain of events, this article presents context-specific approaches for combating drug-resistant P. falciparum malaria. The approaches begin with a context of drug-sensitive parasites and focus on the prevention of the emergence of drug resistance. Next, the approaches address a scenario in which resistance has emerged and is increasing in prevalence and geographic extent, with interventions focused on disrupting transmission through vector control, early diagnosis and treatment, and the use of new combination therapies. Elimination is also presented as an approach for addressing the imminent failure of all available antimalarials. The final drug resistance context presented is one in which all available antimalarials have failed; leaving only personal protection and the use of new antimalarials (or new combinations of antimalarials) as a viable strategy for dealing with complete resistance. All effective strategies and contexts require a multipronged, holistic approach. © 2017 The Authors. The FEBS Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  14. The dynamics of natural Plasmodium falciparum infections.

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    Ingrid Felger

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Natural immunity to Plasmodium falciparum has been widely studied, but its effects on parasite dynamics are poorly understood. Acquisition and clearance rates of untreated infections are key elements of the dynamics of malaria, but estimating these parameters is challenging because of frequent super-infection and imperfect detectability of parasites. Consequently, information on effects of host immune status or age on infection dynamics is fragmentary. METHODS: An age-stratified cohort of 347 individuals from Northern Ghana was sampled six times at 2 month intervals. High-throughput capillary electrophoresis was used to genotype the msp-2 locus of all P. falciparum infections detected by PCR. Force of infection (FOI and duration were estimated for each age group using an immigration-death model that allows for imperfect detection of circulating parasites. RESULTS: Allowing for imperfect detection substantially increased estimates of FOI and duration. Effects of naturally acquired immunity on the FOI and duration would be reflected in age dependence in these indices, but in our cohort data FOI tended to increase with age in children. Persistence of individual parasite clones was characteristic of all age-groups. Duration peaked in 5-9 year old children (average duration 319 days, 95% confidence interval 318;320. CONCLUSIONS: The main age-dependence is on parasite densities, with only small age-variations in the FOI and persistence of infections. This supports the hypothesis that acquired immunity controls transmission mainly by limiting blood-stage parasite densities rather than changing rates of acquisition or clearance of infections.

  15. Identification and characterization of a novel Plasmodium falciparum adhesin involved in erythrocyte invasion.

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    Nidhi Hans

    Full Text Available Malaria remains a major health problem worldwide. All clinical symptoms of malaria are attributed to the asexual blood stages of the parasite life cycle. Proteins resident in apical organelles and present on the surface of P. falciparum merozoites are considered promising candidates for the development of blood stage malaria vaccines. In the present study, we have identified and characterized a microneme associated antigen, PfMA [PlasmoDB Gene ID: PF3D7_0316000, PFC0700c]. The gene was selected by applying a set of screening criteria such as transcriptional upregulation at late schizogony, inter-species conservation and the presence of signal sequence or transmembrane domains. The gene sequence of PfMA was found to be conserved amongst various Plasmodium species. We experimentally demonstrated that the transcript for PfMA was expressed only in the late blood stages of parasite consistent with a putative role in erythrocyte invasion. PfMA was localized by immunofluorescence and immuno-electron microscopy to be in the micronemes, an apical organelle of merozoites. The functional role of the PfMA protein in erythrocyte invasion was identified as a parasite adhesin involved in direct attachment with the target erythrocyte. PfMA was demonstrated to bind erythrocytes in a sialic acid independent, chymotrypsin and trypsin resistant manner and its antibodies inhibited P. falciparum erythrocyte invasion. Invasion of erythrocytes is a complex multistep process that involves a number of redundant ligand-receptor interactions many of which still remain unknown and even uncharacterized. Our work has identified and characterized a novel P. falciparum adhesin involved in erythrocyte invasion.

  16. Plasmodium falciparum var genes expressed in children with severe malaria encode CIDRα1 domains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jespersen, Jakob S.; Wang, Christian W.; Mkumbaye, Sixbert I.;

    2016-01-01

    Most severe Plasmodium falciparum infections are experienced by young children. Severe symptoms are precipitated by vascular sequestration of parasites expressing a particular subset of the polymorphic P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) adhesion molecules. Parasites binding human...... endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) through the CIDRα1 domain of certain PfEMP1 were recently associated with severe malaria in children. However, it has remained unclear to which extend the EPCR-binding CIDRα1 domains epitomize PfEMP1 expressed in severe malaria. Here, we characterized the near full......-length transcripts dominating the var transcriptome in children with severe malaria and found that the only common feature of the encoded PfEMP1 was CIDRα1 domains. Such genes were highly and dominantly expressed in both children with severe malarial anaemia and cerebral malaria. These observations support...

  17. Plasmodium falciparum field isolates from South America use an atypical red blood cell invasion pathway associated with invasion ligand polymorphisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lopez-Perez, Mary; Villasis, Elizabeth; Machado, Ricardo L D

    2012-01-01

    Studies of Plasmodium falciparum invasion pathways in field isolates have been limited. Red blood cell (RBC) invasion is a complex process involving two invasion protein families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL) and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh) proteins, which are polymorphic and not fully...... characterized in field isolates. To determine the various P. falciparum invasion pathways used by parasite isolates from South America, we studied the invasion phenotypes in three regions: Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Additionally, polymorphisms in three members of the EBL (EBA-181, EBA-175 and EBL-1) and five......, the PfRh5 variant 1 and EBA-181 RVNKN variant. The ebl and Pfrh expression levels in a field isolate displaying the NrTrCr profile also pointed to PfRh2a, PfRh5 and EBA-181 as being possibly the major players in this invasion pathway. Notably, our studies demonstrate the uniqueness of the Peruvian P...

  18. Identification of Protective B-Cell Epitopes within the Novel Malaria Vaccine Candidate Plasmodium falciparum Schizont Egress Antigen 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nixon, Christina E; Park, Sangshin; Pond-Tor, Sunthorn; Raj, Dipak; Lambert, Lynn E; Orr-Gonzalez, Sachy; Barnafo, Emma K; Rausch, Kelly M; Friedman, Jennifer F; Fried, Michal; Duffy, Patrick E; Kurtis, Jonathan D

    2017-07-01

    Naturally acquired antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum schizont egress antigen 1 (PfSEA-1A) are associated with protection against severe malaria in children. Vaccination of mice with SEA-1A from Plasmodium berghei (PbSEA-1A) decreases parasitemia and prolongs survival following P. berghei ANKA challenge. To enhance the immunogenicity of PfSEA-1A, we identified five linear B-cell epitopes using peptide microarrays probed with antisera from nonhuman primates vaccinated with recombinant PfSEA-1A (rPfSEA-1A). We evaluated the relationship between epitope-specific antibody levels and protection from parasitemia in a longitudinal treatment-reinfection cohort in western Kenya. Antibodies to three epitopes were associated with 16 to 17% decreased parasitemia over an 18-week high transmission season. We are currently designing immunogens to enhance antibody responses to these three epitopes. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  19. A molecular marker of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariey, Frédéric; Witkowski, Benoit; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Beghain, Johann; Langlois, Anne-Claire; Khim, Nimol; Kim, Saorin; Duru, Valentine; Bouchier, Christiane; Ma, Laurence; Lim, Pharath; Leang, Rithea; Duong, Socheat; Sreng, Sokunthea; Suon, Seila; Chuor, Char Meng; Bout, Denis Mey; Ménard, Sandie; Rogers, William O.; Genton, Blaise; Fandeur, Thierry; Miotto, Olivo; Ringwald, Pascal; Le Bras, Jacques; Berry, Antoine; Barale, Jean-Christophe; Fairhurst, Rick M.; Benoit-Vical, Françoise; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Ménard, Didier

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin derivatives in southeast Asia threatens malaria control and elimination activities worldwide. To monitor the spread of artemisinin resistance, a molecular marker is urgently needed. Here, using whole-genome sequencing of an artemisinin-resistant parasite line from Africa and clinical parasite isolates from Cambodia, we associate mutations in the PF3D7_1343700 kelch propeller domain (`K13-propeller') with artemisinin resistance in vitro and in vivo. Mutant K13-propeller alleles cluster in Cambodian provinces where resistance is prevalent, and the increasing frequency of a dominant mutant K13-propeller allele correlates with the recent spread of resistance in western Cambodia. Strong correlations between the presence of a mutant allele, in vitro parasite survival rates and in vivo parasite clearance rates indicate that K13-propeller mutations are important determinants of artemisinin resistance. K13-propeller polymorphism constitutes a useful molecular marker for large-scale surveillance efforts to contain artemisinin resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion and prevent its global spread.

  20. Independent Emergence of the Plasmodium falciparum Kelch Propeller Domain Mutant Allele C580Y in Guyana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenet, Stella M; Akinyi Okoth, Sheila; Huber, Curtis S; Chandrabose, Javin; Lucchi, Naomi W; Talundzic, Eldin; Krishnalall, Karanchand; Ceron, Nicolas; Musset, Lise; Macedo de Oliveira, Alexandre; Venkatesan, Meera; Rahman, Reyaud; Barnwell, John W; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2016-05-01

    Suspected artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum can be explored by examining polymorphisms in the Kelch (PfK13) propeller domain. Sequencing of PfK13 and other gene resistance markers was performed on 98 samples from Guyana. Five of these samples carried the C580Y allele in the PfK13 propeller domain, with flanking microsatellite profiles different from those observed in Southeast Asia. These molecular data demonstrate independent emergence of the C580Y K13 mutant allele in Guyana, where resistance alleles to previously used drugs are fixed. Therefore, in Guyana and neighboring countries, continued molecular surveillance and periodic assessment of the therapeutic efficacy of artemisinin-based combination therapy are warranted.

  1. Exploring the folate pathway in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyde, John E

    2005-06-01

    As in centuries past, the main weapon against human malaria infections continues to be intervention with drugs, despite the widespread and increasing frequency of parasite populations that are resistant to one or more of the available compounds. This is a particular problem with the lethal species of parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, which claims some two million lives per year as well as causing enormous social and economic problems. Amongst the antimalarial drugs currently in clinical use, the antifolates have the best defined molecular targets, namely the enzymes dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS), which function in the folate metabolic pathway. The products of this pathway, reduced folate cofactors, are essential for DNA synthesis and the metabolism of certain amino acids. Moreover, their formation and interconversions involve a number of other enzymes that have not as yet been exploited as drug targets. Antifolates are of major importance as they currently represent the only inexpensive regime for combating chloroquine-resistant malaria, and are now first-line drugs in a number of African countries. Aspects of our understanding of this pathway and antifolate drug resistance are reviewed here, with a particular emphasis on approaches to analysing the details of, and balance between, folate biosynthesis by the parasite and salvage of pre-formed folate from exogenous sources.

  2. New synchronization method for Plasmodium falciparum

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    Mwangi Jonathan M

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum is usually asynchronous during in vitro culture. Although various synchronization methods are available, they are not able to narrow the range of ages of parasites. A newly developed method is described that allows synchronization of parasites to produce cultures with an age range as low as 30 minutes. Methods Trophozoites and schizonts are enriched using Plasmion. The enriched late stage parasites are immobilized as a monolayer onto plastic Petri dishes using concanavalin A. Uninfected erythrocytes are placed onto the monolayer for a limited time period, during which time schizonts on the monolayer rupture and the released merozoites invade the fresh erythrocytes. The overlay is then taken off into a culture flask, resulting in a highly synchronized population of parasites. Results Plasmion treatment results in a 10- to 13-fold enrichment of late stage parasites. The monolayer method results in highly synchronized cultures of parasites where invasion has occurred within a very limited time window, which can be as low as 30 minutes. The method is simple, requiring no specialized equipment and relatively cheap reagents. Conclusions The new method for parasite synchronization results in highly synchronized populations of parasites, which will be useful for studies of the parasite asexual cell cycle.

  3. Plasmodium falciparum secretome in erythrocyte and beyond

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    Rani eSoni

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum is the causative agent of deadly malaria disease. It is an intracellular eukaryote and completes its multi-stage life cycle spanning the two hosts viz, mosquito and human. In order to habituate within host environment, parasite conform several strategies to evade host immune responses such as surface antigen polymorphism or modulation of host immune system and it is mediated by secretion of proteins from parasite to the host erythrocyte and beyond, collectively known as, malaria secretome. In this review, we will discuss about the deployment of parasitic secretory protein in mechanism implicated for immune evasion, protein trafficking, providing virulence, changing permeability and cyto-adherence of infected erythrocyte. We will be covering the possibilities of developing malaria secretome as a drug/vaccine target. This gathered information will be worthwhile in depicting a well-organized picture for host-pathogen interplay during the malaria infection and may also provide some clues for development of novel anti-malarial therapies.

  4. Role of plasmepsin V in export of diverse protein families from the Plasmodium falciparum exportome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boddey, Justin A; Carvalho, Teresa G; Hodder, Anthony N; Sargeant, Tobias J; Sleebs, Brad E; Marapana, Danushka; Lopaticki, Sash; Nebl, Thomas; Cowman, Alan F

    2013-05-01

    Plasmodium falciparum exports several hundred effector proteins that remodel the host erythrocyte and enable parasites to acquire nutrients, sequester in the circulation and evade immune responses. The majority of exported proteins contain the Plasmodium export element (PEXEL; RxLxE/Q/D) in their N-terminus, which is proteolytically cleaved in the parasite endoplasmic reticulum by Plasmepsin V, and is necessary for export. Several exported proteins lack a PEXEL or contain noncanonical motifs. Here, we assessed whether Plasmepsin V could process the N-termini of diverse protein families in P. falciparum. We show that Plasmepsin V cleaves N-terminal sequences from RIFIN, STEVOR and RESA multigene families, the latter of which contain a relaxed PEXEL (RxLxxE). However, Plasmepsin V does not cleave the N-terminal sequence of the major exported virulence factor erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) or the PEXEL-negative exported proteins SBP-1 or REX-2. We probed the substrate specificity of Plasmepsin V and determined that lysine at the PEXEL P3 position, which is present in PfEMP1 and other putatively exported proteins, blocks Plasmepsin V activity. Furthermore, isoleucine at position P1 also blocked Plasmepsin V activity. The specificity of Plasmepsin V is therefore exquisitely confined and we have used this novel information to redefine the predicted P. falciparum PEXEL exportome.

  5. The Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte invasion ligand Pfrh4 as a target of functional and protective human antibodies against malaria.

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    Linda Reiling

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Acquired antibodies are important in human immunity to malaria, but key targets remain largely unknown. Plasmodium falciparum reticulocyte-binding-homologue-4 (PfRh4 is important for invasion of human erythrocytes and may therefore be a target of protective immunity. METHODS: IgG and IgG subclass-specific responses against different regions of PfRh4 were determined in a longitudinal cohort of 206 children in Papua New Guinea (PNG. Human PfRh4 antibodies were tested for functional invasion-inhibitory activity, and expression of PfRh4 by P. falciparum isolates and sequence polymorphisms were determined. RESULTS: Antibodies to PfRh4 were acquired by children exposed to P. falciparum malaria, were predominantly comprised of IgG1 and IgG3 subclasses, and were associated with increasing age and active parasitemia. High levels of antibodies, particularly IgG3, were strongly predictive of protection against clinical malaria and high-density parasitemia. Human affinity-purified antibodies to the binding region of PfRh4 effectively inhibited erythrocyte invasion by P. falciparum merozoites and antibody levels in protected children were at functionally-active concentrations. Although expression of PfRh4 can vary, PfRh4 protein was expressed by most isolates derived from the cohort and showed limited sequence polymorphism. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence suggests that PfRh4 is a target of antibodies that contribute to protective immunity to malaria by inhibiting erythrocyte invasion and preventing high density parasitemia. These findings advance our understanding of the targets and mechanisms of human immunity and evaluating the potential of PfRh4 as a component of candidate malaria vaccines.

  6. Polymorphism of Plasmodium Falciparum Dihydrofolate Reductase and Dihydropteroate Synthase Genes among Pregnant Women with Falciparum Malaria in Banjar District, South Kalimantan Province, Indonesia

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    Sukmawati Basuki

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Pregnant women are highly vulnerable to malaria infection in its endemic areas, particularly infection by Plasmodium falciparum that can cause premature, low birth weight, severe anemia in pregnant women, and death. Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP for Intermittent Preventive Treatment for pregnant (IPTp is used for malaria control in pregnancy recommended by the World Health Organization that has already been implemented in Africa. The P. falciparum resistance to SP has been reported in several malarial endemic areas, and mutations in the genes of Plasmodium falciparum Dihydrofolate Reductase (Pfdhfr and Dihydropteroate Synthase (Pfdhps are shown to be associated with parasite resistance to SP treatment. Genetic analysis of Pfdhfr and Pfdhps genes in pregnant women infected with P. falciparum has not yet been examined in Indonesia. The cross-sectional study was conducted at two subdistricts, Sungai Pinang and Peramasan, in Banjar district of South Kalimantan Province, where 127 pregnant women were recruited from 2008 to April 2010. Two important mutations in Pfdhfr gene (amino acid positions at N51 and S108 and three in Pfdhps gene (A437, K540 and A581 were analyzed by nested PCR-RFLP method. All of the seven pregnant women samples infected with P. falciparum presented PfDHFR 108N and PfDHPS 437G mutations. One of the samples had the additional mutation at PfDHPS 540, in which Lys is substituted by Glu. These results suggested that P. falciparum might present only some resistance to SP at Sungai Pinang and Peramasan subdistricts, Banjar District, South Kalimantan province, Indonesia. Although there were limited number of samples, this study showed only few mutations of Pfdhfr and Pfdhps genes in P. falciparum at Banjar district, South Kalimantan Province, that suggests SP might be effective for IPTp in this area. Thus, further analysis of the other mutation sites in Pfdhfr and Pfdhps genes and in vivo efficacy study of SP with more sufficient

  7. Quinine dimers are potent inhibitors of the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter and are active against quinoline-resistant P. falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hrycyna, Christine A; Summers, Robert L; Lehane, Adele M; Pires, Marcos M; Namanja, Hilda; Bohn, Kelsey; Kuriakose, Jerrin; Ferdig, Michael; Henrich, Philipp P; Fidock, David A; Kirk, Kiaran; Chmielewski, Jean; Martin, Rowena E

    2014-03-21

    Chloroquine (CQ) resistance in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is primarily conferred by mutations in the "chloroquine resistance transporter" (PfCRT). The resistance-conferring form of PfCRT (PfCRT(CQR)) mediates CQ resistance by effluxing the drug from the parasite's digestive vacuole, the acidic compartment in which CQ exerts its antiplasmodial effect. PfCRT(CQR) can also decrease the parasite's susceptibility to other quinoline drugs, including the current antimalarials quinine and amodiaquine. Here we describe interactions between PfCRT(CQR) and a series of dimeric quinine molecules using a Xenopus laevis oocyte system for the heterologous expression of PfCRT and using an assay that detects the drug-associated efflux of H(+) ions from the digestive vacuole in parasites that harbor different forms of PfCRT. The antiplasmodial activities of dimers 1 and 6 were also examined in vitro (against drug-sensitive and drug-resistant strains of P. falciparum) and in vivo (against drug-sensitive P. berghei). Our data reveal that the quinine dimers are the most potent inhibitors of PfCRT(CQR) reported to date. Furthermore, the lead compounds (1 and 6) were not effluxed by PfCRT(CQR) from the digestive vacuole but instead accumulated to very high levels within this organelle. Both 1 and 6 exhibited in vitro antiplasmodial activities that were inversely correlated with CQ. Moreover, the additional parasiticidal effect exerted by 1 and 6 in the drug-resistant parasites was attributable, at least in part, to their ability to inhibit PfCRT(CQR). This highlights the potential for devising new antimalarial therapies that exploit inherent weaknesses in a key resistance mechanism of P. falciparum.

  8. Identification of inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase using an enzyme-coupled transmethylation assay

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    Voelker Dennis R

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase, PfPMT, of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, a member of a newly identified family of phosphoethanolamine methyltransferases (PMT found solely in some protozoa, nematodes, frogs, and plants, is involved in the synthesis of the major membrane phospholipid, phosphatidylcholine. PMT enzymes catalyze a three-step S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methylation of the nitrogen atom of phosphoethanolamine to form phosphocholine. In P. falciparum, this activity is a limiting step in the pathway of synthesis of phosphatidylcholine from serine and plays an important role in the development, replication and survival of the parasite within human red blood cells. Results We have employed an enzyme-coupled methylation assay to screen for potential inhibitors of PfPMT. In addition to hexadecyltrimethylammonium, previously known to inhibit PfPMT, two compounds dodecyltrimethylammonium and amodiaquine were also found to inhibit PfPMT activity in vitro. Interestingly, PfPMT activity was not inhibited by the amodiaquine analog, chloroquine, or other aminoquinolines, amino alcohols, or histamine methyltransferase inhibitors. Using yeast as a surrogate system we found that unlike wild-type cells, yeast mutants that rely on PfPMT for survival were sensitive to amodiaquine, and their phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis was inhibited by this compound. Furthermore NMR titration studies to characterize the interaction between amoidaquine and PfPMT demonstrated a specific and concentration dependent binding of the compound to the enzyme. Conclusion The identification of amodiaquine as an inhibitor of PfPMT in vitro and in yeast, and the biophysical evidence for the specific interaction of the compound with the enzyme will set the stage for the development of analogs of this drug that specifically inhibit this enzyme and possibly other PMTs.

  9. Expression of a type B RIFIN in Plasmodium falciparum merozoites and gametes

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    Mwakalinga Steven B

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ability of Plasmodium falciparum to undergo antigenic variation, by switching expression among protein variants encoded by multigene families, such as var, rif and stevor, is key to the survival of this parasite in the human host. The RIFIN protein family can be divided into A and B types based on the presence or absence of a 25 amino acid motif in the semi-conserved domain. A particular type B RIFIN, PF13_0006, has previously been shown to be strongly transcribed in the asexual and sexual stages of P. falciparum in vitro. Methods Antibodies to recombinant PF13_0006 RIFIN were used in immunofluorescence and confocal imaging of 3D7 parasites throughout the asexual reproduction and sexual development to examine the expression of PF13_0006. Furthermore, reactivity to recombinant PF13_0006 was measured in plasma samples collected from individuals from both East and West African endemic areas. Results The PF13_0006 RIFIN variant appeared expressed by both released merozoites and gametes after emergence. 7.4% and 12.1% of individuals from East and West African endemic areas, respectively, carry plasma antibodies that recognize recombinant PF13_0006, where the antibody responses were more common among older children. Conclusions The stage specificity of PF13_0006 suggests that the diversity of RIFIN variants has evolved to provide multiple specialized functions in different stages of the parasite life cycle. These data also suggest that RIFIN variants antigenically similar to PF13_0006 occur in African parasite populations.

  10. Parasite virulence and disease severity in Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    OpenAIRE

    Ribacke, Ulf

    2009-01-01

    Malaria stands out as one of the most important infectious diseases and one of the world s leading causes of death. Plasmodium falciparum is the parasite responsible for the great majority of severe disease syndromes and mortality, and affects mainly children and pregnant women. Despite intensive research efforts, the understanding of P. falciparum virulence is limited. Infections with the parasite cause everything from asymptomatic parasitemia to severe disease and death, a...

  11. Insulin reduces the requirement for serum in Plasmodium falciparum culture

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    Carlos Eduardo Tosta

    1984-03-01

    Full Text Available Insulin added to Plasmodium falciparum cultures (0.2 IU/ml reduced the requirement for human serum from ten to five percent. This represents an obvious advantage by its serum-sparing effect and by reducing the chances of using contaminated serum in cultures. The growth-promoting ability of insulin was observed eitherin culture- adapted P. falciparum or in newly-isolated samples.

  12. Analysis of expressed sequence tags from Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakrabarti, D; Reddy, G R; Dame, J B; Almira, E C; Laipis, P J; Ferl, R J; Yang, T P; Rowe, T C; Schuster, S M

    1994-07-01

    An initiative was undertaken to sequence all genes of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in an effort to gain a better understanding at the molecular level of the parasite that inflicts much suffering in the developing world. 550 random complimentary DNA clones were partially sequenced from the intraerythrocytic form of the parasite as one of the approaches to analyze the transcribed sequences of its genome. The sequences, after editing, generated 389 expressed sequence tag sites and over 105 kb of DNA sequences. About 32% of these clones showed significant homology with other genes in the database. These clones represent 340 new Plasmodium falciparum expressed sequence tags.

  13. A Plasmodium falciparum copper-binding membrane protein with copper transport motifs

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    Choveaux David L

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Copper is an essential catalytic co-factor for metabolically important cellular enzymes, such as cytochrome-c oxidase. Eukaryotic cells acquire copper through a copper transport protein and distribute intracellular copper using molecular chaperones. The copper chelator, neocuproine, inhibits Plasmodium falciparum ring-to-trophozoite transition in vitro, indicating a copper requirement for malaria parasite development. How the malaria parasite acquires or secretes copper still remains to be fully elucidated. Methods PlasmoDB was searched for sequences corresponding to candidate P. falciparum copper-requiring proteins. The amino terminal domain of a putative P. falciparum copper transport protein was cloned and expressed as a maltose binding fusion protein. The copper binding ability of this protein was examined. Copper transport protein-specific anti-peptide antibodies were generated in chickens and used to establish native protein localization in P. falciparum parasites by immunofluorescence microscopy. Results Six P. falciparum copper-requiring protein orthologs and a candidate P. falciparum copper transport protein (PF14_0369, containing characteristic copper transport protein features, were identified in PlasmoDB. The recombinant amino terminal domain of the transport protein bound reduced copper in vitro and within Escherichia coli cells during recombinant expression. Immunolocalization studies tracked the copper binding protein translocating from the erythrocyte plasma membrane in early ring stage to a parasite membrane as the parasites developed to schizonts. The protein appears to be a PEXEL-negative membrane protein. Conclusion Plasmodium falciparum parasites express a native protein with copper transporter characteristics that binds copper in vitro. Localization of the protein to the erythrocyte and parasite plasma membranes could provide a mechanism for the delivery of novel anti-malarial compounds.

  14. MRP1 mediates folate transport and antifolate sensitivity in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rijpma, Sanna R; van der Velden, Maarten; Bilos, Albert; Jansen, Robert S; Mahakena, Sunny; Russel, Frans G M; Sauerwein, Robert W; van de Wetering, Koen; Koenderink, Jan B

    2016-02-01

    Multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRP) of Plasmodium falciparum have been associated with altered drug sensitivity. Knowledge on MRP substrate specificity is indispensible for the characterization of resistance mechanisms and identifying its physiological roles. An untargeted metabolomics approach detected decreased folate concentrations in red blood cells infected with schizont stage parasites lacking expression of MRP1. Furthermore, a tenfold decrease in sensitivity toward the folate analog methotrexate was detected for parasites lacking MRP1. PfMRP1 is involved in the export of folate from parasites into red blood cells and is therefore a relevant factor for efficient malaria treatment through the folate pathway.

  15. Diagnosing severe falciparum malaria in parasitaemic African children: a prospective evaluation of plasma PfHRP2 measurement.

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    Ilse C E Hendriksen

    Full Text Available In African children, distinguishing severe falciparum malaria from other severe febrile illnesses with coincidental Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia is a major challenge. P. falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2 is released by mature sequestered parasites and can be used to estimate the total parasite burden. We investigated the prognostic significance of plasma PfHRP2 and used it to estimate the malaria-attributable fraction in African children diagnosed with severe malaria.Admission plasma PfHRP2 was measured prospectively in African children (from Mozambique, The Gambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo aged 1 month to 15 years with severe febrile illness and a positive P. falciparum lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH-based rapid test in a clinical trial comparing parenteral artesunate versus quinine (the AQUAMAT trial, ISRCTN 50258054. In 3,826 severely ill children, Plasmadium falciparum PfHRP2 was higher in patients with coma (p = 0.0209, acidosis (p<0.0001, and severe anaemia (p<0.0001. Admission geometric mean (95%CI plasma PfHRP2 was 1,611 (1,350-1,922 ng/mL in fatal cases (n = 381 versus 1,046 (991-1,104 ng/mL in survivors (n = 3,445, p<0.0001, without differences in parasitaemia as assessed by microscopy. There was a U-shaped association between log(10 plasma PfHRP2 and risk of death. Mortality increased 20% per log(10 increase in PfHRP2 above 174 ng/mL (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.21, 95%CI 1.05-1.39, p = 0.009. A mechanistic model assuming a PfHRP2-independent risk of death in non-malaria illness closely fitted the observed data and showed malaria-attributable mortality less than 50% with plasma PfHRP2≤174 ng/mL. The odds ratio (OR for death in artesunate versus quinine-treated patients was 0.61 (95%CI 0.44-0.83, p = 0.0018 in the highest PfHRP2 tertile, whereas there was no difference in the lowest tertile (OR 1.05; 95%CI 0.69-1.61; p = 0.82. A limitation of the study is that some

  16. Diagnosing severe falciparum malaria in parasitaemic African children: a prospective evaluation of plasma PfHRP2 measurement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilse C E Hendriksen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In African children, distinguishing severe falciparum malaria from other severe febrile illnesses with coincidental Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia is a major challenge. P. falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2 is released by mature sequestered parasites and can be used to estimate the total parasite burden. We investigated the prognostic significance of plasma PfHRP2 and used it to estimate the malaria-attributable fraction in African children diagnosed with severe malaria. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Admission plasma PfHRP2 was measured prospectively in African children (from Mozambique, The Gambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo aged 1 month to 15 years with severe febrile illness and a positive P. falciparum lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH-based rapid test in a clinical trial comparing parenteral artesunate versus quinine (the AQUAMAT trial, ISRCTN 50258054. In 3,826 severely ill children, Plasmadium falciparum PfHRP2 was higher in patients with coma (p = 0.0209, acidosis (p<0.0001, and severe anaemia (p<0.0001. Admission geometric mean (95%CI plasma PfHRP2 was 1,611 (1,350-1,922 ng/mL in fatal cases (n = 381 versus 1,046 (991-1,104 ng/mL in survivors (n = 3,445, p<0.0001, without differences in parasitaemia as assessed by microscopy. There was a U-shaped association between log(10 plasma PfHRP2 and risk of death. Mortality increased 20% per log(10 increase in PfHRP2 above 174 ng/mL (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.21, 95%CI 1.05-1.39, p = 0.009. A mechanistic model assuming a PfHRP2-independent risk of death in non-malaria illness closely fitted the observed data and showed malaria-attributable mortality less than 50% with plasma PfHRP2≤174 ng/mL. The odds ratio (OR for death in artesunate versus quinine-treated patients was 0.61 (95%CI 0.44-0.83, p = 0.0018 in the highest PfHRP2 tertile, whereas there was no difference in the lowest tertile (OR 1.05; 95%CI 0.69-1.61; p = 0.82. A

  17. Promoter regions of Plasmodium vivax are poorly or not recognized by Plasmodium falciparum

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    del Portillo Hernando A

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Heterologous promoter analysis in Plasmodium has revealed the existence of conserved cis regulatory elements as promoters from different species can drive expression of reporter genes in heterologous transfection assays. Here, the functional characterization of different Plasmodium vivax promoters in Plasmodium falciparum using luciferase as the reporter gene is presented. Methods Luciferase reporter plasmids harboring the upstream regions of the msp1, dhfr, and vir3 genes as well as the full-length intergenic regions of the vir23/24 and ef-1α genes of P. vivax were constructed and transiently transfected in P. falciparum. Results Only the constructs with the full-length intergenic regions of the vir23/24 and ef-1α genes were recognized by the P. falciparum transcription machinery albeit to values approximately two orders of magnitude lower than those reported by luc plasmids harbouring promoter regions from P. falciparum and Plasmodium berghei. A bioinformatics approach allowed the identification of a motif (GCATAT in the ef-1α intergenic region that is conserved in five Plasmodium species but is degenerate (GCANAN in P. vivax. Mutations of this motif in the P. berghei ef-1α promoter region decreased reporter expression indicating it is active in gene expression in Plasmodium. Conclusion Together, this data indicates that promoter regions of P. vivax are poorly or not recognized by the P. falciparum transcription machinery suggesting the existence of P. vivax-specific transcription regulatory elements.

  18. Role of Calcium Signaling in the Transcriptional Regulation of the Apicoplast Genome of Plasmodium falciparum

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    Sabna Cheemadan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Calcium is a universal second messenger that plays an important role in regulatory processes in eukaryotic cells. To understand calcium-dependent signaling in malaria parasites, we analyzed transcriptional responses of Plasmodium falciparum to two calcium ionophores (A23187 and ionomycin that cause redistribution of intracellular calcium within the cytoplasm. While ionomycin induced a specific transcriptional response defined by up- or downregulation of a narrow set of genes, A23187 caused a developmental arrest in the schizont stage. In addition, we observed a dramatic decrease of mRNA levels of the transcripts encoded by the apicoplast genome during the exposure of P. falciparum to both calcium ionophores. Neither of the ionophores caused any disruptions to the DNA replication or the overall apicoplast morphology. This suggests that the mRNA downregulation reflects direct inhibition of the apicoplast gene transcription. Next, we identify a nuclear encoded protein with a calcium binding domain (EF-hand that is localized to the apicoplast. Overexpression of this protein (termed PfACBP1 in P. falciparum cells mediates an increased resistance to the ionophores which suggests its role in calcium-dependent signaling within the apicoplast. Our data indicate that the P. falciparum apicoplast requires calcium-dependent signaling that involves a novel protein PfACBP1.

  19. The malarial drug target Plasmodium falciparum 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate reductoisomerase (PfDXR): development of a 3-D model for identification of novel, structural and functional features and for inhibitor screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goble, Jessica L; Adendorff, Matthew R; de Beer, Tjaart A P; Stephens, Linda L; Blatch, Gregory L

    2010-01-01

    A three-dimensional model of the malarial drug target protein PfDXR was generated, and validated using structure-checking programs and protein docking studies. Structural and functional features unique to PfDXR were identified using the model and comparative sequence analyses with apicomplexan and non-apicomplexan DXR proteins. Furthermore, we have used the model to develop an efficient approach to screen for potential tool compounds for use in the rational design of novel DXR inhibitors.

  20. Artemisinin-Resistant Plasmodium falciparum Malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairhurst, Rick M; Dondorp, Arjen M

    2016-06-01

    For more than five decades, Southeast Asia (SEA) has been fertile ground for the emergence of drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria. After generating parasites resistant to chloroquine, sulfadoxine, pyrimethamine, quinine, and mefloquine, this region has now spawned parasites resistant to artemisinins, the world's most potent antimalarial drugs. In areas where artemisinin resistance is prevalent, artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs)-the first-line treatments for malaria-are failing fast. This worrisome development threatens to make malaria practically untreatable in SEA, and threatens to compromise global endeavors to eliminate this disease. A recent series of clinical, in vitro, genomics, and transcriptomics studies in SEA have defined in vivo and in vitro phenotypes of artemisinin resistance, identified its causal genetic determinant, explored its molecular mechanism, and assessed its clinical impact. Specifically, these studies have established that artemisinin resistance manifests as slow parasite clearance in patients and increased survival of early-ring-stage parasites in vitro; is caused by single nucleotide polymorphisms in the parasite's K13 gene, is associated with an upregulated "unfolded protein response" pathway that may antagonize the pro-oxidant activity of artemisinins, and selects for partner drug resistance that rapidly leads to ACT failures. In SEA, clinical studies are urgently needed to monitor ACT efficacy where K13 mutations are prevalent, test whether new combinations of currently available drugs cure ACT failures, and advance new antimalarial compounds through preclinical pipelines and into clinical trials. Intensifying these efforts should help to forestall the spread of artemisinin and partner drug resistance from SEA to sub-Saharan Africa, where the world's malaria transmission, morbidity, and mortality rates are highest.

  1. Pseudomonas aeruginosa septicaemia in a patient with severe Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kharazmi, A; Høiby, N; Theander, T G

    1987-01-01

    presented with severe form of malaria, progressing rapidly into coma and died within a short time. P. aeruginosa was isolated from his blood taken on the day of admission. His neutrophils were all occupied by P. falciparum. The unusual combination of severe falciparum malaria infection and P. aeruginosa......This report describes a Danish patient with severe Plasmodium falciparum infection and Pseudomonas aeruginosa septicaemia. The patient had been sailing along the coast of West Africa for ten years without taking any antimalaria prophylaxis and without any apparent previous history of malaria. He...

  2. Glutathione mediated regulation of oligomeric structure and functional activity of Plasmodium falciparum glutathione S-transferase

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    Becker Katja

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In contrast to many other organisms, the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum possesses only one typical glutathione S-transferase. This enzyme, PfGST, cannot be assigned to any of the known GST classes and represents a most interesting target for antimalarial drug development. The PfGST under native conditions forms non-covalently linked higher aggregates with major population (~98% being tetramer. However, in the presence of 2 mM GSH, a dimer of PfGST is observed. Recently reported study on binding and catalytic properties of PfGST indicated a GSH dependent low-high affinity transition with simultaneous binding of two GSH molecules to PfGST dimer suggesting that GSH binds to low affinity inactive enzyme dimer converting it to high affinity functionally active dimer. In order to understand the role of GSH in tetramer-dimer transition of PfGST as well as in modulation of functional activity of the enzyme, detailed structural, functional and stability studies on recombinant PfGST in the presence and absence of GSH were carried out. Results Our data indicate that the dimer – and not the tetramer – is the active form of PfGST, and that substrate saturation is directly paralleled by dissociation of the tetramer. Furthermore, this dissociation is a reversible process indicating that the tetramer-dimer equilibrium of PfGST is defined by the surrounding GSH concentration. Equilibrium denaturation studies show that the PfGST tetramer has significantly higher stability compared to the dimer. The enhanced stability of the tetramer is likely to be due to stronger ionic interactions existing in it. Conclusion This is the first report for any GST where an alteration in oligomeric structure and not just small conformational change is observed upon GSH binding to the enzyme. Furthermore we also demonstrate a reversible mechanism of regulation of functional activity of Plasmodium falciparum glutathione S-transferase via GSH induced

  3. Evaluation of DNA Recombinant Methodologies for the Diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum and their Comparison with the Microscopy Assay

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    L Urdaneta

    1998-09-01

    Full Text Available Since 1984, DNA tests based on the highly repeated subtelomeric sequences of Plasmodium falciparum (rep 20 have been frequently used in malaria diagnosis. Rep 20 is very specific for this parasite, and is made of 21 bp units, organized in repeated blocks with direct and inverted orientation. Based in this particular organization, we selected a unique consensus oligonucleotide (pf-21 to drive a PCR reaction coupled to hybridization to non-radioactive labeled probes. The pf-21 unique oligo PCR (pf-21-I assay produced DNA amplification fingerprints when was applied on purified P. falciparum DNA samples (Brazil and Colombia, as well as in patient's blood samples from a large area of Venezuela. The performance of the Pf-21-I assay was compared against Giemsa stained thick blood smears from samples collected at a malaria endemic area of the Bolívar State, Venezuela, at the field station of Malariología in Tumeremo. Coupled to non-radioactive hybridization the pf-21-I performed better than the traditional microscopic method with a r=1.7:1. In the case of mixed infections the r value of P. falciparum detection increased to 2.5:1. The increased diagnostic sensitivity of the test produced with this homologous oligonucleotide could provide an alternative to the epidemiological diagnosis of P. falciparum being currently used in Venezuela endemic areas, where low parasitemia levels and asymptomatic malaria are frequent. In addition, the DNA fingerprint could be tested in molecular population studies

  4. [From malaria parasite point of view--Plasmodium falciparum evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerka, Agata; Kaczmarek, Radosław; Jaśkiewicz, Ewa

    2015-12-31

    Malaria is caused by infection with protozoan parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium, which have arguably exerted the greatest selection pressure on humans in the history of our species. Besides humans, different Plasmodium parasites infect a wide range of animal hosts, from marine invertebrates to primates. On the other hand, individual Plasmodium species show high host specificity. The extraordinary evolution of Plasmodium probably began when a free-living red algae turned parasitic, and culminated with its ability to thrive inside a human red blood cell. Studies on the African apes generated new data on the evolution of malaria parasites in general and the deadliest human-specific species, Plasmodium falciparum, in particular. Initially, it was hypothesized that P. falciparum descended from the chimpanzee malaria parasite P. reichenowi, after the human and the chimp lineage diverged about 6 million years ago. However, a recently identified new species infecting gorillas, unexpectedly showed similarity to P. falciparum and was therefore named P. praefalciparum. That finding spurred an alternative hypothesis, which proposes that P. falciparum descended from its gorilla rather than chimp counterpart. In addition, the gorilla-to-human host shift may have occurred more recently (about 10 thousand years ago) than the theoretical P. falciparum-P. reichenowi split. One of the key aims of the studies on Plasmodium evolution is to elucidate the mechanisms that allow the incessant host shifting and retaining the host specificity, especially in the case of human-specific species. Thorough understanding of these phenomena will be necessary to design effective malaria treatment and prevention strategies.

  5. A Plasmodium falciparum histone deacetylase regulates antigenic variation and gametocyte conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, Bradley I; Skillman, Kristen M; Jiang, Rays H Y; Childs, Lauren M; Altenhofen, Lindsey M; Ganter, Markus; Leung, Yvette; Goldowitz, Ilana; Kafsack, Björn F C; Marti, Matthias; Llinás, Manuel; Buckee, Caroline O; Duraisingh, Manoj T

    2014-08-13

    The asexual forms of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are adapted for chronic persistence in human red blood cells, continuously evading host immunity using epigenetically regulated antigenic variation of virulence-associated genes. Parasite survival on a population level also requires differentiation into sexual forms, an obligatory step for further human transmission. We reveal that the essential nuclear gene, P. falciparum histone deacetylase 2 (PfHda2), is a global silencer of virulence gene expression and controls the frequency of switching from the asexual cycle to sexual development. PfHda2 depletion leads to dysregulated expression of both virulence-associated var genes and PfAP2-g, a transcription factor controlling sexual conversion, and is accompanied by increases in gametocytogenesis. Mathematical modeling further indicates that PfHda2 has likely evolved to optimize the parasite's infectious period by achieving low frequencies of virulence gene expression switching and sexual conversion. This common regulation of cellular transcriptional programs mechanistically links parasite transmissibility and virulence.

  6. Dynamin like protein 1 participated in the hemoglobin uptake pathway of Plasmodium falciparum

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHOU Hong-chang; GAO Yu-hui; ZHONG Xiang; WANG Heng

    2009-01-01

    Background During the blood stage of malaria infection, parasites internalize in the host red blood cells and degrade massive amounts of hemoglobin for their development. Although the morphology of the parasite's hemoglobin uptake pathway has been clearly observed, little has been known about its molecular mechanisms. Methods The recombinant proteins from Plasmodium falciparum, dynamin like protein 1 (PfDYN1) and 2 (PfDYN2) GTPase domain, were expressed in E .coli and showed GTPase activity. By using a dynamin inhibitor, dynasore, we demonstrated the involvement of PfDYN1 in the hemoglobin uptake pathway. Results The GTPase activity of the two recombinant proteins was inhibited by dynasore in vitro. Treatment of parasite cultures with 80 μmol/L dynasore at the ring and early trophozoite stage resulted in substantial inhibition of parasite growth and in an obvious decline of hemoglobin quantum. Furthermore, reduced intraceliular hemozoin accumulation and decreased uptake of the FITC-dextran were also observed, together with distinctive changes in the ultrastructure of parasites after the dynasore treatment. Conclusions Our results show that PfDYN1 plays an important role in the hemoglobin uptake pathway of P. Falciparum and suggest its possibility of being a novel target for malaria chemotherapy.

  7. Antimalarial activity of potential inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum lactate dehydrogenase enzyme selected by docking studies.

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    Julia Penna-Coutinho

    Full Text Available The Plasmodium falciparum lactate dehydrogenase enzyme (PfLDH has been considered as a potential molecular target for antimalarials due to this parasite's dependence on glycolysis for energy production. Because the LDH enzymes found in P. vivax, P. malariae and P. ovale (pLDH all exhibit ∼90% identity to PfLDH, it would be desirable to have new anti-pLDH drugs, particularly ones that are effective against P. falciparum, the most virulent species of human malaria. Our present work used docking studies to select potential inhibitors of pLDH, which were then tested for antimalarial activity against P. falciparum in vitro and P. berghei malaria in mice. A virtual screening in DrugBank for analogs of NADH (an essential cofactor to pLDH and computational studies were undertaken, and the potential binding of the selected compounds to the PfLDH active site was analyzed using Molegro Virtual Docker software. Fifty compounds were selected based on their similarity to NADH. The compounds with the best binding energies (itraconazole, atorvastatin and posaconazole were tested against P. falciparum chloroquine-resistant blood parasites. All three compounds proved to be active in two immunoenzymatic assays performed in parallel using monoclonals specific to PfLDH or a histidine rich protein (HRP2. The IC(50 values for each drug in both tests were similar, were lowest for posaconazole (<5 µM and were 40- and 100-fold less active than chloroquine. The compounds reduced P. berghei parasitemia in treated mice, in comparison to untreated controls; itraconazole was the least active compound. The results of these activity trials confirmed that molecular docking studies are an important strategy for discovering new antimalarial drugs. This approach is more practical and less expensive than discovering novel compounds that require studies on human toxicology, since these compounds are already commercially available and thus approved for human use.

  8. Differential Plasmodium falciparum surface antigen expression among children with Malarial Retinopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdi, Abdirahman I.; Kariuki, Symon M; Muthui, Michelle K.; Kivisi, Cheryl A.; Fegan, Gregory; Gitau, Evelyn; Newton, Charles R; Bull, Peter C.

    2015-01-01

    Retinopathy provides a window into the underlying pathology of life-threatening malarial coma (“cerebral malaria”), allowing differentiation between 1) coma caused by sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in the brain and 2) coma with other underlying causes. Parasite sequestration in the brain is mediated by PfEMP1; a diverse parasite antigen that is inserted into the surface of infected erythrocytes and adheres to various host receptors. PfEMP1 sub-groups called “DC8” and “DC13” have been proposed to cause brain pathology through interactions with endothelial protein C receptor. To test this we profiled PfEMP1 gene expression in parasites from children with clinically defined cerebral malaria, who either had or did not have accompanying retinopathy. We found no evidence for an elevation of DC8 or DC13 PfEMP1 expression in children with retinopathy. However, the proportional expression of a broad subgroup of PfEMP1 called “group A” was elevated in retinopathy patients suggesting that these variants may play a role in the pathology of cerebral malaria. Interventions targeting group A PfEMP1 may be effective at reducing brain pathology. PMID:26657042

  9. Plasmodium falciparum Sec24 marks transitional ER that exports a model cargo via a diacidic motif.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Marcus C S; Moura, Pedro A; Miller, Elizabeth A; Fidock, David A

    2008-06-01

    Exit from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) often occurs at distinct sites of vesicle formation known as transitional ER (tER) that are enriched for COPII vesicle coat proteins. We have characterized the organization of ER export in the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, by examining the localization of two components of the COPII machinery, PfSec12 and PfSec24a. PfSec12 was found throughout the ER, whereas the COPII cargo adaptor, PfSec24a, was concentrated at distinct foci that likely correspond to tER sites. These foci were closely apposed to cis-Golgi sites marked by PfGRASP-GFP, and upon treatment with brefeldin A they accumulated a model cargo protein via a process dependent on the presence of an intact diacidic export motif. Our data suggest that the cargo-binding function of PfSec24a is conserved and that accumulation of cargo in discrete tER sites depends upon positive sorting signals. Furthermore, the number and position of tER sites with respect to the cis-Golgi suggests a co-ordinated biogenesis of these domains.

  10. Investigating the function of Fc -specific binding of IgM to Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 mediating erythrocyte rosetting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stevenson, Liz; Huda, Pie; Jeppesen, Anine

    2015-01-01

    Acquired protection from Plasmodium falciparum malaria takes years to develop, probably reflecting the ability of the parasites to evade immunity. A recent example of this is the binding of the Fc region of IgM to VAR2CSA-type PfEMP1. This interferes with specific IgG recognition and phagocytosis...... of parasites that cause severe P. falciparum malaria....

  11. Combinatorial Genetic Modeling of pfcrt-Mediated Drug Resistance Evolution in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabryszewski, Stanislaw J; Modchang, Charin; Musset, Lise; Chookajorn, Thanat; Fidock, David A

    2016-06-01

    The emergence of drug resistance continuously threatens global control of infectious diseases, including malaria caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum A critical parasite determinant is the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT), the primary mediator of chloroquine (CQ) resistance (CQR), and a pleiotropic modulator of susceptibility to several first-line artemisinin-based combination therapy partner drugs. Aside from the validated CQR molecular marker K76T, P. falciparum parasites have acquired at least three additional pfcrt mutations, whose contributions to resistance and fitness have been heretofore unclear. Focusing on the quadruple-mutant Ecuadorian PfCRT haplotype Ecu1110 (K76T/A220S/N326D/I356L), we genetically modified the pfcrt locus of isogenic, asexual blood stage P. falciparum parasites using zinc-finger nucleases, producing all possible combinations of intermediate pfcrt alleles. Our analysis included the related quintuple-mutant PfCRT haplotype 7G8 (Ecu1110 + C72S) that is widespread throughout South America and the Western Pacific. Drug susceptibilities and in vitro growth profiles of our combinatorial pfcrt-modified parasites were used to simulate the mutational trajectories accessible to parasites as they evolved CQR. Our results uncover unique contributions to parasite drug resistance and growth for mutations beyond K76T and predict critical roles for the CQ metabolite monodesethyl-CQ and the related quinoline-type drug amodiaquine in driving mutant pfcrt evolution. Modeling outputs further highlight the influence of parasite proliferation rates alongside gains in drug resistance in dictating successful trajectories. Our findings suggest that P. falciparum parasites have navigated constrained pfcrt adaptive landscapes by means of probabilistically rare mutational bursts that led to the infrequent emergence of pfcrt alleles in the field.

  12. A semi-automated multiplex high-throughput assay for measuring IgG antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) domains in small volumes of plasma

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cham, Gerald K K; Kurtis, Jonathan; Lusingu, John;

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The level of antibodies against PfEMP1 is routinely quantified by the conventional microtitre enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). However, ELISA only measures one analyte at a time and requires a relatively large plasma volume if the complete antibody profile of the sample...... of twenty nine PfEMP1 domains were PCR amplified from 3D7 genomic DNA, expressed in the Baculovirus system and purified by metal-affinity chromatography. The antibody reactivity level to the recombinant PfEMP1 proteins in human hyper-immune plasma was measured by ELISA. In parallel, these recombinant PfEMP1......-based assay was sensitive, accurate and reproducible. Four recombinant PfEMP1 proteins C17, D5, D9 and D12, selected on the basis that they showed a spread of median fluorescent intensity (MFI) values from low to high when analysed by the bead-based assay were analysed by ELISA and the results from both...

  13. Computational reverse-engineering of a spider-venom derived peptide active against Plasmodium falciparum SUB1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giacomo Bastianelli

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Psalmopeotoxin I (PcFK1, a protein of 33 aminoacids derived from the venom of the spider Psalmopoeus Cambridgei, is able to inhibit the growth of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites with an IC50 in the low micromolar range. PcFK1 was proposed to act as an ion channel inhibitor, although experimental validation of this mechanism is lacking. The surface loops of PcFK1 have some sequence similarity with the parasite protein sequences cleaved by PfSUB1, a subtilisin-like protease essential for egress of Plasmodium falciparum merozoites and invasion into erythrocytes. As PfSUB1 has emerged as an interesting drug target, we explored the hypothesis that PcFK1 targeted PfSUB1 enzymatic activity. FINDINGS: Molecular modeling and docking calculations showed that one loop could interact with the binding site of PfSUB1. The calculated free energy of binding averaged -5.01 kcal/mol, corresponding to a predicted low-medium micromolar constant of inhibition. PcFK1 inhibited the enzymatic activity of the recombinant PfSUB1 enzyme and the in vitro P. falciparum culture in a range compatible with our bioinformatics analysis. Using contact analysis and free energy decomposition we propose that residues A14 and Q15 are important in the interaction with PfSUB1. CONCLUSIONS: Our computational reverse engineering supported the hypothesis that PcFK1 targeted PfSUB1, and this was confirmed by experimental evidence showing that PcFK1 inhibits PfSUB1 enzymatic activity. This outlines the usefulness of advanced bioinformatics tools to predict the function of a protein structure. The structural features of PcFK1 represent an interesting protein scaffold for future protein engineering.

  14. Identification of a nonameric H-2Kk-restricted CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitope on the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Malik, A; Houghten, R; Corradin, G

    1995-01-01

    Class I-restricted CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) against the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) protect mice against the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium yoelii, and vaccines designed to produce protective CTL against the P. falciparum CSP (PfCSP) are under development. Humans and B10.BR (H-2k...

  15. Investigating the function of Fc-specific binding of IgM to Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 mediating erythrocyte rosetting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stevenson, Liz; Huda, Pie; Jeppesen, Anine;

    2015-01-01

    Acquired protection from Plasmodium falciparum malaria takes years to develop, probably reflecting the ability of the parasites to evade immunity. A recent example of this is the binding of the Fc region of IgM to VAR2CSA-type PfEMP1. This interferes with specific IgG recognition and phagocytosis...

  16. Malaria vaccine candidate antigen targeting the pre-erythrocytic stage of Plasmodium falciparum produced at high level in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voepel, Nadja; Boes, Alexander; Edgue, Güven; Beiss, Veronique; Kapelski, Stephanie; Reimann, Andreas; Schillberg, Stefan; Pradel, Gabriele; Fendel, Rolf; Scheuermayer, Matthias; Spiegel, Holger; Fischer, Rainer

    2014-11-01

    Plants have emerged as low-cost production platforms suitable for vaccines targeting poverty-related diseases. Besides functional efficacy, the stability, yield, and purification process determine the production costs of a vaccine and thereby the feasibility of plant-based production. We describe high-level plant production and functional characterization of a malaria vaccine candidate targeting the pre-erythrocytic stage of Plasmodium falciparum. CCT, a fusion protein composed of three sporozoite antigens (P. falciparum cell traversal protein for ookinetes and sporozoites [PfCelTOS], P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein [PfCSP], and P. falciparum thrombospondin-related adhesive protein [PfTRAP]), was transiently expressed by agroinfiltration in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves, accumulated to levels up to 2 mg/g fresh leaf weight (FLW), was thermostable up to 80°C and could be purified to >95% using a simple two-step procedure. Reactivity of sera from malaria semi-immune donors indicated the immunogenic conformation of the purified fusion protein consisting of PfCelTOS, PfCSP_TSR, PfTRAP_TSR domains (CCT) protein. Total IgG from the CCT-specific mouse immune sera specifically recognized P. falciparum sporozoites in immunofluorescence assays and induced up to 35% inhibition in hepatocyte invasion assays. Featuring domains from three promising sporozoite antigens with different roles (attachment and cell traversal) in the hepatocyte invasion process, CCT has the potential to elicit broader immune responses against the pre-erythrocytic stage of P. falciparum and represents an interesting new candidate, also as a component of multi-stage, multi-subunit malaria vaccine cocktails.

  17. An Alternative Mechanism for the Methylation of Phosphoethanolamine Catalyzed by Plasmodium falciparum Phosphoethanolamine Methyltransferase*♦

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saen-oon, Suwipa; Lee, Soon Goo; Jez, Joseph M.; Guallar, Victor

    2014-01-01

    The phosphobase methylation pathway catalyzed by the phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase in Plasmodium falciparum (PfPMT), the malaria parasite, offers an attractive target for anti-parasitic drug development. PfPMT methylates phosphoethanolamine (pEA) to phosphocholine for use in membrane biogenesis. Quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics (QM/MM) calculations tested the proposed reaction mechanism for methylation of pEA involving the previously identified Tyr-19–His-132 dyad, which indicated an energetically unfavorable mechanism. Instead, the QM/MM calculations suggested an alternative mechanism involving Asp-128. The reaction coordinate involves the stepwise transfer of a proton to Asp-128 via a bridging water molecule followed by a typical Sn2-type methyl transfer from S-adenosylmethionine to pEA. Functional analysis of the D128A, D128E, D128Q, and D128N PfPMT mutants shows a loss of activity with pEA but not with the final substrate of the methylation pathway. X-ray crystal structures of the PfPMT-D128A mutant in complex with S-adenosylhomocysteine and either pEA or phosphocholine reveal how mutation of Asp-128 disrupts a hydrogen bond network in the active site. The combined QM/MM, biochemical, and structural studies identify a key role for Asp-128 in the initial step of the phosphobase methylation pathway in Plasmodium and provide molecular insight on the evolution of multiple activities in the active site of the PMT. PMID:25288796

  18. A novel tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR containing PP5 serine/threonine protein phosphatase in the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adams Brian

    2001-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum (Pf, is responsible for nearly 2 million deaths worldwide. However, the mechanisms of cellular signaling in the parasite remain largely unknown. Recent discovery of a few protein kinases and phosphatases point to a thriving reversible phosphorylation system in the parasite, although their function and regulation need to be determined. Results We provide biochemical and sequence evidence for a protein serine/threonine phosphatase type PP5 in Plasmodium falciparum, and named it PfPP5. The 594-amino acid polypeptide was encoded by a 1785 nucleotide long intronless gene in the parasite. The recombinant protein, expressed in bacteria, was indistinguishable from native PfPP5. Sequencing comparison indicated that the extra-long N-terminus of PfPP5 outside the catalytic core contained four tetratricopeptide repeats (TPRs, compared to three such repeats in other PP5 phosphatases. The PfPP5 N-terminus was required for stimulation of the phosphatase activity by polyunsaturated fatty acids. Co-immunoprecipitation demonstrated an interaction between native PfPP5 and Pf heat shock protein 90 (hsp90. PfPP5 was expressed in all the asexual erythrocytic stages of the parasite, and was moderately sensitive to okadaic acid. Conclusions This is the first example of a TPR-domain protein in the Apicomplexa family of parasites. Since TPR domains play important roles in protein-protein interaction, especially relevant to the regulation of PP5 phosphatases, PfPP5 is destined to have a definitive role in parasitic growth and signaling pathways. This is exemplified by the interaction between PfPP5 and the cognate chaperone hsp90.

  19. Biguanide-Atovaquone Synergy against Plasmodium falciparum In Vitro

    OpenAIRE

    2002-01-01

    The synergistic potential of a range of biguanides, their triazine metabolites, tetracyclines, and pyrimethamine in combination with atovaquone has been assessed. All five biguanides tested interacted synergistically with atovaquone against Plasmodium falciparum in vitro. All of the other compounds tested were either additive or antagonistic.

  20. Antibodies to a recombinant glutamate-rich Plasmodium falciparum protein

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hogh, B; Petersen, E; Dziegiel, Morten Hanefeld

    1992-01-01

    A Plasmodium falciparum antigen gene coding for a 220-kD glutamate-rich protein (GLURP) has been cloned, and the 783 C-terminal amino acids of this protein (GLURP489-1271) have been expressed as a beta-galactosidase fusion protein in Escherichia coli. The encoded 783 amino acid residues contain two...

  1. Positive blood culture with Plasmodium falciparum : Case report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Vries, Jutte J. C.; Van Assen, Sander; Mulder, André B.; Kampinga, Greetje A.

    2007-01-01

    An adult traveler presented with fever and malaise after returning from Sierra Leone. Young trophozoites of Plasmodium falciparum were seen in a blood smear, with parasitemia being 10%. Moreover, blood cultures drawn on admission signaled as "positive" after 1 day of incubation, but no bacteria were

  2. Plasmodium falciparum transcriptome analysis reveals pregnancy malaria associated gene expression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tuikue Ndam, Nicaise; Bischoff, Emmanuel; Proux, Caroline

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) causing maternal anemia and low birth weight is among the multiple manifestations of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Infected erythrocytes (iEs) can acquire various adhesive properties that mediate the clinical severity of malaria. Recent advances...

  3. Artemether-lumefantrine treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kofoed, Poul-Erik

    2015-01-01

    -lumefantrine for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria, to define therapeutic day 7 lumefantrine concentrations and identify patient factors that substantially alter these concentrations. A systematic review of PubMed, Embase, Google Scholar, ClinicalTrials.gov and conference proceedings identified all relevant studies...

  4. Positive blood culture with Plasmodium falciparum: Case report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Vries, Jutte J. C.; Van Assen, Sander; Mulder, André B.; Kampinga, Greetje A.

    2007-01-01

    An adult traveler presented with fever and malaise after returning from Sierra Leone. Young trophozoites of Plasmodium falciparum were seen in a blood smear, with parasitemia being 10%. Moreover, blood cultures drawn on admission signaled as "positive" after 1 day of incubation, but no bacteria were

  5. Positive blood culture with Plasmodium falciparum : Case report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Vries, Jutte J. C.; Van Assen, Sander; Mulder, André B.; Kampinga, Greetje A.

    2007-01-01

    An adult traveler presented with fever and malaise after returning from Sierra Leone. Young trophozoites of Plasmodium falciparum were seen in a blood smear, with parasitemia being 10%. Moreover, blood cultures drawn on admission signaled as "positive" after 1 day of incubation, but no bacteria were

  6. The prognostic value of schizontaemia in imported Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.E. van Wolfswinkel (Marlies); M. De Mendonça Melo (Mariana); K. Vliegenthart-Jongbloed (Klaske); R. Koelewijn (Rob); J.J. van Hellemond (Jaap); P.J.J. van Genderen (Perry)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractBackground: In Plasmodium falciparum infection, peripheral parasite counts do not always correlate well with the sequestered parasite burden. As erythrocytes parasitized with mature trophozoites and schizonts have a high tendency to adhere to the microvascular endothelium, they are often

  7. The prognostic value of schizontaemia in imported Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.E. van Wolfswinkel (Marlies); M. De Mendonça Melo (Mariana); K. Vliegenthart-Jongbloed (Klaske); R. Koelewijn (Rob); J.J. van Hellemond (Jaap); P.J.J. van Genderen (Perry)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractBackground: In Plasmodium falciparum infection, peripheral parasite counts do not always correlate well with the sequestered parasite burden. As erythrocytes parasitized with mature trophozoites and schizonts have a high tendency to adhere to the microvascular endothelium, they are often

  8. The epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes: weapons of mass dispersion.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Drakeley, C.; Sutherland, C.; Bousema, J.T.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Targett, G.A.T.

    2006-01-01

    Much of the epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum in Sub-Saharan Africa focuses on the prevalence patterns of asexual parasites in people of different ages, whereas the gametocytes that propagate the disease are often neglected. One expected benefit of the widespread introduction of artemisinin-base

  9. 3D7-derived Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 is a frequent target of naturally acquired antibodies recognizing protein domains in a particular pattern independent of malaria transmission intensity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joergensen, Louise; Vestergaard, Lasse S; Turner, Louise

    2007-01-01

    Protection against Plasmodium falciparum malaria is largely mediated by IgG against surface Ags such as the erythrocyte membrane protein 1 family (PfEMP1) responsible for antigenic variation and sequestration of infected erythrocytes. PfEMP1 molecules can be divided into groups A, B/A, B, C, and B...

  10. Plasmodium falciparum Bloom homologue, a nucleocytoplasmic protein, translocates in 3' to 5' direction and is essential for parasite growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Farhana; Tarique, Mohammed; Tuteja, Renu

    2016-05-01

    Malaria caused by Plasmodium, particularly Plasmodium falciparum, is the most serious and widespread parasitic disease of humans. RecQ helicase family members are essential in homologous recombination-based error-free DNA repair processes in all domains of life. RecQ helicases present in each organism differ and several homologues have been identified in various multicellular organisms. These proteins are involved in various pathways of DNA metabolism by providing duplex unwinding function. Five members of RecQ family are present in Homo sapiens but P. falciparum contains only two members of this family. Here we report the detailed biochemical and functional characterization of the Bloom (Blm) homologue (PfBlm) from P. falciparum 3D7 strain. Purified PfBlm exhibits ATPase and 3' to 5' direction specific DNA helicase activity. The calculated average reaction rate of ATPase was ~13 pmol of ATP hydrolyzed/min/pmol of enzyme. The immunofluorescence assay results show that PfBlm is expressed in all the stages of intraerythrocytic development of the P. falciparum 3D7 strain. In some stages of development in addition to nucleus PfBlm also localizes in the cytoplasm. The gene disruption studies of PfBlm by dsRNA showed that it is required for the ex-vivo intraerythrocytic development of the parasite P. falciparum 3D7 strain. The dsRNA mediated inhibition of parasite growth suggests that a variety of pathways are affected resulting in curtailing of the parasite growth. This study will be helpful in unravelling the basic mechanism of DNA transaction in the malaria parasite and additionally it may provide leads to understand the parasite specific characteristics of this protein.

  11. Mitosis in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald, Noel; Mahajan, Babita; Kumar, Sanjai

    2011-01-01

    Malaria is caused by intraerythrocytic protozoan parasites belonging to Plasmodium spp. (phylum Apicomplexa) that produce significant morbidity and mortality, mostly in developing countries. Plasmodium parasites have a complex life cycle that includes multiple stages in anopheline mosquito vectors and vertebrate hosts. During the life cycle, the parasites undergo several cycles of extreme population growth within a brief span, and this is critical for their continued transmission and a contributing factor for their pathogenesis in the host. As with other eukaryotes, successful mitosis is an essential requirement for Plasmodium reproduction; however, some aspects of Plasmodium mitosis are quite distinct and not fully understood. In this review, we will discuss the current understanding of the architecture and key events of mitosis in Plasmodium falciparum and related parasites and compare them with the traditional mitotic events described for other eukaryotes. PMID:21317311

  12. Prevalence of multiple drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria cases in Northeast India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Jitendra; Khan, Siraj Ahmed; Soni, Monika; Dutta, Prafulla

    2017-01-01

    Two numbers of Plasmodium falciparum field isolates from Gossingpara, Runikhata area in Chirang district of Assam had shown multiple mutations in Pfcrt-dhfr-dhps gene (up to seven mutations: One mutation in Pfcrt gene, three mutations in Pfdhfr gene and three mutations in Pfdhps gene). Similarly, two cases in Bat camp, Miao area under Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh had shown a total of eight mutations, of which one mutation in Pfcrt gene, three mutations in Pfdhfr gene, three mutations in Pfdhps gene and one mutation in PfATPase6 gene. One case in 3 Miles, Miao area of Changlang district has shown mutations in Pfcrt(one mutation), Pfdhfr(four mutations) and Pfdhps(three mutations) gene. These results indicated that there is an existence of multiple mutant P. falciparum malaria cases in northeastern region of India.

  13. Mosquito Passage Dramatically Changes var Gene Expression in Controlled Human Plasmodium falciparum Infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachmann, Anna; Petter, Michaela; Krumkamp, Ralf; Esen, Meral; Held, Jana; Scholz, Judith A M; Li, Tao; Sim, B Kim Lee; Hoffman, Stephen L; Kremsner, Peter G; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Duffy, Michael F; Tannich, Egbert

    2016-04-01

    Virulence of the most deadly malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is linked to the variant surface antigen PfEMP1, which is encoded by about 60 var genes per parasite genome. Although the expression of particular variants has been associated with different clinical outcomes, little is known about var gene expression at the onset of infection. By analyzing controlled human malaria infections via quantitative real-time PCR, we show that parasite populations from 18 volunteers expressed virtually identical transcript patterns that were dominated by the subtelomeric var gene group B and, to a lesser extent, group A. Furthermore, major changes in composition and frequency of var gene transcripts were detected between the parental parasite culture that was used to infect mosquitoes and Plasmodia recovered from infected volunteers, suggesting that P. falciparum resets its var gene expression during mosquito passage and starts with the broad expression of a specific subset of var genes when entering the human blood phase.

  14. B-cell responses to pregnancy-restricted and -unrestricted Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 antigens in Ghanaian women naturally exposed to malaria parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ampomah, Paulina; Stevenson, Liz; Ofori, Michael F;

    2014-01-01

    Protective immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria acquired after natural exposure is largely antibody mediated. IgG-specific P. falciparum EMP1 (PfEMP1) proteins on the infected erythrocyte surface are particularly important. The transient antibody responses and the slowly acquired protective...... immunity probably reflect the clonal antigenic variation and allelic polymorphism of PfEMP1. However, it is likely that other immune-evasive mechanisms are also involved, such as interference with formation and maintenance of immunological memory. We measured PfEMP1-specific antibody levels by enzyme......-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and memory B-cell frequencies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT) assay in a cohort of P. falciparum-exposed nonpregnant Ghanaian women. The antigens used were a VAR2CSA-type PfEMP1 (IT4VAR04) with expression restricted to parasites infecting the placenta, as well as two...

  15. Genetic loci associated with delayed clearance of Plasmodium falciparum following artemisinin treatment in Southeast Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-02

    Genetic loci associated with delayed clearance of Plasmodium falciparum following artemisinin treatment in Southeast Asia Shannon Takala-Harrisona...resistant Plasmodium falcipa- rum malaria in western Cambodia could threaten prospects for malaria elimination. Identification of the genetic basis of...molecular markers Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are the lead-ing treatment for Plasmodium falciparum malaria (1), and their use with

  16. Molecular Investigation into a Malaria Outbreak in Cusco, Peru: Plasmodium falciparum BV1 Lineage is Linked to a Second Outbreak in Recent Times.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okoth, Sheila Akinyi; Chenet, Stella M; Arrospide, Nancy; Gutierrez, Sonia; Cabezas, Cesar; Matta, Jose Antonio; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2016-01-01

    In November 2013, a Plasmodium falciparum malaria outbreak of 11 cases occurred in Cusco, southern Peru, where falciparum malaria had not been reported since 1946. Although initial microscopic diagnosis reported only Plasmodium vivax infection in each of the specimens, subsequent examination by the national reference laboratory confirmed P. falciparum infection in all samples. Molecular typing of four available isolates revealed identity as the B-variant (BV1) strain that was responsible for a malaria outbreak in Tumbes, northern Peru, between 2010 and 2012. The P. falciparum BV1 strain is multidrug resistant, can escape detection by PfHRP2-based rapid diagnostic tests, and has contributed to two malaria outbreaks in Peru. This investigation highlights the importance of accurate species diagnosis given the potential for P. falciparum to be reintroduced to regions where it may have been absent. Similar molecular epidemiological investigations can track the probable source(s) of outbreak parasite strains for malaria surveillance and control purposes.

  17. Identification of a novel and unique transcription factor in the intraerythrocytic stage of Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kanako Komaki-Yasuda

    Full Text Available The mechanisms of stage-specific gene regulation in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are largely unclear, with only a small number of specific regulatory transcription factors (AP2 family having been identified. In particular, the transcription factors that function in the intraerythrocytic stage remain to be elucidated. Previously, as a model case for stage-specific transcription in the P. falciparum intraerythrocytic stage, we analyzed the transcriptional regulation of pf1-cys-prx, a trophozoite/schizont-specific gene, and suggested that some nuclear factors bind specifically to the cis-element of pf1-cys-prx and enhance transcription. In the present study, we purified nuclear factors from parasite nuclear extract by 5 steps of chromatography, and identified a factor termed PREBP. PREBP is not included in the AP2 family, and is a novel protein with four K-homology (KH domains. The KH domain is known to be found in RNA-binding or single-stranded DNA-binding proteins. PREBP is well conserved in Plasmodium species and partially conserved in phylum Apicomplexa. To evaluate the effects of PREBP overexpression, we used a transient overexpression and luciferase assay combined approach. Overexpression of PREBP markedly enhanced luciferase expression under the control of the pf1-cys-prx cis-element. These results provide the first evidence of a novel transcription factor that activates the gene expression in the malaria parasite intraerythrocytic stage. These findings enhance our understanding of the evolution of specific transcription machinery in Plasmodium and other eukaryotes.

  18. Plasmodium falciparum Histone Acetyltransferase, a Yeast GCN5 Homologue Involved in Chromatin Remodeling

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    QiFan; LijiaAn; LiwangCui

    2005-01-01

    The yeast transcriptional coactivator GCN5 (yGCN5), a histone acetyltransferase (HAT), is part of large multimeric complexes that are required for chromatin remodeling and transcriptional activation. Like other eukaryotes, the malaria parasite DNA is organized into nucleosomes and the genome encodes components of chromatin-remodeling complexes. Here we show that GCN5 is conserved in Plasmodium species and that the most homologous regions are within the HAT domain and the bromodomain. The Plasmodiumfalclparum GCN5 homologue (PfGCN5) is spliced with three introns, encoding a protein of 1,464 residues. Mapping of the ends of the PfGCN5 transcript suggests that the mRNA is 5.2 to 5.4 kb, consistent with the result from Northern analysis. Using free core histones, we determined that recombinant PfGCN5 proteins have conserved HAT activity with a substrate preference for histone H3. Using substrate-specific antibodies, we determined that both Lys-8 and -14 of H3 were acetylated by the recombinant PfGCN5. In eukaryotes, GCN5 homologues interact with yeast ADA2 homologues and form large multiprotein HAT complexes. We have identified an ADA2 homologue in P. falciparum, PfADA2. Yeast two-hybrid and in vitro binding assays verified the interactions between PfGCN5 and PfADA2, suggesting that they may be associated with each other in vivo. The conserved function of the HAT domain in PfGCN5 was further illustrated with yeast complementation experiments, which showed that the PfGCN5 region corresponding to the full-length yGCN5 could partially complement the yGCN5 deletion mutation. Furthermore, a chimera comprising the PfGCN5 HAT domain fused to the remainder of yeast GCN5 (yGCN5) fully rescued the yGCN5 deletion mutant. These data demonstrate that PfGCN5 is an authentic GCN5 family member and may exist in chromatin-remodeling complexes to regulate gene expression in P. falciparum.

  19. On Programmed Cell Death in Plasmodium falciparum: Status Quo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelbrecht, Dewaldt; Durand, Pierre Marcel; Coetzer, Thérèsa Louise

    2012-01-01

    Conflicting arguments and results exist regarding the occurrence and phenotype of programmed cell death (PCD) in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Inconsistencies relate mainly to the number and type of PCD markers assessed and the different methodologies used in the studies. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge and empirical evidence for PCD in the intraerythrocytic stages of P. falciparum. We consider possible reasons for discrepancies in the data and offer suggestions towards more standardised investigation methods in this field. Furthermore, we present genomic evidence for PCD machinery in P. falciparum. We discuss the potential adaptive or nonadaptive role of PCD in the parasite life cycle and its possible exploitation in the development of novel drug targets. Lastly, we pose pertinent unanswered questions concerning the PCD phenomenon in P. falciparum to provide future direction. PMID:22287973

  20. Biochemical characterization of Plasmodium falciparum CTP:phosphoethanolamine cytidylyltransferase shows that only one of the two cytidylyltransferase domains is active.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maheshwari, Sweta; Lavigne, Marina; Contet, Alicia; Alberge, Blandine; Pihan, Emilie; Kocken, Clemens; Wengelnik, Kai; Douguet, Dominique; Vial, Henri; Cerdan, Rachel

    2013-02-15

    The intra-erythrocytic proliferation of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum requires massive synthesis of PE (phosphatidylethanolamine) that together with phosphatidylcholine constitute the bulk of the malaria membrane lipids. PE is mainly synthesized de novo by the CDP:ethanolamine-dependent Kennedy pathway. We previously showed that inhibition of PE biosynthesis led to parasite death. In the present study we characterized PfECT [P. falciparum CTP:phosphoethanolamine CT (cytidylyltransferase)], which we identified as the rate-limiting step of the PE metabolic pathway in the parasite. The cellular localization and expression of PfECT along the parasite life cycle were studied using polyclonal antibodies. Biochemical analyses showed that the enzyme activity follows Michaelis-Menten kinetics. PfECT is composed of two CT domains separated by a linker region. Activity assays on recombinant enzymes upon site-directed mutagenesis revealed that the N-terminal CT domain was the only catalytically active domain of PfECT. Concordantly, three-dimensional homology modelling of PfECT showed critical amino acid differences between the substrate-binding sites of the two CT domains. PfECT was predicted to fold as an intramolecular dimer suggesting that the inactive C-terminal domain is important for dimer stabilization. Given the absence of PE synthesis in red blood cells, PfECT represents a potential antimalarial target opening the way for a rational conception of bioactive compounds.

  1. Interleukin-10 regulates hepcidin in Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    KAUST Repository

    Huang, Honglei

    2014-02-10

    Background: Acute malarial anemia remains a major public health problem. Hepcidin, the major hormone controlling the availability of iron, is raised during acute and asymptomatic parasitemia. Understanding the role and mechanism of raised hepcidin and so reduced iron availability during infection is critical to establish evidence-based guidelines for management of malaria anemia. Our recent clinical evidence suggests a potential role of IL-10 in the regulation of hepcidin in patients with acute P. falciparum malaria. Methods: We have measured secretion of hepcidin by primary macrophages and the hepatoma cell line HepG2 stimulated with IL-10, IL-6 and Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes. Findings: We have observed that IL-10 and IL-6 production increased in primary macrophages when these cells were co-cultured with Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes. We found that IL-10 induced hepcidin secretion in primary macrophages in a dose-dependent manner but not in HepG2 cells. These effects were mediated through signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3-phosphorylation and completely abrogated by a specific STAT3 inhibitor. Conclusion: IL-10 can directly regulate hepcidin in primary macrophages but not in HepG2 cells. This effect can be modulated by Plasmodium falciparum. The results are consistent with a role for IL-10 in modulating iron metabolism during acute phase of infection. 2014 Huang et al.

  2. Evidence for a Golgi-to-endosome protein sorting pathway in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priscilla Krai

    Full Text Available During the asexual intraerythrocytic stage, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum must traffic newly-synthesized proteins to a broad array of destinations within and beyond the parasite's plasma membrane. In this study, we have localized two well-conserved protein components of eukaryotic endosomes, the retromer complex and the small GTPase Rab7, to define a previously-undescribed endosomal compartment in P. falciparum. Retromer and Rab7 co-localized to a small number of punctate structures within parasites. These structures, which we refer to as endosomes, lie in close proximity to the Golgi apparatus and, like the Golgi apparatus, are inherited by daughter merozoites. However, the endosome is clearly distinct from the Golgi apparatus as neither retromer nor Rab7 redistributed to the endoplasmic reticulum upon brefeldin A treatment. Nascent rhoptries (specialized secretory organelles required for invasion developed adjacent to endosomes, an observation that suggests a role for the endosome in rhoptry biogenesis. A P. falciparum homolog of the sortilin family of protein sorting receptors (PfSortilin was localized to the Golgi apparatus. Together, these results elaborate a putative Golgi-to-endosome protein sorting pathway in asexual blood stage parasites and suggest that one role of retromer is to mediate the retrograde transport of PfSortilin from the endosome to the Golgi apparatus.

  3. Targeting protein translation, RNA splicing, and degradation by morpholino-based conjugates in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Aprajita; Wesolowski, Donna; Alonso, Dulce; Deitsch, Kirk W; Ben Mamoun, Choukri; Altman, Sidney

    2015-09-22

    Identification and genetic validation of new targets from available genome sequences are critical steps toward the development of new potent and selective antimalarials. However, no methods are currently available for large-scale functional analysis of the Plasmodium falciparum genome. Here we present evidence for successful use of morpholino oligomers (MO) to mediate degradation of target mRNAs or to inhibit RNA splicing or translation of several genes of P. falciparum involved in chloroquine transport, apicoplast biogenesis, and phospholipid biosynthesis. Consistent with their role in the parasite life cycle, down-regulation of these essential genes resulted in inhibition of parasite development. We show that a MO conjugate that targets the chloroquine-resistant transporter PfCRT is effective against chloroquine-sensitive and -resistant parasites, causes enlarged digestive vacuoles, and renders chloroquine-resistant strains more sensitive to chloroquine. Similarly, we show that a MO conjugate that targets the PfDXR involved in apicoplast biogenesis inhibits parasite growth and that this defect can be rescued by addition of isopentenyl pyrophosphate. MO-based gene regulation is a viable alternative approach to functional analysis of the P. falciparum genome.

  4. Plasmodium Falciparum Versus Plasmodium Vivax: Which Is a Lesser Evil?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rathod Chirag C, Deshpande Shubhangi V, Rana Himanshu M, Godbole Varsha Y, Patel Amul, Patel Vaibhav, Darad Dimple, Panchal Maulik

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: With changing spectrum, different grades of biochemical & haematological changes generally found to be more severe with p. falciparum, now frequently seen with p. vivax. Present study intends to find species specific differences in diseases progression & complications. Methodology: A retrospective study of Malaria-patients admitted at GMERS Medical College & Hospital, Vadodara from january-2011to december-2011 was done. p. falciparum, P. Vivax were diagnosed by demonstrating asexual forms of parasites in peripheral blood smear, haematological & biochemical tests were analyzed. Results: Out of 1093 cases, 781 were slide positive, remaining 312 were treated on clinical-ground .Of 781 cases, 443 (56% p. falciparum, 327 (42% P. Vivax and 11(2% were mixed Infection. Male to female ratio was 1.8:1&0.8:1 in p. falciparum & P. vivax, respectively. Fever, Prodroms, GI symptoms, Liver -dysfunction (51%vs47%, Renal- dysfunction (52%vs48% were equally frequent; whereas Hemolysis, Bleeding tendency, Breathlessness and altered sensorium were more in p. falciparum. Anemia (56%, Thrombocytopenia (60%, Pancytopenia (54%, Hemolysis (65% was more frequent in p. falciparum. Leucopenia (54% was more frequent in p. Vivax. Conclusion: In contrast to earlier studies, which have proven p. falciparum to be more fatal & complicated, it was noted in present study that P. Vivax species was frequent cause of overall slide-positive cases causing complications head to head with p. falciparum. Anemia, Hepato-renal dysfunctions were equally frequent, nonfatal leucopenia more in p. Vivax, while hemolysis and thrombocytopenia was more in p. falciparum. If ignored complications can alter clinical course & be equally fatal in p. vivax malaria. Hence p. vivax can no more be considered as benign infection and can be equally lethal.

  5. Balancing drug resistance and growth rates via compensatory mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Ines; Gabryszewski, Stanislaw J; Johnston, Geoffrey L; Dhingra, Satish K; Ecker, Andrea; Lewis, Rebecca E; de Almeida, Mariana Justino; Straimer, Judith; Henrich, Philipp P; Palatulan, Eugene; Johnson, David J; Coburn-Flynn, Olivia; Sanchez, Cecilia; Lehane, Adele M; Lanzer, Michael; Fidock, David A

    2015-07-01

    The widespread use of chloroquine to treat Plasmodium falciparum infections has resulted in the selection and dissemination of variant haplotypes of the primary resistance determinant PfCRT. These haplotypes have encountered drug pressure and within-host competition with wild-type drug-sensitive parasites. To examine these selective forces in vitro, we genetically engineered P. falciparum to express geographically diverse PfCRT haplotypes. Variant alleles from the Philippines (PH1 and PH2, which differ solely by the C72S mutation) both conferred a moderate gain of chloroquine resistance and a reduction in growth rates in vitro. Of the two, PH2 showed higher IC50 values, contrasting with reduced growth. Furthermore, a highly mutated pfcrt allele from Cambodia (Cam734) conferred moderate chloroquine resistance and enhanced growth rates, when tested against wild-type pfcrt in co-culture competition assays. These three alleles mediated cross-resistance to amodiaquine, an antimalarial drug widely used in Africa. Each allele, along with the globally prevalent Dd2 and 7G8 alleles, rendered parasites more susceptible to lumefantrine, the partner drug used in the leading first-line artemisinin-based combination therapy. These data reveal ongoing region-specific evolution of PfCRT that impacts drug susceptibility and relative fitness in settings of mixed infections, and raise important considerations about optimal agents to treat chloroquine-resistant malaria.

  6. Polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter and multidrug resistance 1 genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Venkatesan, Meera; Gadalla, Nahla B; Stepniewska, Kasia

    2014-01-01

    Adequate clinical and parasitologic cure by artemisinin combination therapies relies on the artemisinin component and the partner drug. Polymorphisms in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) and P. falciparum multidrug resistance 1 (pfmdr1) genes are associated...

  7. Plasmodium falciparum Protein Microarray Antibody Profiles Correlate With Protection From Symptomatic Malaria in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dent, Arlene E; Nakajima, Rie; Liang, Li; Baum, Elisabeth; Moormann, Ann M; Sumba, Peter Odada; Vulule, John; Babineau, Denise; Randall, Arlo; Davies, D Huw; Felgner, Philip L; Kazura, James W

    2015-11-01

    Immunoglobulin G antibodies (Abs) to Plasmodium falciparum antigens have been associated with naturally acquired immunity to symptomatic malaria. We probed protein microarrays covering 824 unique P. falciparum protein features with plasma from residents of a community in Kenya monitored for 12 weeks for (re)infection and symptomatic malaria after administration of antimalarial drugs. P. falciparum proteins recognized by Abs from 88 children (aged 1-14 years) and 86 adults (aged ≥ 18 years), measured at the beginning of the observation period, were ranked by Ab signal intensity. Abs from immune adults reacted with a total 163 of 824 P. falciparum proteins. Children gradually acquired Abs to the full repertoire of antigens recognized by adults. Abs to some antigens showed high seroconversion rates, reaching maximal levels early in childhood, whereas others did not reach adult levels until adolescence. No correlation between Ab signal intensity and time to (re)infection was observed. In contrast, Ab levels to 106 antigens were significantly higher in children who were protected from symptomatic malaria compared with those who were not. Abs to antigens predictive of protection included P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1, merozoite surface protein (MSP) 10, MSP2, liver-stage antigen 3, PF70, MSP7, and Plasmodium helical interspersed subtelomeric domain protein. Protein microarrays may be useful in the search for malaria antigens associated with protective immunity. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Opposing Roles for Two Molecular Forms of Replication Protein A in Rad51-Rad54-Mediated DNA Recombination in Plasmodium falciparum

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT The bacterial RecA protein and its eukaryotic homologue Rad51 play a central role in the homologous DNA strand exchange reaction during recombination and DNA repair. Previously, our lab has shown that PfRad51, the Plasmodium falciparum homologue of Rad51, exhibited ATPase activity and promoted DNA strand exchange in vitro. In this study, we evaluated the catalytic functions of PfRad51 in the presence of putative interacting partners, especially P. falciparum homologues of Rad54 and r...

  9. Loss of cellular immune reactivity during acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hviid, L; Theander, T G; Abu-Zeid, Y A;

    1991-01-01

    Sixteen patients suffering from acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria were studied. All were residents of an area of unstable malaria-transmission in Eastern Sudan. Blood-samples were drawn at diagnosis, and 7 and 30 days later. Blood-samples from thirteen donors, drawn outside the malaria...... convalescence. Five donors examined by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) showed no increase in surface expression of IL-2 receptor on peripheral lymphocytes. The data indicate that acute P. falciparum malaria causes a depletion of antigen-reactive T-cells from the peripheral circulation, probably due...

  10. Loss of cellular immune reactivity during acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hviid, L; Theander, T G; Abu-Zeid, Y A

    1991-01-01

    Sixteen patients suffering from acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria were studied. All were residents of an area of unstable malaria-transmission in Eastern Sudan. Blood-samples were drawn at diagnosis, and 7 and 30 days later. Blood-samples from thirteen donors, drawn outside the malaria...... convalescence. Five donors examined by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) showed no increase in surface expression of IL-2 receptor on peripheral lymphocytes. The data indicate that acute P. falciparum malaria causes a depletion of antigen-reactive T-cells from the peripheral circulation, probably due...

  11. Naturally acquired immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hviid, Lars

    2005-01-01

    protective immunity to P. falciparum malaria is acquired following natural exposure to the parasites is beginning to emerge, not least thanks to studies that have combined clinical and epidemiological data with basic immunological research. This framework involves IgG with specificity for clonally variant......Infection by Plasmodium falciparum parasites can lead to substantial protective immunity to malaria, and available evidence suggest that acquisition of protection against some severe malaria syndromes can be fairly rapid. Although these facts have raised hopes that the development of effective...

  12. Autophagy-related Atg8 localizes to the apicoplast of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kei Kitamura

    Full Text Available Autophagy is a membrane-mediated degradation process, which is governed by sequential functions of Atg proteins. Although Atg proteins are highly conserved in eukaryotes, protozoa possess only a partial set of Atg proteins. Nonetheless, almost all protozoa have the complete factors belonging to the Atg8 conjugation system, namely, Atg3, Atg4, Atg7, and Atg8. Here, we report the biochemical properties and subcellular localization of the Atg8 protein of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfAtg8. PfAtg8 is expressed during intra-erythrocytic development and associates with membranes likely as a lipid-conjugated form. Fluorescence microscopy and immunoelectron microscopy show that PfAtg8 localizes to the apicoplast, a four membrane-bound non-photosynthetic plastid. Autophagosome-like structures are not observed in the erythrocytic stages. These data suggest that, although Plasmodium parasites have lost most Atg proteins during evolution, they use the Atg8 conjugation system for the unique organelle, the apicoplast.

  13. The Plasmodium falciparum Cell-Traversal Protein for Ookinetes and Sporozoites as a Candidate for Preerythrocytic and Transmission-Blocking Vaccines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa, Diego A.; Vega-Rodriguez, Joel; Flores-Garcia, Yevel; Noe, Amy R.; Muñoz, Christian; Coleman, Russell; Bruck, Torben; Haney, Keith; Stevens, Alex; Retallack, Diane; Allen, Jeff; Vedvick, Thomas S.; Fox, Christopher B.; Reed, Steven G.; Howard, Randall F.; Salman, Ahmed M.; Janse, Chris J.; Khan, Shahid M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Recent studies have shown that immune responses against the cell-traversal protein for Plasmodium ookinetes and sporozoites (CelTOS) can inhibit parasite infection. While these studies provide important evidence toward the development of vaccines targeting this protein, it remains unknown whether these responses could engage the Plasmodium falciparum CelTOS in vivo. Using a newly developed rodent malaria chimeric parasite expressing the P. falciparum CelTOS (PfCelTOS), we evaluated the protective effect of in vivo immune responses elicited by vaccination and assessed the neutralizing capacity of monoclonal antibodies specific against PfCelTOS. Mice immunized with recombinant P. falciparum CelTOS in combination with the glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant-stable emulsion (GLA-SE) or glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant-liposome-QS21 (GLA-LSQ) adjuvant system significantly inhibited sporozoite hepatocyte infection. Notably, monoclonal antibodies against PfCelTOS strongly inhibited oocyst development of P. falciparum and Plasmodium berghei expressing PfCelTOS in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes. Taken together, our results demonstrate that anti-CelTOS responses elicited by vaccination or passive immunization can inhibit sporozoite and ookinete infection and impair vector transmission. PMID:27895131

  14. Trafficking of STEVOR to the Maurer's clefts in Plasmodium falciparum -infected erythrocytes

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Przyborski, Jude M; Miller, Susanne K; Rohrbach, Petra; Pfahler, Judith M; Crabb, Brendan S; Henrich, Philipp P; Lanzer, Michael

    2005-01-01

    The human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum exports proteins to destinations within its host erythrocyte, including cytosol, surface and membranous profiles of parasite origin termed Maurer's clefts...

  15. Plasmodium falciparum Field Isolates from South America Use an Atypical Red Blood Cell Invasion Pathway Associated with Invasion Ligand Polymorphisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Perez, Mary; Villasis, Elizabeth; Machado, Ricardo L. D.; Póvoa, Marinete M.; Vinetz, Joseph M.; Blair, Silvia; Gamboa, Dionicia; Lustigman, Sara

    2012-01-01

    Studies of Plasmodium falciparum invasion pathways in field isolates have been limited. Red blood cell (RBC) invasion is a complex process involving two invasion protein families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL) and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh) proteins, which are polymorphic and not fully characterized in field isolates. To determine the various P. falciparum invasion pathways used by parasite isolates from South America, we studied the invasion phenotypes in three regions: Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Additionally, polymorphisms in three members of the EBL (EBA-181, EBA-175 and EBL-1) and five members of the PfRh (PfRh1, PfRh2a, PfRh2b, PfRh4, PfRh5) families were determined. We found that most P. falciparum field isolates from Colombia and Peru invade RBCs through an atypical invasion pathway phenotypically characterized as resistant to all enzyme treatments (NrTrCr). Moreover, the invasion pathways and the ligand polymorphisms differed substantially among the Colombian and Brazilian isolates while the Peruvian isolates represent an amalgam of those present in the Colombian and Brazilian field isolates. The NrTrCr invasion profile was associated with the presence of the PfRh2a pepC variant, the PfRh5 variant 1 and EBA-181 RVNKN variant. The ebl and Pfrh expression levels in a field isolate displaying the NrTrCr profile also pointed to PfRh2a, PfRh5 and EBA-181 as being possibly the major players in this invasion pathway. Notably, our studies demonstrate the uniqueness of the Peruvian P. falciparum field isolates in terms of their invasion profiles and ligand polymorphisms, and present a unique opportunity for studying the ability of P. falciparum parasites to expand their invasion repertoire after being reintroduced to human populations. The present study is directly relevant to asexual blood stage vaccine design focused on invasion pathway proteins, suggesting that regional invasion variants and global geographical variation are likely to preclude a simple

  16. Plasmodium falciparum field isolates from South America use an atypical red blood cell invasion pathway associated with invasion ligand polymorphisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Lopez-Perez

    Full Text Available Studies of Plasmodium falciparum invasion pathways in field isolates have been limited. Red blood cell (RBC invasion is a complex process involving two invasion protein families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh proteins, which are polymorphic and not fully characterized in field isolates. To determine the various P. falciparum invasion pathways used by parasite isolates from South America, we studied the invasion phenotypes in three regions: Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Additionally, polymorphisms in three members of the EBL (EBA-181, EBA-175 and EBL-1 and five members of the PfRh (PfRh1, PfRh2a, PfRh2b, PfRh4, PfRh5 families were determined. We found that most P. falciparum field isolates from Colombia and Peru invade RBCs through an atypical invasion pathway phenotypically characterized as resistant to all enzyme treatments (NrTrCr. Moreover, the invasion pathways and the ligand polymorphisms differed substantially among the Colombian and Brazilian isolates while the Peruvian isolates represent an amalgam of those present in the Colombian and Brazilian field isolates. The NrTrCr invasion profile was associated with the presence of the PfRh2a pepC variant, the PfRh5 variant 1 and EBA-181 RVNKN variant. The ebl and Pfrh expression levels in a field isolate displaying the NrTrCr profile also pointed to PfRh2a, PfRh5 and EBA-181 as being possibly the major players in this invasion pathway. Notably, our studies demonstrate the uniqueness of the Peruvian P. falciparum field isolates in terms of their invasion profiles and ligand polymorphisms, and present a unique opportunity for studying the ability of P. falciparum parasites to expand their invasion repertoire after being reintroduced to human populations. The present study is directly relevant to asexual blood stage vaccine design focused on invasion pathway proteins, suggesting that regional invasion variants and global geographical variation are likely to

  17. The structure of Plasmodium falciparum serine hydroxymethyltransferase reveals a novel redox switch that regulates its activities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chitnumsub, Penchit, E-mail: penchit@biotec.or.th; Ittarat, Wanwipa; Jaruwat, Aritsara; Noytanom, Krittikar [National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, 113 Thailand Science Park, Paholyothin Road, Klong 1, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120 (Thailand); Amornwatcharapong, Watcharee [Mahidol University, Bangkok (Thailand); Pornthanakasem, Wichai [National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, 113 Thailand Science Park, Paholyothin Road, Klong 1, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120 (Thailand); Chaiyen, Pimchai [Mahidol University, Bangkok (Thailand); Yuthavong, Yongyuth; Leartsakulpanich, Ubolsree, E-mail: penchit@biotec.or.th [National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, 113 Thailand Science Park, Paholyothin Road, Klong 1, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120 (Thailand)

    2014-06-01

    The crystal structure of P. falciparum SHMT revealed snapshots of an intriguing disulfide/sulfhydryl switch controlling the functional activity. Plasmodium falciparum serine hydroxymethyltransferase (PfSHMT), an enzyme in the dTMP synthesis cycle, is an antimalarial target because inhibition of its expression or function has been shown to be lethal to the parasite. As the wild-type enzyme could not be crystallized, protein engineering of residues on the surface was carried out. The surface-engineered mutant PfSHMT-F292E was successfully crystallized and its structure was determined at 3 Å resolution. The PfSHMT-F292E structure is a good representation of PfSHMT as this variant revealed biochemical properties similar to those of the wild type. Although the overall structure of PfSHMT is similar to those of other SHMTs, unique features including the presence of two loops and a distinctive cysteine pair formed by Cys125 and Cys364 in the tetrahydrofolate (THF) substrate binding pocket were identified. These structural characteristics have never been reported in other SHMTs. Biochemical characterization and mutation analysis of these two residues confirm that they act as a disulfide/sulfhydryl switch to regulate the THF-dependent catalytic function of the enzyme. This redox switch is not present in the human enzyme, in which the cysteine pair is absent. The data reported here can be further exploited as a new strategy to specifically disrupt the activity of the parasite enzyme without interfering with the function of the human enzyme.

  18. [Plasmodium falciparum malaria: epidemiology and clinical features at Tarapoto Hospital].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderon, J; Rodriguez, J; Romero, D

    1997-01-01

    A retrospective study was conducted of the clinical records of 41 patients discharged from a hospital in Tarapoto, Peru, between August 1992 and June 1996 following treatment for Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Patients ranged in age from 18 to 65 years; 25 were male. The cases were uniformly distributed throughout the year. The duration of illness averaged 11 days. At admission, 40 patients had fever, 36 had shaking chills, 29 had headache, 21 had nausea and vomiting, 21 had hyporexia, 15 had pallor, and 13 had splenomegaly. 3 of the 16 women were pregnant. 7 patients reported a history of malaria. The admission diagnosis was malaria in 33 cases. 31 patients were treated with chloroquine; 18 were subsequently treated with pyrimethamine-sulfadoxin and 1 received doxycycline. No cases of grave illness or death occurred. The increasing presence of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in the Peruvian lowlands should promote review of the adequacy of control programs.

  19. RIFINs are adhesins implicated in severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goel, Suchi; Palmkvist, Mia; Moll, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    Rosetting is a virulent Plasmodium falciparum phenomenon associated with severe malaria. Here we demonstrate that P. falciparum–encoded repetitive interspersed families of polypeptides (RIFINs) are expressed on the surface of infected red blood cells (iRBCs), where they bind to RBCs—preferentiall......Rosetting is a virulent Plasmodium falciparum phenomenon associated with severe malaria. Here we demonstrate that P. falciparum–encoded repetitive interspersed families of polypeptides (RIFINs) are expressed on the surface of infected red blood cells (iRBCs), where they bind to RBCs......—preferentially of blood group A—to form large rosettes and mediate microvascular binding of iRBCs. We suggest that RIFINs have a fundamental role in the development of severe malaria and thereby contribute to the varying global distribution of ABO blood groups in the human population....

  20. Peptide Inhibition of Topoisomerase IB from Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amit Roy

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Control of diseases inflicted by protozoan parasites such as Leishmania, Trypanosoma, and Plasmodium, which pose a serious threat to human health worldwide, depends on a rather small number of antiparasite drugs, of which many are toxic and/or inefficient. Moreover, the increasing occurrence of drug-resistant parasites emphasizes the need for new and effective antiprotozoan drugs. In the current study, we describe a synthetic peptide, WRWYCRCK, with inhibitory effect on the essential enzyme topoisomerase I from the malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The peptide inhibits specifically the transition from noncovalent to covalent DNA binding of P. falciparum topoisomerase I, while it does not affect the ligation step of catalysis. A mechanistic explanation for this inhibition is provided by molecular docking analyses. Taken together the presented results suggest that synthetic peptides may represent a new class of potential antiprotozoan drugs.

  1. Longevity and composition of cellular immune responses following experimental Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne C Teirlinck

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Cellular responses to Plasmodium falciparum parasites, in particular interferon-gamma (IFNγ production, play an important role in anti-malarial immunity. However, clinical immunity to malaria develops slowly amongst naturally exposed populations, the dynamics of cellular responses in relation to exposure are difficult to study and data about the persistence of such responses are controversial. Here we assess the longevity and composition of cellular immune responses following experimental malaria infection in human volunteers. We conducted a longitudinal study of cellular immunological responses to sporozoites (PfSpz and asexual blood-stage (PfRBC malaria parasites in naïve human volunteers undergoing single (n = 5 or multiple (n = 10 experimental P. falciparum infections under highly controlled conditions. IFNγ and interleukin-2 (IL-2 responses following in vitro re-stimulation were measured by flow-cytometry prior to, during and more than one year post infection. We show that cellular responses to both PfSpz and PfRBC are induced and remain almost undiminished up to 14 months after even a single malaria episode. Remarkably, not only 'adaptive' but also 'innate' lymphocyte subsets contribute to the increased IFNγ response, including αβT cells, γδT cells and NK cells. Furthermore, results from depletion and autologous recombination experiments of lymphocyte subsets suggest that immunological memory for PfRBC is carried within both the αβT cells and γδT compartments. Indeed, the majority of cytokine producing T lymphocytes express an CD45RO(+ CD62L(- effector memory (EM phenotype both early and late post infection. Finally, we demonstrate that malaria infection induces and maintains polyfunctional (IFNγ(+IL-2(+ EM responses against both PfRBC and PfSpz, previously found to be associated with protection. These data demonstrate that cellular responses can be readily induced and are long-lived following infection with P

  2. Surface antigens and virulence in Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    OpenAIRE

    Normark, Johan

    2008-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is an intracellular protozoan that may cause severe forms of malaria. It is a major world health hazard and reaps the highest toll among the children and pregnant mothers of the developing world. An Anopheles mosquito vector injects the pathogen when taking a blood meal. After multiplication in cells of the liver, the parasite escapes and infects red blood cells in a cyclic manner and this is when the clinical manifestations of malaria as a disease beco...

  3. Cryo scanning electron microscopy of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hempel, Casper

    2017-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum invades erythrocytes as an essential part of their life cycle. While living inside erythrocytes, the parasite remodels the cell's intracellular organization as well as its outer surface. Late trophozoite-stage parasites and schizonts introduce numerous small protrusions on t...... microscopy under cryogenic conditions allowing for high resolution and magnification of erythrocytes. This novel technique can be used for precise estimates of knob density and for studies on cytoadhesion....

  4. Genes for Glycosylphosphatidylinositol Toxin Biosynthesis in Plasmodium falciparum

    OpenAIRE

    Delorenzi, Mauro; Sexton, Adrienne; Shams-Eldin, Hosam; Schwarz, Ralph T.; Speed, Terry; Schofield, Louis

    2002-01-01

    About 2.5 million people die of Plasmodium falciparum malaria every year. Fatalities are associated with systemic and organ-specific inflammation initiated by a parasite toxin. Recent studies show that glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) functions as the dominant parasite toxin in the context of infection. GPIs also serve as membrane anchors for several of the most important surface antigens of parasite invasive stages. GPI anchoring is a complex posttranslational modification produced through...

  5. Structure of Plasmodium falciparum ADP-ribosylation factor 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cook, William J.; Smith, Craig D.; Senkovich, Olga; Holder, Anthony A.; Chattopadhyay, Debasish (UAB); (NIMR)

    2011-09-26

    Vesicular trafficking may play a crucial role in the pathogenesis and survival of the malaria parasite. ADP-ribosylation factors (ARFs) are among the major components of vesicular trafficking pathways in eukaryotes. The crystal structure of ARF1 GTPase from Plasmodium falciparum has been determined in the GDP-bound conformation at 2.5 {angstrom} resolution and is compared with the structures of mammalian ARF1s.

  6. CRISPR-mediated genome editing of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Marcus Cs; Fidock, David A

    2014-01-01

    The development of the CRISPR-Cas system is revolutionizing genome editing in a variety of organisms. The system has now been used to manipulate the genome of Plasmodium falciparum, the most lethal malaria-causing species. The ability to generate gene deletions or nucleotide substitutions rapidly and economically promises to accelerate the analysis of novel drug targets and to help elucidate the function of specific genes or gene families, while complementing genome-wide association studies.

  7. CRISPR-mediated genome editing of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Marcus CS; David A Fidock

    2014-01-01

    The development of the CRISPR-Cas system is revolutionizing genome editing in a variety of organisms. The system has now been used to manipulate the genome of Plasmodium falciparum, the most lethal malaria-causing species. The ability to generate gene deletions or nucleotide substitutions rapidly and economically promises to accelerate the analysis of novel drug targets and to help elucidate the function of specific genes or gene families, while complementing genome-wide association studies.

  8. Artesunate plus pyronaridine for treating uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    OpenAIRE

    Bukirwa, Hasifa; Unnikrishnan, B; Kramer, Christine V; Sinclair, David; Nair, Suma; Tharyan, Prathap

    2014-01-01

    Background The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that people with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria are treated using Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT). ACT combines three-days of a short-acting artemisinin derivative with a longer-acting antimalarial which has a different mode of action. Pyronaridine has been reported as an effective antimalarial over two decades of use in parts of Asia, and is currently being evaluated as a partner drug for artesunate. Objective...

  9. Aislamiento y mantenimiento in vitro de Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blanca Pardave L

    1997-07-01

    Full Text Available Se aislaron 08 cepas de Plasmodium falciparum a partir de 10 pacientes. Luego fueron adaptadas y mantenidas en cultivo in vitro durante 60 días en eritrocitos humanos grupo O, en medio RPMI 1640 enriquecido con plasma humano grupo O, bajo una atmósfera de 5% de CO2, 5% de O2 y 90% de Nitrógeno y luego preservados a -70ºC.

  10. Signaling transcript profile of the asexual intraerythrocytic development cycle of Plasmodium falciparum induced by melatonin and cAMP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozanski, Andrei; Parreira, Kleber S.; Moraes, Miriam S.; Martins, David C.; Hashimoto, Ronaldo F.; Galante, Pedro A.F.; Garcia, Célia R.S.

    2016-01-01

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Plasmodium falciparum is the deadliest parasite among all species. This parasite possesses the ability to sense molecules, including melatonin (MEL) and cAMP, and modulate its cell cycle accordingly. MEL synchronizes the development of this malaria parasite by activating several cascades, including the generation of the second messenger cAMP. Therefore, we performed RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis in P. falciparum erythrocytic stages (ring, trophozoite and schizont) treated with MEL and cAMP. To investigate the expression profile of P. falciparum genes regulated by MEL and cAMP, we performed RNA-Seq analysis in three P. falciparum strains (control, 3D7; protein kinase 7 knockout, PfPK7-; and PfPK7 complement, PfPK7C). In the 3D7 strain, 38 genes were differentially expressed upon MEL treatment; however, none of the genes in the trophozoite (T) stage PfPK7- knockout parasites were differentially expressed upon MEL treatment for 5 hours compared to untreated controls, suggesting that PfPK7 may be involved in the signaling leading to differential gene expression. Moreover, we found that MEL modified the mRNA expression of genes encoding membrane proteins, zinc ion-binding proteins and nucleic acid-binding proteins, which might influence numerous functions in the parasite. The RNA-Seq data following treatment with cAMP show that this molecule modulates different genes throughout the intraerythrocytic cycle, namely, 75, 101 and 141 genes, respectively, in the ring (R), T and schizont (S) stages. Our results highlight P. falciparum's perception of the external milieu through the signaling molecules MEL and cAMP, which are able to drive to changes in gene expression in the parasite. PMID:28050233

  11. Protective antibody and CD8+ T-cell responses to the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein induced by a nanoparticle vaccine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen A Kaba

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The worldwide burden of malaria remains a major public health problem due, in part, to the lack of an effective vaccine against the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. An effective vaccine will most likely require the induction of antigen specific CD8(+ and CD4(+ T-cells as well as long-lasting antibody responses all working in concert to eliminate the infection. We report here the effective modification of a self-assembling protein nanoparticle (SAPN vaccine previously proven effective in control of a P. berghei infection in a rodent model to now present B- and T-cell epitopes of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum in a platform capable of being used in human subjects. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To establish the basis for a SAPN-based vaccine, B- and CD8(+ T-cell epitopes from the P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP and the universal CD4 T-helper epitope PADRE were engineered into a versatile small protein (∼125 amino acids that self-assembles into a spherical nanoparticle repetitively displaying the selected epitopes. P. falciparum epitope specific immune responses were evaluated in mice using a transgenic P. berghei malaria parasite of mice expressing the human malaria full-length P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein (Tg-Pb/PfCSP. We show that SAPN constructs, delivered in saline, can induce high-titer, long-lasting (1 year protective antibody and poly-functional (IFNγ(+, IL-2(+ long-lived central memory CD8(+ T-cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that these Ab or CD8(+ T-cells can independently provide sterile protection against a lethal challenge of the transgenic parasites. CONCLUSION: The SAPN construct induces long-lasting antibody and cellular immune responses to epitope specific sequences of the P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP and prevents infection in mice by a transgenic P. berghei parasite displaying the full length PfCSP.

  12. Complement activation in Ghanaian children with severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helegbe, Gideon K; Goka, Bamenla Q; Kurtzhals, Jørgen

    2007-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Severe anaemia (SA), intravascular haemolysis (IVH) and respiratory distress (RD) are severe forms of Plasmodium falciparum malaria, with RD reported to be of prognostic importance in African children with malarial anaemia. Complement factors have been implicated in the mechanism......55)] in children with discrete clinical forms of P. falciparum malaria. The relationship between the findings and clinical parameters including coma, haemoglobin (Hb) levels and RD were investigated. RESULTS: Of the 484 samples tested, 131(27%) were positive in DCT, out of which 115/131 (87.8%) were...... falciparum malaria, possibly through induction of erythrophagocytosis and haemolysis. In contrast to other studies, this study did not find association between levels of the complement...

  13. Plasmodium falciparum: growth response to potassium channel blocking compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waller, Karena L; Kim, Kami; McDonald, Thomas V

    2008-11-01

    Potassium channels are essential for cell survival and regulate the cell membrane potential and electrochemical gradient. During its lifecycle, Plasmodium falciparum parasites must rapidly adapt to dramatically variant ionic conditions within the mosquito mid-gut, the hepatocyte and red blood cell (RBC) cytosols, and the human circulatory system. To probe the participation of K(+) channels in parasite viability, growth response assays were performed in which asexual stage P. falciparum parasites were cultured in the presence of various Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel blocking compounds. These data describe the novel anti-malarial effects of bicuculline methiodide and tubocurarine chloride and the novel lack of effect of apamine and verruculogen. Taken together, the data herein imply the presence of K(+) channels, or other parasite-specific targets, in P. falciparum-infected RBCs that are sensitive to blockade with Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel blocking compounds.

  14. [Research Progress on Artemisinin Resistance in Plasmodium falciparum].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yi-long; Pan, Wei-qing

    2015-12-01

    Artemisinin (ART) is a novel and effective antimalarial drug discovered in China. As recommended by the World Health Organization, the ART-based combination therapies (ACTs) have become the first-line drugs for the treatment of falciparum malaria. ART and its derivatives have contributed greatly to the effective control of malaria globally, leading to yearly decrease of malaria morbidity and mortality. However, there have recently been several reports on the resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to ART in Southeast Asia. This is deemed a serious threat to the global malaria control programs. In this paper, we reviewed recent research progress on ART resistance to P. falciparum, including new tools for resistance measurement, resistance-associated molecular markers, and the origin and spread of the ART-resistant parasite strains.

  15. Characterization of sequence diversity in Plasmodium falciparum SERA5 from Indian isolates

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    Rahul C.N

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To characterize the sequence diversity of blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum serine repeat antigen-5 (PfSERA5 which is lacking in a malaria-endemic country like India. Methods: In this study, parasitic DNA was obtained from field isolates collected from various geographic regions. Subsequently, PfSERA5 gene sequence was PCR amplified and DNA sequenced. Results: We reported the existence of unique repeat polymorphisms and novel haplotypes for both the octamer repeat (OR and serine repeat (SR regions of the N-terminal fragment of PfSERA5 from Indian isolates. Several isolates from India were identical to low-frequency African haplotypes. Unique finding of our study was an Indian isolate showing deletion in a perfectly conserved 14 mer sequence within octamer repeat. Indian haplotypes reported in this study were found to be distributed into the three earlier classified allelic clusters of FCR3, K1 and Honduras showcasing broad diversity as compared to worldwide haplotypes. Conclusions: This study is the first report on genetic diversity of PfSERA5 antigen from India. Further evaluation of these haplotypes by serotyping would provide useful information for investigating variant-specific immunity and aid in malaria vaccine research.

  16. Malária por Plasmodium falciparum: estudos proteômicos Plasmodium falciparum malaria: proteomic studies

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    Rodrigo Siqueira-Batista

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available A despeito dos avanços no tratamento e das campanhas de prevenção e de controle da malária nos distintos continentes nos quais a moléstia grassa, a entidade mórbida permanece com significativa relevância no mundo contemporâneo. O Plasmodium falciparum é o grande responsável pela malária grave, caracterizada por distúrbios em diferentes órgãos e sistemas, com possibilidade de evolução ao óbito. Embora incipientes, os estudos proteômicos na malária têm trazido boas perspectivas para melhor compreensão dos aspectos biológicos do Plasmodium, assim como dos mecanismos fisiopatológicos, diagnósticos, terapêuticos e profiláticos da enfermidade. Desse modo, o objetivo do presente artigo é apresentar uma breve revisão das aplicações da análise proteômica na malária por P. falciparum.Despite advances in treatment and campaigns for prevention and control of malaria on the various continents where it is still rampant, this disease remains significantly relevant to the contemporary world. Plasmodium falciparum is the organism that is mainly responsible for severe malaria, which is characterized by disturbances in different organs and systems, with possibly fatal outcomes. Although incipient, proteomic studies of malaria have yielded favorable prospects for elucidating the biological aspects of Plasmodium as well as the pathophysiological, diagnostic, prophylactic, and therapeutic mechanisms of the disease. Thus, the aim of the present article is to present a brief review of the applications of proteomic analysis in P. falciparum malaria.

  17. Immune selection and within-host competition can structure the repertoire of variant surface antigens in Plasmodium falciparum -a mathematical model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Noort, Sander P; Nunes, Marta C; Weedall, Gareth D

    2010-01-01

    -studied VSA family is erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1). Each parasite genome encodes about 60 PfEMP1 variants, which are important virulence factors and major targets of host antibody responses. Transcriptional switching is the basis of clonal PfEMP1 variation and immune evasion. A relatively conserved......BACKGROUND: The evolutionary mechanisms structuring the expression pattern of variant surface antigen (VSA) families that allow pathogens to evade immune responses and establish chronic and repeated infections pose major challenges to theoretical research. In Plasmodium falciparum, the best...

  18. Comparative sequence analysis of domain I of Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1 from Saudi Arabia and worldwide isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Qahtani, Ahmed A; Abdel-Muhsin, Abdel-Muhsin A; Bin Dajem, Saad M; AlSheikh, Adel Ali H; Bohol, Marie Fe F; Al-Ahdal, Mohammed N; Putaporntip, Chaturong; Jongwutiwes, Somchai

    2016-04-01

    The apical membrane antigen 1 of Plasmodium falciparum (PfAMA1) plays a crucial role in erythrocyte invasion and is a target of protective antibodies. Although domain I of PfAMA1 has been considered a promising vaccine component, extensive sequence diversity in this domain could compromise an effective vaccine design. To explore the extent of sequence diversity in domain I of PfAMA1, P. falciparum-infected blood samples from Saudi Arabia collected between 2007 and 2009 were analyzed and compared with those from worldwide parasite populations. Forty-six haplotypes and a novel codon change (M190V) were found among Saudi Arabian isolates. The haplotype diversity (0.948±0.004) and nucleotide diversity (0.0191±0.0008) were comparable to those from African hyperendemic countries. Positive selection in domain I of PfAMA1 among Saudi Arabian parasite population was observed because nonsynonymous nucleotide substitutions per nonsynonymous site (dN) significantly exceeded synonymous nucleotide substitutions per synonymous site (dS) and Tajima's D and its related statistics significantly deviated from neutrality in the positive direction. Despite a relatively low prevalence of malaria in Saudi Arabia, a minimum of 17 recombination events occurred in domain I. Genetic differentiation was significant between P. falciparum in Saudi Arabia and parasites from other geographic origins. Several shared or closely related haplotypes were found among parasites from different geographic areas, suggesting that vaccine derived from multiple shared epitopes could be effective across endemic countries.

  19. Association of ABO blood group and Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Dore Bafeno Area, Southern Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerihun, Tewodros; Degarege, Abraham; Erko, Berhanu

    2011-08-01

    To assess the distribution of ABO blood group and their relationship with Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) malaria among febrile outpatients who sought medical attention at Dore Bafeno Health Center, Southern Ethiopia. A total of 269 febrile outpatients who visited Dore Bafeno Health Center, Southern Ethiopia, were examined for malaria and also tested for ABO blood groups in January 2010. The blood specimens were collected by finger pricking, stained with Geimsa, and examined microscopically. Positive cases of the parasitemia were counted. CareStart™ Malaria Pf/Pv Combo was also used to test the blood specimens for malaria. ABO blood groups were determined by agglutination test using ERYCLONE(®) antisera. Data on socio-demographic characteristics and treatment status of the participants were also collected. Chi-square and ANOVA tests were used to assess the difference between frequencies and means, respectively. Out of a total of 269 participants, 178 (66.2%) febrile patients were found to be infected with Plasmodium parasites, among which 146 (54.3%), 28 (10.4%), and 4 (1.5%) belonged to P. falciparum, P. vivax, and mixed infections, respectively. All febrile patients were also tested for ABO blood groups and 51.3%, 23.5%, 21.9% and 3.3% were found to be blood types of O, A, B and AB, respectively. Both total malaria infection and P. falciparum infection showed significant association with blood types (Pfalciparum malaria parasitaemia for blood groups A, B, AB, and O were 3 744/µL, 1 805/µL, 5 331/µL, and 1 515/µL, respectively (Pfalciparum malaria.

  20. Cell-mediated immune responses to Plasmodium falciparum purified soluble antigens in sickle-cell trait subjects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bayoumi, R A; Abu-Zeid, Y A; Abdulhadi, N H

    1990-01-01

    To determine the possible differences in the immune response to Plasmodium falciparum between sickle-cell trait (Hb AS) and normal haemoglobin (Hb AA) individuals, we examined 35 Hb AS and 24 Hb AA subjects matched for age and microenvironment. Their age was 2-55 years and all lived in a malaria...... individuals (P less than 0.025). Responses of BMNCs to PPD and PHA were also higher among Hb AS individuals and correlated positively with responses to SPAg. These findings support the hypotheses that the sickle-cell trait protects individuals from P. falciparum infections, at least in part, by modulating...... endemic area 300 km south of Khartoum. Antibodies to ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen (Pf155/RESA) and to circumsporozoite (CS) protein (anti-NANP40) indicated equal exposure to falciparum malaria. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (BMNCs) from 20/35 (57%) Hb AS subjects compared with 10/24 (42...

  1. Distribution of two species of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, on Lombok Island, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagao, Yoshiro; Dachlan, Yoes Prijatna; Soedarto; Hidajati, Sri; Yotopranoto, Subagyo; Kusmartisnawati; Subekti, Sri; Ideham, Bariah; Tsuda, Yoshio; Kawabata, Masato; Takagi, Masahiro; Looareesuwan, Somchai

    2003-09-01

    Medical and entomological surveys were conducted to determine the risk factors of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax infections on Lombok Island, Indonesia, to find the risk factors and the main mosquito vectors for each malaria. Multivariate longitudinal analysis demonstrated two significant risk factors for infection with P. falciparum: disappearance of P. vivax parasitemia (p<0.001) and a specific study site (p<0.001). In contrast, younger age (p=0.024) and the interpolated virtual density of An. subpictus (p=0.041) were significantly associated with increased risk of infection with P. vivax. Thus, it seems that the distribution of P. vivax was determined largely by the presence of An. subpictus, whilst that of P. falciparum was influenced by antagonism with P. vivax. This result shows the importance of following-up treated P. vivax patients to identify recrudescence of P. falciparum in this area.

  2. Inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum proliferation in vitro by double-stranded RNA nanoparticle against malaria topoisomerase II.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attasart, Pongsopee; Boonma, Siriwan; Sunintaboon, Panya; Tanwilai, Dolpawan; Pothikasikorn, Jinrapa; Noonpakdee, Wilai Tienrungroj

    2016-05-01

    The need to develop new effective antimalarial agents is urgent due to the rapid emergence of drug resistance to all current drugs by the most virulent human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. A promising avenue is in the development of antimalarials based on RNA interference targeting expression of malaria parasite vital genes, viz. DNA topoisomerase II gene (PfTOP2). Biodegradable chitosan nanoparticle system has proven to be effective in delivering DNA and small double-stranded interfering RNA to target cells. We have employed a long double-stranded (dsRNA) targeting the coding region of PfTOP2 that is complexed with chitosan nanoparticles in order to interfere with the cognate mRNA expression and examined its effect on P. falciparum growth in culture. Exposure of ring stage-infected erythrocytes to 10 μg/ml PfTOP2 chitosan/dsRNA nanoparticles for 48 h resulted in 71% growth inhibition as determined by [(3)H] hypoxanthine incorporation and microscopic assays, compared with 41% inhibition using an equivalent amount of free PfTOP2 dsRNA or 12% with unrelated chitosan/dsRNA nanoparticles. This inhibition was shown to occur during maturation of trophozoite to schizont stages. RT-PCR analysis indicated 56% and 38% decrease in PfTOP2 transcript levels in P. falciparum trophozoites treated with PfTOP2 dsRNA nanoparticles and free PfTOP2 dsRNA respectively. These results suggest that chitosan-based nanoparticles might be a useful tool for delivering dsRNA into malaria parasites.

  3. Haemoglobin C and S role in acquired immunity against Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

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    Federica Verra

    Full Text Available A recently proposed mechanism of protection for haemoglobin C (HbC; beta6Glu-->Lys links an abnormal display of PfEMP1, an antigen involved in malaria pathogenesis, on the surface of HbC infected erythrocytes together with the observation of reduced cytoadhesion of parasitized erythrocytes and impaired rosetting in vitro. We investigated the impact of this hypothesis on the development of acquired immunity against Plasmodium falciparum variant surface antigens (VSA encoding PfEMP1 in HbC in comparison with HbA and HbS carriers of Burkina Faso. We measured: i total IgG against a single VSA, A4U, and against a panel of VSA from severe malaria cases in human sera from urban and rural areas of Burkina Faso of different haemoglobin genotypes (CC, AC, AS, SC, SS; ii total IgG against recombinant proteins of P. falciparum asexual sporozoite, blood stage antigens, and parasite schizont extract; iii total IgG against tetanus toxoid. Results showed that the reported abnormal cell-surface display of PfEMP1 on HbC infected erythrocytes observed in vitro is not associated to lower anti- PfEMP1 response in vivo. Higher immune response against the VSA panel and malaria antigens were observed in all adaptive genotypes containing at least one allelic variant HbC or HbS in the low transmission urban area whereas no differences were detected in the high transmission rural area. In both contexts the response against tetanus toxoid was not influenced by the beta-globin genotype. These findings suggest that both HbC and HbS affect the early development of naturally acquired immunity against malaria. The enhanced immune reactivity in both HbC and HbS carriers supports the hypothesis that the protection against malaria of these adaptive genotypes might be at least partially mediated by acquired immunity against malaria.

  4. Correlation between Cyclin Dependent Kinases and Artemisinin-Induced Dormancy in Plasmodium falciparum In Vitro.

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    Karen-Ann Gray

    Full Text Available Artemisinin-induced dormancy provides a plausible explanation for recrudescence following artemisinin monotherapy. This phenomenon shares similarities with cell cycle arrest where cyclin dependent kinases (CDKs and cyclins play an important role.Transcription profiles of Plasmodium falciparum CDKs and cyclins before and after dihydroartemisinin (DHA treatment in three parasite lines, and the effect of CDK inhibitors on parasite recovery from DHA-induced dormancy were investigated.After DHA treatment, parasites enter a dormancy phase followed by a recovery phase. During the dormancy phase parasites up-regulate pfcrk1, pfcrk4, pfcyc2 and pfcyc4, and down-regulate pfmrk, pfpk5, pfpk6, pfcrk3, pfcyc1 and pfcyc3. When entering the recovery phase parasites immediately up-regulate all CDK and cyclin genes. Three CDK inhibitors, olomoucine, WR636638 and roscovitine, produced distinct effects on different phases of DHA-induced dormancy, blocking parasites recovery.The up-regulation of PfCRK1 and PfCRK4, and down regulation of other CDKs and cyclins correlate with parasite survival in the dormant state. Changes in CDK expression are likely to negatively regulate parasite progression from G1 to S phase. These findings provide new insights into the mechanism of artemisinin-induced dormancy and cell cycle regulation of P. falciparum, opening new opportunities for preventing recrudescence following artemisinin treatment.

  5. Plasmodium falciparum drug resistance in Angola

    OpenAIRE

    Fançony, Cláudia; Brito, Miguel; Gil, Jose Pedro

    2016-01-01

    Facing chloroquine drug resistance, Angola promptly adopted artemisinin-based combination therapy as the first-line to treat malaria. Currently, the country aims to consolidate malaria control, while preparing for the elimination of the disease, along with others African countries in the region. However, the remarkable capacity of Plasmodium to develop drug resistance represents an alarming threat for those achievements. Herein, the available, but relatively scarce and dispersed, information ...

  6. Congenital Plasmodium falciparum infection in neonates in Muheza District, Tanzania

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    Kimera Sharadhuli I

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although recent reports on congenital malaria suggest that the incidence is increasing, it is difficult to determine whether the clinical disease is due to parasites acquired before delivery or as a result of contamination by maternal blood at birth. Understanding of the method of parasite acquisition is important for estimating the time incidence of congenital malaria and design of preventive measures. The aim of this study was to determine whether the first Plasmodium falciparum malaria disease in infants is due to same parasites present on the placenta at birth. Methods Babies born to mothers with P. falciparum parasites on the placenta detected by PCR were followed up to two years and observed for malaria episodes. Paired placental and infant peripheral blood samples at first malaria episode within first three months of life were genotyped (msp2 to determine genetic relatedness. Selected amplifications from nested PCR were sequenced and compared between pairs. Results Eighteen (19.1% out of 95 infants who were followed up developed clinical malaria within the first three months of age. Eight pairs (60% out of 14 pairs of sequenced placental and cord samples were genetically related while six (40% were genetically unrelated. One pair (14.3% out of seven pairs of sequenced placental and infants samples were genetically related. In addition, infants born from primigravidae mothers were more likely to be infected with P. falciparum (P P. falciparum infection earlier than those from secundigravidae and primigravidae mothers (RR = 1.43. Conclusion Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites present on the placenta as detected by PCR are more likely to result in clinical disease (congenital malaria in the infant during the first three months of life. However, sequencing data seem to question the validity of this likelihood. Therefore, the relationship between placental parasites and first clinical disease need to be confirmed in

  7. Structure and Reaction Mechanism of Phosphoethanolamine Methyltransferase from the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Soon Goo; Kim, Youngchang; Alpert, Tara D.; Nagata, Akina; Jez, Joseph M.

    2012-01-01

    In the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum, a multifunctional phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase (PfPMT) catalyzes the methylation of phosphoethanolamine (pEA) to phosphocholine for membrane biogenesis. This pathway is also found in plant and nematodes, but PMT from these organisms use multiple methyltransferase domains for the S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) reactions. Because PfPMT is essential for normal growth and survival of Plasmodium and is not found in humans, it is an antiparasitic target. Here we describe the 1.55 Å resolution crystal structure of PfPMT in complex with AdoMet by single-wavelength anomalous dispersion phasing. In addition, 1.19–1.52 Å resolution structures of PfPMT with pEA (substrate), phosphocholine (product), sinefungin (inhibitor), and both pEA and S-adenosylhomocysteine bound were determined. These structures suggest that domain rearrangements occur upon ligand binding and provide insight on active site architecture defining the AdoMet and phosphobase binding sites. Functional characterization of 27 site-directed mutants identifies critical active site residues and suggests that Tyr-19 and His-132 form a catalytic dyad. Kinetic analysis, isothermal titration calorimetry, and protein crystallography of the Y19F and H132A mutants suggest a reaction mechanism for the PMT. Not only are Tyr-19 and His-132 required for phosphobase methylation, but they also form a “catalytic” latch that locks ligands in the active site and orders the site for catalysis. This study provides the first insight on this antiparasitic target enzyme essential for survival of the malaria parasite; however, further studies of the multidomain PMT from plants and nematodes are needed to understand the evolutionary division of metabolic function in the phosphobase pathway of these organisms. PMID:22117061

  8. An alternative mechanism for the methylation of phosphoethanolamine catalyzed by Plasmodium falciparum phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saen-Oon, Suwipa; Lee, Soon Goo; Jez, Joseph M; Guallar, Victor

    2014-12-05

    The phosphobase methylation pathway catalyzed by the phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase in Plasmodium falciparum (PfPMT), the malaria parasite, offers an attractive target for anti-parasitic drug development. PfPMT methylates phosphoethanolamine (pEA) to phosphocholine for use in membrane biogenesis. Quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics (QM/MM) calculations tested the proposed reaction mechanism for methylation of pEA involving the previously identified Tyr-19-His-132 dyad, which indicated an energetically unfavorable mechanism. Instead, the QM/MM calculations suggested an alternative mechanism involving Asp-128. The reaction coordinate involves the stepwise transfer of a proton to Asp-128 via a bridging water molecule followed by a typical Sn2-type methyl transfer from S-adenosylmethionine to pEA. Functional analysis of the D128A, D128E, D128Q, and D128N PfPMT mutants shows a loss of activity with pEA but not with the final substrate of the methylation pathway. X-ray crystal structures of the PfPMT-D128A mutant in complex with S-adenosylhomocysteine and either pEA or phosphocholine reveal how mutation of Asp-128 disrupts a hydrogen bond network in the active site. The combined QM/MM, biochemical, and structural studies identify a key role for Asp-128 in the initial step of the phosphobase methylation pathway in Plasmodium and provide molecular insight on the evolution of multiple activities in the active site of the PMT. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  9. Natural antibody responses to Plasmodium falciparum MSP3 and GLURP(R0) antigens are associated with low parasite densities in malaria patients living in the Central Region of Ghana

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amoah, L. E.; Nuvor, S. V.; Obboh, E. K.

    2017-01-01

    and adults diagnosed with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. Microscopy was used to estimate P. falciparum parasite density and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the polymorphic regions of msp1 (PF3D7-0930300) and msp2 (PF3D7-0206800) was used for parasite genotyping and MOI determination......Background: Plasmodium falciparum genetic diversity and multiplicity of infection (MOI) are parasite features that have been suggested to influence the acquisition of protective immunity against malaria. This study sought to assess the relationship between MOI and parasite density (PD) in malaria...

  10. An alpha-proteobacterial type malate dehydrogenase may complement LDH function in Plasmodium falciparum. Cloning and biochemical characterization of the enzyme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripathi, Abhai K; Desai, Prashant V; Pradhan, Anupam; Khan, Shabana I; Avery, Mitchell A; Walker, Larry A; Tekwani, Babu L

    2004-09-01

    Malate dehydrogenase (MDH) may be important in carbohydrate and energy metabolism in malarial parasites. The cDNA corresponding to the MDH gene, identified on chromosome 6 of the Plasmodium falciparum genome, was amplified by RT-PCR, cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant Pf MDH was purified to homogeneity and biochemically characterized as an NAD(+)(H)-specific MDH, which catalysed reversible interconversion of malate to oxaloacetate. Pf MDH could not use NADP/NADPH as a cofactor, but used acetylpyridine adenine dinucleoide, an analogue of NAD. The enzyme exhibited strict substrate and cofactor specificity. The highest levels of Pf MDH transcripts were detected in trophozoites while the Pf MDH protein level remained high in trophozoites as well as schizonts. A highly refined model of Pf MDH revealed distinct structural characteristics of substrate and cofactor binding sites and important amino acid residues lining these pockets. The active site amino acid residues involved in substrate binding were conserved in Pf MDH but the N-terminal glycine motif, which is involved in nucleotide binding, was similar to the GXGXXG signature sequence found in Pf LDH and also in alpha-proteobacterial MDHs. Oxamic acid did not inhibit Pf MDH, while gossypol, which interacts at the nucleotide binding site of oxidoreductases and shows antimalarial activity, inhibited Pf MDH also. Treatment of a synchronized culture of P. falciparum trophozoites with gossypol caused induction in expression of Pf MDH, while expression of Pf LDH was reduced and expression of malate:quinone oxidoreductase remained unchanged. Pf MDH may complement Pf LDH function of NAD/NADH coupling in malaria parasites. Thus, dual inhibitors of Pf MDH and Pf LDH may be required to target this pathway and to develop potential new antimalarial drugs.

  11. Sharing of antigens between Plasmodium falciparum and Anopheles albimanus Antígenos compartidos entre Plasmodium falciparum y Anopheles albimanus

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    Albina Wide

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The presence of common antigens between Plasmodium falciparum and Anopheles albimanus was demonstrated. Different groups of rabbits were immunized with: crude extract from female An. albimanus (EAaF, red blood cells infected with Plasmodium falciparum (EPfs, and the SPf66 synthetic malaria vaccine. The rabbit's polyclonal antibodies were evaluated by ELISA, Multiple Antigen Blot Assay (MABA, and immunoblotting. All extracts were immunogenic in rabbits according to these three techniques, when they were evaluated against the homologous antigens. Ten molecules were identified in female mosquitoes and also in P. falciparum antigens by the autologous sera. The electrophoretic pattern by SDS-PAGE was different for the three antigens evaluated. Cross-reactions between An. albimanus and P. falciparum were found by ELISA, MABA, and immunoblotting. Anti-P. falciparum and anti-SPf66 antibodies recognized ten and five components in the EAaF crude extract, respectively. Likewise, immune sera against female An. albimanus identified four molecules in the P. falciparum extract antigen. As far as we know, this is the first work that demonstrates shared antigens between anophelines and malaria parasites. This finding could be useful for diagnosis, vaccines, and the study of physiology of the immune response to malaria.Epítopes de antígenos compartidos entre Plasmodium falciparum y Anopheles albimanus fueron identificados. Diferentes grupos de conejos fueron inmunizados con: extracto crudo de mosquito hembra de An. albimanus (EAaH, glóbulos rojos infectados con P. falciparum (EPfs y la vacuna antimalárica sintética SPf66. Los anticuerpos policlonales producidos en conejos fueron evaluados por ELISA, inmunoensayo simultáneo de múltiples antígenos (MABA e Immunoblotting. Todos los extractos resultaron inmunogénicos cuando se evaluaron por ELISA, MABA e Immunoblotting. Diez moléculas fueron identificadas en los mosquitos hembras y diez en los antígenos de

  12. A Plasmodium falciparum strain expressing GFP throughout the parasite's life-cycle.

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    Arthur M Talman

    Full Text Available The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the majority of malaria-related deaths. Tools allowing the study of the basic biology of P. falciparum throughout the life cycle are critical to the development of new strategies to target the parasite within both human and mosquito hosts. We here present 3D7HT-GFP, a strain of P. falciparum constitutively expressing the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP throughout the life cycle, which has retained its capacity to complete sporogonic development. The GFP expressing cassette was inserted in the Pf47 locus. Using this transgenic strain, parasite tracking and population dynamics studies in mosquito stages and exo-erythrocytic schizogony is greatly facilitated. The development of 3D7HT-GFP will permit a deeper understanding of the biology of parasite-host vector interactions, and facilitate the development of high-throughput malaria transmission assays and thus aid development of new intervention strategies against both parasite and mosquito.

  13. Generation of antigenic diversity in Plasmodium falciparum by structured rearrangement of Var genes during mitosis.

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    Antoine Claessens

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The most polymorphic gene family in P. falciparum is the ∼60 var genes distributed across parasite chromosomes, both in the subtelomeres and in internal regions. They encode hypervariable surface proteins known as P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1 that are critical for pathogenesis and immune evasion in Plasmodium falciparum. How var gene sequence diversity is generated is not currently completely understood. To address this, we constructed large clone trees and performed whole genome sequence analysis to study the generation of novel var gene sequences in asexually replicating parasites. While single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs were scattered across the genome, structural variants (deletions, duplications, translocations were focused in and around var genes, with considerable variation in frequency between strains. Analysis of more than 100 recombination events involving var exon 1 revealed that the average nucleotide sequence identity of two recombining exons was only 63% (range: 52.7-72.4% yet the crossovers were error-free and occurred in such a way that the resulting sequence was in frame and domain architecture was preserved. Var exon 1, which encodes the immunologically exposed part of the protein, recombined in up to 0.2% of infected erythrocytes in vitro per life cycle. The high rate of var exon 1 recombination indicates that millions of new antigenic structures could potentially be generated each day in a single infected individual. We propose a model whereby var gene sequence polymorphism is mainly generated during the asexual part of the life cycle.

  14. Chemogenomic profiling of Plasmodium falciparum as a tool to aid antimalarial drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pradhan, Anupam; Siwo, Geoffrey H; Singh, Naresh; Martens, Brian; Balu, Bharath; Button-Simons, Katrina A; Tan, Asako; Zhang, Min; Udenze, Kenneth O; Jiang, Rays H Y; Ferdig, Michael T; Adams, John H; Kyle, Dennis E

    2015-01-01

    The spread of Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance highlights the urgency to discover new targets and chemical scaffolds. Unfortunately, lack of experimentally validated functional information about most P. falciparum genes remains a strategic hurdle. Chemogenomic profiling is an established tool for classification of drugs with similar mechanisms of action by comparing drug fitness profiles in a collection of mutants. Inferences of drug mechanisms of action and targets can be obtained by associations between shifts in drug fitness and specific genetic changes in the mutants. In this screen, P. falciparum, piggyBac single insertion mutants were profiled for altered responses to antimalarial drugs and metabolic inhibitors to create chemogenomic profiles. Drugs targeting the same pathway shared similar response profiles and multiple pairwise correlations of the chemogenomic profiles revealed novel insights into drugs' mechanisms of action. A mutant of the artemisinin resistance candidate gene - "K13-propeller" gene (PF3D7_1343700) exhibited increased susceptibility to artemisinin drugs and identified a cluster of 7 mutants based on similar enhanced responses to the drugs tested. Our approach of chemogenomic profiling reveals artemisinin functional activity, linked by the unexpected drug-gene relationships of these mutants, to signal transduction and cell cycle regulation pathways.

  15. Putative DNA G-quadruplex formation within the promoters of Plasmodium falciparum var genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rowe J

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Guanine-rich nucleic acid sequences are capable of folding into an intramolecular four-stranded structure called a G-quadruplex. When found in gene promoter regions, G-quadruplexes can downregulate gene expression, possibly by blocking the transcriptional machinery. Here we have used a genome-wide bioinformatic approach to identify Putative G-Quadruplex Sequences (PQS in the Plasmodium falciparum genome, along with biophysical techniques to examine the physiological stability of P. falciparum PQS in vitro. Results We identified 63 PQS in the non-telomeric regions of the P. falciparum clone 3D7. Interestingly, 16 of these PQS occurred in the upstream region of a subset of the P. falciparum var genes (group B var genes. The var gene family encodes PfEMP1, the parasite's major variant antigen and adhesin expressed at the surface of infected erythrocytes, that plays a key role in malaria pathogenesis and immune evasion. The ability of the PQS found in the upstream regions of group B var genes (UpsB-Q to form stable G-quadruplex structures in vitro was confirmed using 1H NMR, circular dichroism, UV spectroscopy, and thermal denaturation experiments. Moreover, the synthetic compound BOQ1 that shows a higher affinity for DNA forming quadruplex rather than duplex structures was found to bind with high affinity to the UpsB-Q. Conclusion This is the first demonstration of non-telomeric PQS in the genome of P. falciparum that form stable G-quadruplexes under physiological conditions in vitro. These results allow the generation of a novel hypothesis that the G-quadruplex sequences in the upstream regions of var genes have the potential to play a role in the transcriptional control of this major virulence-associated multi-gene family.

  16. Recruitment of Factor H as a Novel Complement Evasion Strategy for Blood-Stage Plasmodium falciparum Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Alexander T; Schmidt, Christoph Q; Thompson, Jennifer K; Weiss, Greta E; Taechalertpaisarn, Tana; Gilson, Paul R; Barlow, Paul N; Crabb, Brendan S; Cowman, Alan F; Tham, Wai-Hong

    2016-02-01

    The human complement system is the frontline defense mechanism against invading pathogens. The coexistence of humans and microbes throughout evolution has produced ingenious molecular mechanisms by which microorganisms escape complement attack. A common evasion strategy used by diverse pathogens is the hijacking of soluble human complement regulators to their surfaces to afford protection from complement activation. One such host regulator is factor H (FH), which acts as a negative regulator of complement to protect host tissues from aberrant complement activation. In this report, we show that Plasmodium falciparum merozoites, the invasive form of the malaria parasites, actively recruit FH and its alternative spliced form FH-like protein 1 when exposed to human serum. We have mapped the binding site in FH that recognizes merozoites and identified Pf92, a member of the six-cysteine family of Plasmodium surface proteins, as its direct interaction partner. When bound to merozoites, FH retains cofactor activity, a key function that allows it to downregulate the alternative pathway of complement. In P. falciparum parasites that lack Pf92, we observed changes in the pattern of C3b cleavage that are consistent with decreased regulation of complement activation. These results also show that recruitment of FH affords P. falciparum merozoites protection from complement-mediated lysis. Our study provides new insights on mechanisms of immune evasion of malaria parasites and highlights the important function of surface coat proteins in the interplay between complement regulation and successful infection of the host.

  17. Transportproteiner som drug-targets hos Plasmodium falciparum. Nye perspektiver i behandlingen af malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ellekvist, Peter; Colding, Hanne

    2006-01-01

    The malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, infects and replicates in human erythrocytes. Through the use of substrate-specific transport proteins, P. falciparum takes up nutrients from the erythrocyte's cytoplasm. The sequencing and publishing of the P. falciparum genome have made it possible...

  18. Juxtamembrane shedding of Plasmodium falciparum AMA1 is sequence independent and essential, and helps evade invasion-inhibitory antibodies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Olivieri

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The malarial life cycle involves repeated rounds of intraerythrocytic replication interspersed by host cell rupture which releases merozoites that rapidly invade fresh erythrocytes. Apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA1 is a merozoite protein that plays a critical role in invasion. Antibodies against AMA1 prevent invasion and can protect against malaria in vivo, so AMA1 is of interest as a malaria vaccine candidate. AMA1 is efficiently shed from the invading parasite surface, predominantly through juxtamembrane cleavage by a membrane-bound protease called SUB2, but also by limited intramembrane cleavage. We have investigated the structural requirements for shedding of Plasmodium falciparum AMA1 (PfAMA1, and the consequences of its inhibition. Mutagenesis of the intramembrane cleavage site by targeted homologous recombination abolished intramembrane cleavage with no effect on parasite viability in vitro. Examination of PfSUB2-mediated shedding of episomally-expressed PfAMA1 revealed that the position of cleavage is determined primarily by its distance from the parasite membrane. Certain mutations at the PfSUB2 cleavage site block shedding, and parasites expressing these non-cleavable forms of PfAMA1 on a background of expression of the wild type gene invade and replicate normally in vitro. The non-cleavable PfAMA1 is also functional in invasion. However - in contrast to the intramembrane cleavage site - mutations that block PfSUB2-mediated shedding could not be stably introduced into the genomic pfama1 locus, indicating that some shedding of PfAMA1 by PfSUB2 is essential. Remarkably, parasites expressing shedding-resistant forms of PfAMA1 exhibit enhanced sensitivity to antibody-mediated inhibition of invasion. Drugs that inhibit PfSUB2 activity should block parasite replication and may also enhance the efficacy of vaccines based on AMA1 and other merozoite surface proteins.

  19. Juxtamembrane shedding of Plasmodium falciparum AMA1 is sequence independent and essential, and helps evade invasion-inhibitory antibodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivieri, Anna; Collins, Christine R; Hackett, Fiona; Withers-Martinez, Chrislaine; Marshall, Joshua; Flynn, Helen R; Skehel, J Mark; Blackman, Michael J

    2011-12-01

    The malarial life cycle involves repeated rounds of intraerythrocytic replication interspersed by host cell rupture which releases merozoites that rapidly invade fresh erythrocytes. Apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA1) is a merozoite protein that plays a critical role in invasion. Antibodies against AMA1 prevent invasion and can protect against malaria in vivo, so AMA1 is of interest as a malaria vaccine candidate. AMA1 is efficiently shed from the invading parasite surface, predominantly through juxtamembrane cleavage by a membrane-bound protease called SUB2, but also by limited intramembrane cleavage. We have investigated the structural requirements for shedding of Plasmodium falciparum AMA1 (PfAMA1), and the consequences of its inhibition. Mutagenesis of the intramembrane cleavage site by targeted homologous recombination abolished intramembrane cleavage with no effect on parasite viability in vitro. Examination of PfSUB2-mediated shedding of episomally-expressed PfAMA1 revealed that the position of cleavage is determined primarily by its distance from the parasite membrane. Certain mutations at the PfSUB2 cleavage site block shedding, and parasites expressing these non-cleavable forms of PfAMA1 on a background of expression of the wild type gene invade and replicate normally in vitro. The non-cleavable PfAMA1 is also functional in invasion. However - in contrast to the intramembrane cleavage site - mutations that block PfSUB2-mediated shedding could not be stably introduced into the genomic pfama1 locus, indicating that some shedding of PfAMA1 by PfSUB2 is essential. Remarkably, parasites expressing shedding-resistant forms of PfAMA1 exhibit enhanced sensitivity to antibody-mediated inhibition of invasion. Drugs that inhibit PfSUB2 activity should block parasite replication and may also enhance the efficacy of vaccines based on AMA1 and other merozoite surface proteins.

  20. Current understanding of the molecular basis of chloroquine-resistance in Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiang H

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Chloroquine (CQ is the most successful antimalarial drug ever discovered. Unfortunately, parasites resistant to the drug eventually emerged after its large scale use and are now widespread. Although great progress in our understanding of the mechanisms of CQ action and CQ resistance (CQR has been achieved over the past two decades, including the identification of the molecules responsible for CQR (e.g., Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistant transporter, PfCRT many questions remain unanswered. Here we highlight recent advances in our understanding of the genetics and molecular mechanisms of CQR, with particular emphasis on the role of genes such as pfcrt and pfmdr1 in the resistance to CQ and other drugs. New drug development and applications will undoubtedly benefit from a better understanding of CQR, eventually leading to more effective malaria control measures.

  1. Development of Monoclonal Antibodies That Target 1-Cys Peroxiredoxin and Differentiate Plasmodium falciparum from P. vivax and P. knowlesi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakimi, Hassan; Nguyen, Thu-Thuy; Suganuma, Keisuke; Masuda-Suganuma, Hirono; Angeles, Jose Ma M; Inoue, Noboru; Kawazu, Shin-Ichiro

    2013-06-01

    Prompt and accurate diagnosis of malarial patients is a crucial factor in controlling the morbidity and mortality of the disease. Effective treatment decisions require a correct diagnosis among mixed-species malarial patients. Differential diagnosis is particularly important in cases of Plasmodium vivax, a species that shares endemicity with P. falciparum in most endemic areas. Moreover, it is difficult to identify P. knowlesi on the basis of morphology alone, and rapid diagnostic tests are still not available for this malaria species. Therefore, the development of diagnostic tests applicable to the field is urgently needed. 1-Cys peroxiredoxin (1-Cys-Prx) in P. falciparum is abundantly expressed in the mature asexual stages, making it a promising candidate as a diagnostic antigen. In this study, we produced five monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against P. falciparum 1-Cys-Prx (Pf1-Cys-Prx) by immunizing BALB/c mice with recombinant Pf1-Cys-Prx and subsequent hybridoma production. Cross reactivity of established mAbs with the orthologous molecule of Pf1-Cys-Prx in P. vivax (Pv1-Cys-Prx) and P. knowlesi (Pk1-Cys-Prx) was examined. Western blot analyses showed that three mAbs reacted with Pv1-Cys-Prx and Pk1-Cys-Prx but two mAbs did not. These results indicate that the two mAbs were effective in differentiating P. falciparum from P. vivax and P. knowlesi and could be used in differential diagnosis as well as comparative molecular studies of human Plasmodium species.

  2. Production, characterization, and immunogenicity of a secreted form of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 4 produced in Bacillus subtilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chittibabu, G; Ma, Charles; Netter, Hans J; Noronha, Santosh B; Coppel, Ross L

    2014-04-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the causative agent of the most serious form of malaria. Although a combination of control measures has significantly limited malaria morbidity and mortality in the last few years, it is generally agreed that sustained control or even eradication will require additional tools including an effective malaria vaccine. Merozoite surface protein 4, MSP4, which is present during the asexual stage of P. falciparum, is a recognized target that would be useful in a subunit vaccine against blood stages of malaria. Falciparum malaria is most prevalent in developing countries, and this in turn leads to a requirement for safe, low-cost vaccines. We have attempted to utilize the nonpathogenic, gram-positive organism Bacillus subtilis to produce PfMSP4. PfMSP4 was secreted into the culture medium at a yield of 4.5 mg/L. Characterization studies including SDS-PAGE, mass spectrometry, and N-terminal sequencing indicated that the B. subtilis expression system secreted a full length PfMSP4 protein compared to a truncated version in Escherichia coli. Equivalent amounts of purified B. subtilis and E. coli-derived PfMSP4 were used for immunization studies, resulting in statistically significant higher mean titer values for the B. subtilis-derived immunogen. The mouse antibodies raised against B. subtilis produced PfMSP4 that were reactive to parasite proteins as evidenced by immunoblotting on parasite lysate and indirect immunofluorescence assays of fixed parasites. The B. subtilis expression system, in contrast to E. coli, expresses higher amounts of full length PfMSP4 products, decreased levels of aggregates, and allows the development of simplified downstream processing procedures.

  3. Identification of acid-base catalytic residues of high-Mr thioredoxin reductase from Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMillan, Paul J; Arscott, L David; Ballou, David P; Becker, Katja; Williams, Charles H; Müller, Sylke

    2006-11-03

    High-M(r) thioredoxin reductase from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfTrxR) contains three redox active centers (FAD, Cys-88/Cys-93, and Cys-535/Cys-540) that are in redox communication. The catalytic mechanism of PfTrxR, which involves dithiol-disulfide interchanges requiring acid-base catalysis, was studied by steady-state kinetics, spectral analyses of anaerobic static titrations, and rapid kinetics analysis of wild-type enzyme and variants involving the His-509-Glu-514 dyad as the presumed acid-base catalyst. The dyad is conserved in all members of the enzyme family. Substitution of His-509 with glutamine and Glu-514 with alanine led to TrxR with only 0.5 and 7% of wild type activity, respectively, thus demonstrating the crucial roles of these residues for enzymatic activity. The H509Q variant had rate constants in both the reductive and oxidative half-reactions that were dramatically less than those of wild-type enzyme, and no thiolateflavin charge-transfer complex was observed. Glu-514 was shown to be involved in dithiol-disulfide interchange between the Cys-88/Cys-93 and Cys-535/Cys-540 pairs. In addition, Glu-514 appears to greatly enhance the role of His-509 in acid-base catalysis. It can be concluded that the His-509-Glu-514 dyad, in analogy to those in related oxidoreductases, acts as the acid-base catalyst in PfTrxR.

  4. Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum: A process linked to dormancy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Qin; Kyle, Dennis E; Gatton, Michelle L

    2012-12-01

    Artemisinin (ART) based combination therapy (ACT) is used as the first line treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in over 100 countries and is the cornerstone of malaria control and elimination programs in these areas. However, despite the high potency and rapid parasite killing action of ART derivatives there is a high rate of recrudescence associated with ART monotherapy and recrudescence is not uncommon even when ACT is used. Compounding this problem are reports that some parasites in Cambodia, a known foci of drug resistance, have decreased in vivo sensitivity to ART. This raises serious concerns for the development of ART resistance in the field even though no major phenotypic and genotypic changes have yet been identified in these parasites. In this article we review available data on the characteristics of ART, its effects on Plasmodium falciparum parasites and present a hypothesis to explain the high rate of recrudescence associated with this potent class of drugs and the current enigma surrounding ART resistance.

  5. Sickle Cell Trait Protects Against Plasmodium falciparum Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billo, Mounkaila A.; Johnson, Eric S.; Doumbia, Seydou O.; Poudiougou, Belco; Sagara, Issaka; Diawara, Sory I.; Diakité, Mahamadou; Diallo, Mouctar; Doumbo, Ogobara K.; Tounkara, Anatole; Rice, Janet; James, Mark A.; Krogstad, Donald J.

    2012-01-01

    Although sickle cell trait protects against severe disease due to Plasmodium falciparum, it has not been clear whether sickle trait also protects against asymptomatic infection (parasitemia). To address this question, the authors identified 171 persistently smear-negative children and 450 asymptomatic persistently smear-positive children in Bancoumana, Mali (June 1996 to June 1998). They then followed both groups for 2 years using a cohort-based strategy. Among the 171 children with persistently negative smears, the median time for conversion to smear-positive was longer for children with sickle trait than for children without (274 vs. 108 days, P sickle trait than for children without (190 vs. 365 days; P = 0.02). These protective effects of sickle trait against asymptomatic P. falciparum infection under conditions of natural transmission were demonstrable using a cohort-based approach but not when the same data were examined using a cross-sectional approach. PMID:23035141

  6. Plasmodium falciparum In Vitro Resistance to Monodesethylamodiaquine, Dakar, Senegal, 2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fall, Bécaye; Madamet, Marylin; Camara, Cheikhou; Amalvict, Rémy; Fall, Mansour; Nakoulima, Aminata; Diatta, Bakary; Diémé, Yaya; Wade, Boubacar; Pradines, Bruno

    2016-05-01

    We successfully cultured 36 Plasmodium falciparum isolates from blood samples of 44 malaria patients admitted to the Hôpital Principal de Dakar (Dakar, Senegal) during August-December 2014. The prevalence of isolates with in vitro reduced susceptibility was 30.6% for monodesethylamodiaquine, 52.8% for chloroquine, 44.1% for mefloquine, 16.7% for doxycycline, 11.8% for piperaquine, 8.3% for artesunate, 5.9% for pyronaridine, 2.8% for quinine and dihydroartemisinin, and 0.0% for lumefantrine. The prevalence of isolates with reduced in vitro susceptibility to the artemisinin-based combination therapy partner monodesethylamodiaquine increased from 5.6% in 2013 to 30.6% in 2014. Because of the increased prevalence of P. falciparum parasites with impaired in vitro susceptibility to monodesethylamodiaquine, the implementation of in vitro and in vivo surveillance of all artemisinin-based combination therapy partners is warranted.

  7. Engineered resistance to Plasmodium falciparum development in transgenic Anopheles stephensi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison T Isaacs

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Transposon-mediated transformation was used to produce Anopheles stephensi that express single-chain antibodies (scFvs designed to target the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The scFvs, m1C3, m4B7, and m2A10, are derived from mouse monoclonal antibodies that inhibit either ookinete invasion of the midgut or sporozoite invasion of salivary glands. The scFvs that target the parasite surface, m4B7 and m2A10, were fused to an Anopheles gambiae antimicrobial peptide, Cecropin A. Previously-characterized Anopheles cis-acting DNA regulatory elements were included in the transgenes to coordinate scFv production with parasite development. Gene amplification and immunoblot analyses showed promoter-specific increases in transgene expression in blood-fed females. Transgenic mosquito lines expressing each of the scFv genes had significantly lower infection levels than controls when challenged with P. falciparum.

  8. PENGEMBANGAN BIAKAN IN-VITRO PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM SECARA KONTINU

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sekar Tuti

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available To support malaria research on its' serology/immunology, chemotherapy, drug sensitivity aspects etc. especially for falciparum malaria, a large amount of antigen (parasites is needed. These antigen could not be obtained from patients in the field only. Considering this situation, attempts have been made to develop a Plasmodium falciparum continuous culture   in-vitro following a method introduced  by Trager and Jensen (1976. In our laboratory, the parasite grew and multiplied nicely for 60 days. During that period of cultivation, a large amount of parasites (mostly mature trophozoite and schizont stages have been collected for antigen production. Several tubes of mostly young trophozoites stage have been preserved, it can be cultured again in the future or transported to another laboratory for further culture.

  9. Pharmacophore model for pentamidine analogs active against Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athri, Prashanth; Wenzler, Tanja; Tidwell, Richard; Bakunova, Svetlana M; Wilson, W David

    2010-12-01

    Pentamidine and its analogs constitute a class of compounds that are known to be active against Plasmodium falciparum, which causes the most dangerous malarial infection. Malaria is a widespread disease known to affect hundreds of millions of people and presents a perceivable threat of spreading. Hence, there is a need for well-defined scaffolds that lead to new, effective treatment. Here we present a pentamidine-based pharmacophore constructed using GALAHAD that would aid targeted synthesis of leads with enhanced properties, as well as the development of lead scaffolds. The study was supported by high-quality biological in vitro data of 22 compounds against the P. falciparum strains NF54 and K1. The model established reveals the importance of hydrophobic phenyl rings with polar oxygen and amidine substituents and the hydrophobic linking chain for the activity against malaria.

  10. Transgene optimization, immunogenicity and in vitro efficacy of viral vectored vaccines expressing two alleles of Plasmodium falciparum AMA1.

    OpenAIRE

    Sumi Biswas; Dicks, Matthew D. J.; Carole A Long; Remarque, Edmond J; Loredana Siani; Stefano Colloca; Cottingham, Matthew G; Holder, Anthony A.; Gilbert, Sarah C.; Hill, Adrian V.S.; Draper, Simon J

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1) is a leading candidate vaccine antigen against blood-stage malaria, although to date numerous clinical trials using mainly protein-in-adjuvant vaccines have shown limited success. Here we describe the pre-clinical development and optimization of recombinant human and simian adenoviral (AdHu5 and ChAd63) and orthopoxviral (MVA) vectors encoding transgene inserts for Plasmodium falciparum AMA1 (PfAMA1). METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: AdHu5-MVA prime...

  11. Driving mosquito refractoriness to Plasmodium falciparum with engineered symbiotic bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Sibao; Dos-Santos, André L A; Huang, Wei; Liu, Kun Connie; Oshaghi, Mohammad Ali; Wei, Ge; Agre, Peter; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo

    2017-09-29

    The huge burden of malaria in developing countries urgently demands the development of novel approaches to fight this deadly disease. Although engineered symbiotic bacteria have been shown to render mosquitoes resistant to the parasite, the challenge remains to effectively introduce such bacteria into mosquito populations. We describe a Serratia bacterium strain (AS1) isolated from Anopheles ovaries that stably colonizes the mosquito midgut, female ovaries, and male accessory glands and spreads rapidly throughout mosquito populations. Serratia AS1 was genetically engineered for secretion of anti-Plasmodium effector proteins, and the recombinant strains inhibit development of Plasmodium falciparum in mosquitoes. Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  12. Wanted Plasmodium falciparum, dead or alive

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatimata Sow

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Mechanisms of cell death in unicellular parasites have been subjects of debate for the last decade, with studies demonstrating evidence of apoptosis or non-apoptosis like mechanisms, including necrosis, and autophagy. Recent clarifications on the definition of regulated or accidental cell death by The Nomenclature Committee on Cell Death provides an opportunity to reanalyze some data, re-evaluate conclusions in the light of parasite diversity, and to propose alternative arguments in the context of malaria drug resistance, considering lack of really new drugs in the pipeline. Deciphering the mechanisms of death may help in detection of new drug targets and the design of innovative drugs. However, classifications have been evolving rapidly since initial description of “programmed cell death”, leading to some uncertainty as to whether Plasmodium cell death is accidental or regulated.

  13. Plasmodium falciparum drug resistance in Angola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fançony, Cláudia; Brito, Miguel; Gil, Jose Pedro

    2016-02-09

    Facing chloroquine drug resistance, Angola promptly adopted artemisinin-based combination therapy as the first-line to treat malaria. Currently, the country aims to consolidate malaria control, while preparing for the elimination of the disease, along with others African countries in the region. However, the remarkable capacity of Plasmodium to develop drug resistance represents an alarming threat for those achievements. Herein, the available, but relatively scarce and dispersed, information on malaria drug resistance in Angola, is reviewed and discussed. The review aims to inform but also to encourage future research studies that monitor and update the information on anti-malarial drug efficacy and prevalence of molecular markers of drug resistance, key fields in the context and objectives of elimination.

  14. Caspar controls resistance to Plasmodium falciparum in diverse anopheline species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsey S Garver

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Immune responses mounted by the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae are largely regulated by the Toll and Imd (immune deficiency pathways via the NF-kappaB transcription factors Rel1 and Rel2, which are controlled by the negative regulators Cactus and Caspar, respectively. Rel1- and Rel2-dependent transcription in A. gambiae has been shown to be particularly critical to the mosquito's ability to manage infection with the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. Using RNA interference to deplete the negative regulators of these pathways, we found that Rel2 controls resistance of A. gambiae to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, whereas Rel 1 activation reduced infection levels. The universal relevance of this defense system across Anopheles species was established by showing that caspar silencing also prevents the development of P. falciparum in the major malaria vectors of Asia and South America, A. stephensi and A. albimanus, respectively. Parallel studies suggest that while Imd pathway activation is most effective against P. falciparum, the Toll pathway is most efficient against P. berghei, highlighting a significant discrepancy between the human pathogen and its rodent model. High throughput gene expression analyses identified a plethora of genes regulated by the activation of the two Rel factors and revealed that the Toll pathway played a more diverse role in mosquito biology than the Imd pathway, which was more immunity-specific. Further analyses of key anti-Plasmodium factors suggest they may be responsible for the Imd pathway-mediated resistance phenotype. Additionally, we found that the fitness cost caused by Rel2 activation through caspar gene silencing was undetectable in sugar-fed, blood-fed, and P. falciparum-infected female A. gambiae, while activation of the Toll pathway's Rel1 had a major impact. This study describes for the first time a single gene that influences an immune mechanism that is able to abort

  15. Caspar controls resistance to Plasmodium falciparum in diverse anopheline species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garver, Lindsey S; Dong, Yuemei; Dimopoulos, George

    2009-03-01

    Immune responses mounted by the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae are largely regulated by the Toll and Imd (immune deficiency) pathways via the NF-kappaB transcription factors Rel1 and Rel2, which are controlled by the negative regulators Cactus and Caspar, respectively. Rel1- and Rel2-dependent transcription in A. gambiae has been shown to be particularly critical to the mosquito's ability to manage infection with the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. Using RNA interference to deplete the negative regulators of these pathways, we found that Rel2 controls resistance of A. gambiae to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, whereas Rel 1 activation reduced infection levels. The universal relevance of this defense system across Anopheles species was established by showing that caspar silencing also prevents the development of P. falciparum in the major malaria vectors of Asia and South America, A. stephensi and A. albimanus, respectively. Parallel studies suggest that while Imd pathway activation is most effective against P. falciparum, the Toll pathway is most efficient against P. berghei, highlighting a significant discrepancy between the human pathogen and its rodent model. High throughput gene expression analyses identified a plethora of genes regulated by the activation of the two Rel factors and revealed that the Toll pathway played a more diverse role in mosquito biology than the Imd pathway, which was more immunity-specific. Further analyses of key anti-Plasmodium factors suggest they may be responsible for the Imd pathway-mediated resistance phenotype. Additionally, we found that the fitness cost caused by Rel2 activation through caspar gene silencing was undetectable in sugar-fed, blood-fed, and P. falciparum-infected female A. gambiae, while activation of the Toll pathway's Rel1 had a major impact. This study describes for the first time a single gene that influences an immune mechanism that is able to abort development of P. falciparum

  16. Screening the Medicines for Malaria Venture "Malaria Box" against the Plasmodium falciparum aminopeptidases, M1, M17 and M18.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Paiardini

    Full Text Available Malaria is a parasitic disease that remains a global health burden. The ability of the parasite to rapidly develop resistance to therapeutics drives an urgent need for the delivery of new drugs. The Medicines for Malaria Venture have compounds known for their antimalarial activity, but not necessarily the molecular targets. In this study, we assess the ability of the "MMV 400" compounds to inhibit the activity of three metalloaminopeptidases from Plasmodium falciparum, PfA-M1, PfA-M17 and PfM18 AAP. We have developed a multiplex assay system to allow rapid primary screening of compounds against all three metalloaminopeptidases, followed by detailed analysis of promising compounds. Our results show that there were no PfM18AAP inhibitors, whereas two moderate inhibitors of the neutral aminopeptidases PfA-M1 and PfA-M17 were identified. Further investigation through structure-activity relationship studies and molecular docking suggest that these compounds are competitive inhibitors with novel binding mechanisms, acting through either non-classical zinc coordination or independently of zinc binding altogether. Although it is unlikely that inhibition of PfA-M1 and/or PfA-M17 is the primary mechanism responsible for the antiplasmodial activity reported for these compounds, their detailed characterization, as presented in this work, pave the way for their further optimization as a novel class of dual PfA-M1/PfA-M17 inhibitors utilising non-classical zinc binding groups.

  17. Five-year tracking of Plasmodium falciparum allele frequencies in a holoendemic area with indistinct seasonal transitions

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    Akala HM

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Hoseah M Akala, Angela O Achieng, Fredrick L Eyase, Dennis W Juma, Luiser Ingasia, Agnes C Cheruiyot, Charles Okello, Duke Omariba, Eunice A Owiti, Catherine Muriuki, Redemptah Yeda, Ben Andagalu, Jacob D Johnson, Edwin Kamau Global Emerging Infections Surveillance Program, United States Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Walter Reed Project, Kisumu and Nairobi, Kenya Background: The renewed malaria eradication efforts require an understanding of the seasonal patterns of frequency of polymorphic variants in order to focus limited funds productively. Although cross-sectional studies in holoendemic areas spanning a single year could be useful in describing parasite genotype status at a given point, such information is inadequate in describing temporal trends in genotype polymorphisms. For Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Kisumu District Hospital, Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine-resistance transporter gene (Pfcrt-K76T and P. falciparum multidrug resistance gene 1 (PfMDR1-N86Y, were analyzed for polymorphisms and parasitemia changes in the 53 months from March 2008 to August 2012. Observations were compared with prevailing climatic factors, including humidity, rainfall, and temperature. Methods: Parasitemia (the percentage of infected red blood cells per total red blood cells was established by microscopy for P. falciparum malaria-positive samples. P. falciparum DNA was extracted from whole blood using a Qiagen DNA Blood Mini Kit. Single nucleotide polymorphism identification at positions Pfcrt-K76T and PfMDR1-N86Y was performed using real-time polymerase chain reaction and/or sequencing. Data on climatic variables were obtained from http://www.tutiempo.net/en/. Results: A total of 895 field isolates from 2008 (n=169, 2009 (n=161, 2010 (n=216, 2011 (n=223, and 2012 (n=126 showed large variations in monthly frequency of PfMDR1-N86Y and Pfcrt-K76T as the mutant genotypes decreased from 68.4%±15% and 38.1%±13% to

  18. Identification of R2TP complex of Leishmania donovani and Plasmodium falciparum using genome wide in-silico analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Moaz; Afrin, Farhat; Tuteja, Renu

    2013-11-01

    Recently discovered R2TP complex is an important multiprotein complex involved in multiple cellular process like snoRNP biogenesis, PIKK signaling, RNA polymerase II assembly and apoptosis. Within R2TP complex, Pih1 tightly interacts with Rvb1/Rvb2 and with Tah1 to form R2TP macromolecular complex. R2TP complex further interacts with Hsp90 to form R2TP-Hsp90 complex, which has been found critical in many cellular process. The genome wide screening of Leishmania donovani and Plasmodium falciparum led to the identification of RuvB like1, RuvB like 2, Pih1, and Tah1. Therefore, we speculate that this complex is also important for these parasites as in the yeast. The detailed analysis of crucial components of R2TP complex, Ld-RuvB like 1, and Ld-RuvB like 2, revealed the presence of characteristic motifs like DNA binding motif and ATPase motifs. Hsp90 is also reported from Leishmania donovani and Plasmodium falciparum suggesting that the R2TP complex further interacts with Hsp90 to form R2TP-Hsp90 complex. Recently it has been discovered that RuvB like proteins are overexpressed in many cancers and their ATPase activity is crucial for cancer cell proliferation and the human RuvBs have been proposed as suitable drug target for cancer. Similarly one of the Plasmodium falciparum RuvB like protein (PfRuvB3) has been found to be specific to the stage where nuclear division led multiplication of parasite take place. Considering all these it seems that the R2TP complex may be playing some critical role both in the cancer cell proliferation in human and rapid multiplication of the parasites Leishmania donovani and Plasmodium falciparum.

  19. Investigation of a potential mechanism for the inhibition of SmTGR by Auranofin and its implications for Plasmodium falciparum inhibition

    KAUST Repository

    Caroli, Antonia

    2012-01-01

    Schistosoma mansoni and Plasmodium falciparum are pathogen parasites that spend part of their lives in the blood stream of the human host and are therefore heavily exposed to fluxes of toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS). SmTGR, an essential enzyme of the S. mansoni ROS detoxification machinery, is known to be inhibited by Auranofin although the inhibition mechanism has not been completely clarified. Auranofin also kills P. falciparum, even if its molecular targets are unknown. Here, we used computational and docking techniques to investigate the molecular mechanism of interaction between SmTGR and Auranofin. Furthermore, we took advantage of the homology relationship and of docking studies to assess if PfTR, the SmTGR malaria parasite homologue, can be a putative target for Auranofin. Our findings support a recently hypothesized molecular mechanism of inhibition for SmTGR and suggest that PfTR is indeed a possible and attractive drug target in P. falciparum. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

  20. Sero-epidemiological evaluation of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Senegal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sylla, Khadime; Tine, Roger Clément Kouly; Ndiaye, Magatte; Sow, Doudou; Sarr, Aïssatou; Mbuyi, Marie Louise Tshibola; Diouf, Ibrahima; Lô, Amy Colé; Abiola, Annie; Seck, Mame Cheikh; Ndiaye, Mouhamadou; Badiane, Aïda Sadikh; N'Diaye, Jean Louis A; Ndiaye, Daouda; Faye, Oumar; Dieng, Thérèse; Dieng, Yémou; Ndir, Oumar; Gaye, Oumar; Faye, Babacar

    2015-07-16

    In Senegal, a significant decrease of malaria transmission intensity has been noted the last years. Parasitaemia has become lower and, therefore, more difficult to detect by microscopy. In the context of submicroscopic parasitaemia, it has become relevant to rely on relevant malaria surveillance tools to better document malaria epidemiology in such settings. Serological markers have been proposed as an essential tool for malaria surveillance. This study aimed to evaluate the sero-epidemiological situation of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in two sentinel sites in Senegal. Cross-sectional surveys were carried out in Velingara (south Senegal) and Keur Soce (central Senegal) between September and October 2010. Children under 10 years old, living in these areas, were enrolled using two-level, random sampling methods. P. falciparum infection was diagnosed using microscopy. P. falciparum antibodies against circumsporozoite protein (CSP), apical membrane protein (AMA1) and merozoite surface protein 1_42 (MSP1_42) were measured by ELISA method. A stepwise logistic regression analysis was done to assess factors associated with P. falciparum antibodies carriage. A total of 1,865 children under 10 years old were enrolled. The overall falciparum malaria prevalence was 4.99% with high prevalence in Velingara of 10.03% compared to Keur Soce of 0.3%. Symptomatic malaria cases (fever associated with parasitaemia) represented 17.37%. Seroprevalence of anti-AMA1, anti-MSP1_42 and anti-CSP antibody was 38.12, 41.55 and 40.38%, respectively. The seroprevalence was more important in Velingara and increased with age, active malaria infection and area of residence. The use of serological markers can contribute to improved malaria surveillance in areas with declining malaria transmission. This study provided useful baseline information about the sero-epidemiological situation of malaria in Senegal and can contribute to the identification of malaria hot spots in order to concentrate

  1. Monitoring Plasmodium falciparum growth and development by UV flow cytometry using an optimized Hoechst-thiazole orange staining strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimberg, Brian T; Erickson, John J; Sramkoski, R Michael; Jacobberger, James W; Zimmerman, Peter A

    2008-06-01

    The complex life cycle of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) makes it difficult to limit infections and reduce the risk of severe malaria. Improved understanding of Pf blood-stage growth and development would provide new opportunities to evaluate and interfere with successful completion of the parasite's life cycle. Cultured blood stage Pf was incubated with Hoechst 33342 (HO) and thiazole orange (TO) to stain DNA and total nucleic acids, respectively. Correlated HO and TO fluorescence emissions were then measured by flow cytometry. Complex bivariate data patterns were analyzed by manual cluster gating to quantify parasite life cycle stages. The permutations of viable staining with both reagents were tested for optimal detection of parasitized RBC (pRBC). Pf cultures were exposed to HO and TO simultaneously to achieve optimal staining of pRBC and consistent quantification of early and late stages of the replicative cycle (rings through schizonts). Staining of Pf nucleic acids allows for analysis of parasite development in the absence of fixatives, lysis, or radioactivity to enable examination of erythrocytes from parasite invasion through schizont rupture using sensitive and rapid assay procedures. Investigation of the mechanisms by which anti-malarial drugs and antibodies act against different Pf lifecycle stages will be aided by this cytometric strategy. (c) 2008 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.

  2. Plasma Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein-2 concentrations are associated with malaria severity and mortality in Tanzanian children.

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    Matthew P Rubach

    Full Text Available Plasma Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein-2 (PfHRP-2 concentrations, a measure of parasite biomass, have been correlated with malaria severity in adults, but not yet in children. We measured plasma PfHRP-2 in Tanzanian children with uncomplicated (n = 61 and cerebral malaria (n = 45; 7 deaths. Median plasma PfHRP-2 concentrations were higher in cerebral malaria (1008 [IQR 342-2572] ng/mL than in uncomplicated malaria (465 [IQR 36-1426] ng/mL; p = 0.017. In cerebral malaria, natural log plasma PfHRP-2 was associated with coma depth (r = -0.42; p = 0.006 and mortality (OR: 3.0 [95% CI 1.03-8.76]; p = 0.04. In this relatively small cohort study in a mesoendemic transmission area of Africa, plasma PfHRP-2 was associated with pediatric malaria severity and mortality. Further studies among children in areas of Africa with higher malaria transmission and among children with different clinical manifestations of severe malaria will help determine the wider utility of quantitative PfHRP-2 as a measure of parasite biomass and prognosis in sub-Saharan Africa.

  3. Comparison of PCR and microscopy for the detection of asymptomatic malaria in a Plasmodium falciparum/vivax endemic area in Thailand

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    Miller Robert

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Objective The main objective of this study was to compare the performance of nested PCR with expert microscopy as a means of detecting Plasmodium parasites during active malaria surveillance in western Thailand. Methods The study was performed from May 2000 to April 2002 in the village of Kong Mong Tha, located in western Thailand. Plasmodium vivax (PV and Plasmodium falciparum (PF are the predominant parasite species in this village, followed by Plasmodium malariae (PM and Plasmodium ovale (PO. Each month, fingerprick blood samples were taken from each participating individual and used to prepare thick and thin blood films and for PCR analysis. Results PCR was sensitive (96% and specific (98% for malaria at parasite densities ≥ 500/μl; however, only 18% (47/269 of P. falciparum- and 5% (20/390 of P. vivax-positive films had parasite densities this high. Performance of PCR decreased markedly at parasite densities P. falciparum and 24% for P. vivax at densities Conclusion Although PCR performance appeared poor when compared to microscopy, data indicated that the discrepancy between the two methods resulted from poor performance of microscopy at low parasite densities rather than poor performance of PCR. These data are not unusual when the diagnostic method being evaluated is more sensitive than the reference method. PCR appears to be a useful method for detecting Plasmodium parasites during active malaria surveillance in Thailand.

  4. Limitations of microscopy to differentiate Plasmodium species in a region co-endemic for Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi

    OpenAIRE

    Barber Bridget E; William Timothy; Grigg Matthew J; Yeo Tsin W; Anstey Nicholas M

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Background In areas co-endemic for multiple Plasmodium species, correct diagnosis is crucial for appropriate treatment and surveillance. Species misidentification by microscopy has been reported in areas co-endemic for vivax and falciparum malaria, and may be more frequent in regions where Plasmodium knowlesi also commonly occurs. Methods This prospective study in Sabah, Malaysia, evaluated the accuracy of routine district and referral hospital-based microscopy, and microscopy perfor...

  5. Plant-like phosphofructokinase from Plasmodium falciparum belongs to a novel class of ATP-dependent enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mony, Binny M; Mehta, Monika; Jarori, Gotam K; Sharma, Shobhona

    2009-11-01

    Malaria parasite-infected erythrocytes exhibit enhanced glucose utilisation and 6-phospho-1-fructokinase (PFK) is a key enzyme in glycolysis. Here we present the characterisation of PFK from the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Of the two putative PFK genes on chromosome 9 (PfPFK9) and 11 (PfPFK11), only the PfPFK9 gene appeared to possess all the catalytic features appropriate for PFK activity. The deduced PfPFK proteins contain domains homologous to the plant-like pyrophosphate (PPi)-dependent PFK beta and alpha subunits, which are quite different from the human erythrocyte PFK protein. The PfPFK9 gene beta and alpha regions were cloned and expressed as His(6)- and GST-tagged proteins in Escherichia coli. Complementation of PFK-deficient E. coli and activity analysis of purified recombinant proteins confirmed that PfPFK9beta possessed catalytic activity. Monoclonal antibodies against the recombinant beta protein confirmed that the PfPFK9 protein has beta and alpha domains fused into a 200 kDa protein, as opposed to the independent subunits found in plants. Despite an overall structural similarity to plant PPi-PFKs, the recombinant protein and the parasite extract exhibited only ATP-dependent enzyme activity, and none with PPi. Unlike host PFK, the Plasmodium PFK was insensitive to fructose-2,6-bisphosphate (F-2,6-bP), phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) and citrate. A comparison of the deduced PFK proteins from several protozoan PFK genome databases implicates a unique class of ATP-dependent PFK present amongst the apicomplexan protozoans.

  6. Multiple Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 Variants per Genome Can Bind IgM via Its Fc Fragment Fcμ

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jeppesen, Anine; Ditlev, Sisse Bolm; Soroka, Vladyslav;

    2015-01-01

    The Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) adhesive proteins expressed on the surfaces of infected erythrocytes (IEs) are of key importance in the pathogenesis of P. falciparum malaria. Several structurally and functionally defined PfEMP1 types have been associated...... with severe clinical manifestations, such as cerebral malaria in children and placental malaria in pregnant women. PfEMP1 that can bind the Fc part of IgM (Fcμ) characterizes one such type, although the functional significance of this IgM binding to PfEMP1 remains unclear. In this study, we report...... the identification and functional analysis of five IgM-binding PfEMP1 proteins encoded by P. falciparum NF54. In addition to the VAR2CSA-type PFL0030c protein, already known to bind Fcμ and to mediate chondroitin sulfate A (CSA)-specific adhesion of IEs in the placenta, we found four PfEMP1 proteins not previously...

  7. Multiple Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 variants per genome can bind IgM via its Fc fragment Fcμ

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jeppesen, Anine; Ditlev, Sisse Bolm; Soroka, Vladyslav;

    2015-01-01

    The Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) adhesive proteins expressed on the surfaces of infected erythrocytes (IEs) are of key importance in the pathogenesis of P. falciparum malaria. Several structurally and functionally defined PfEMP1 types have been associated...... with severe clinical manifestations, such as cerebral malaria in children and placental malaria in pregnant women. PfEMP1 that can bind the Fc part of IgM (Fcμ) characterizes one such type, although the functional significance of this IgM binding to PfEMP1 remains unclear. In this study, we report...... the identification and functional analysis of five IgM-binding PfEMP1 proteins encoded by P. falciparum NF54. In addition to the VAR2CSA-type PFL0030c protein, already known to bind Fcμ and to mediate chondroitin sulfate A (CSA)-specific adhesion of IEs in the placenta, we found four PfEMP1 proteins not previously...

  8. Selective upregulation of a single distinctly structured var gene in chondroitin sulphate A-adhering Plasmodium falciparum involved in pregnancy-associated malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salanti, Ali; Staalsoe, Trine; Lavstsen, Thomas

    2003-01-01

    Cytoadhesion of infected red blood cells (iRBC) is mediated through parasite-encoded, clonally variant surface antigens (VSA) and is a central process in the pathogenesis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) has been linked to VSA-mediated adhesion of i...... implicated in PfEMP1-mediated adhesion to CD36 and CSA. We also show that var2csa was transcribed at higher levels in three placental parasite isolates compared with transcription in parasites from peripheral blood of two children with P. falciparum malaria. This var gene thus has the properties expected...

  9. Natural selection and population genetic structure of domain-I of Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen-1 in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, Madhumita; Maji, Ardhendu Kumar; Mitra, Mitashree; Sengupta, Sanghamitra

    2013-08-01

    Development of a vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum infection is an urgent priority particularly because of widespread resistance to most traditionally used drugs. Multiple evidences point to apical membrane antigen-1(AMA-1) as a prime vaccine candidate directed against P. falciparum asexual blood-stages. To gain understanding of the genetic and demographic forces shaping the parasite sequence diversity in Kolkata, a part of Pfama-1 gene covering domain-I was sequenced from 100 blood samples of malaria patients. Statistical and phylogenetic analyses of the sequences were performed using DnaSP and MEGA. Very high haplotype diversity was detected both at nucleotide (0.998±0.002) and amino-acid (0.996±0.001) levels. An abundance of low frequency polymorphisms (Tajima's D=-1.190, Fu & Li's D(∗) and F(∗)=-3.068 and -2.722), unimodal mismatch distribution and a star-like median-joining network of ama-1 haplotypes indicated a recent population expansion among Kolkata parasites. The high minimum number of recombination events (Rm=26) and a significantly high dN/dS of 3.705 (PIgNAR. Alterations in the desolvation and global energies of PfAMA-1-PfRON2 interaction complexes at the hotspot contact residues were observed together with redistribution of surface electrostatic potentials at the variant alleles with respect to referent Pf3D7 sequence. Finally, a comparison of P. falciparum subpopulations in five Indian regional isolates retrieved from GenBank revealed a significant level of genetic differentiation (FST=0.084-0.129) with respect to Kolkata sequences. Collectively, our results indicated a very high allelic and haplotype diversity, a high recombination rate and a signature of natural selection favoring accumulation of non-synonymous substitutions that facilitated PfAMA-1-PfRON2 interaction and hence parasite growth in Kolkata clinical isolates.

  10. Molecular mechanisms and biological importance of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte rosetting

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    Mats Wahlgren

    1992-01-01

    Full Text Available Rosetting, i.e. the spontaneous binding of uninfected to malaria infected erythrocytes and endothelial cytoadherence may hinder the blood flow and lead to serve Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Falciparum isolates obtained from unconscious patients all form rosettes and/or express a significantly higher man rosetting rate than isolates from patients with uncomplicated malaria. Furthermore, sera of patients with cerebral malaria are devoid of anti-rosetting activity while sera from patients with mild disease carry high levels of anti-rosetting antibodies. The presence of anti-rosetting antibodies also seems important for the efficient interaction of rosetting infected rbc and leucocytes. Two parasite derived rosetting ligands of Mr 22k and Mr28K named "rosettins, have been found on the surface of rosetting infected erythrocytes. CD36 has in at least some strains of parasites been found to function as a rosetting receptor on the uninfectederythrocyte. Heparin disrupts rosettes of P. falciparum in vitro and inhibits the sequestration of rosetting cells ex vivo. In conclusion, rosetting seems a crucial factor in the development of cerebral malaria and treatment of patients with anti-rosetting substances might become an effectivew adjunct in the treatment of severe malaria.

  11. The role of Plasmodium falciparum food vacuole plasmepsins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jun; Gluzman, Ilya Y; Drew, Mark E; Goldberg, Daniel E

    2005-01-14

    Plasmepsins (PMs) are thought to have an important function in hemoglobin degradation in the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum and have generated interest as antimalarial drug targets. Four paralogous plasmepsins reside in the food vacuole of P. falciparum. Targeted gene disruption by double crossover homologous recombination has been employed to study food vacuole plasmepsin function in cultured parasites. Parasite clones with deletions in each of the individual PM I, PM II, and HAP genes as well as clones with a double PM IV/PM I disruption have been generated. All of these clones lack the corresponding PMs, are viable, and appear morphologically normal. PM II and PM IV/I disruptions have longer doubling times than the 3D7 parental line in rich RPMI medium. This appears to be because of a decreased level of productive progeny rather than an increased cell cycle time. In amino acid-limited medium, all four knockouts exhibit slower growth than the parental strain. Compared with 3D7, knock-out clone sensitivity to aspartic and cysteine protease inhibitors is changed minimally. These results suggest substantial functional redundancy and have important implications for the design of antimalarial drugs. The slow growth phenotype may explain why P. falciparum has maintained four plasmepsin genes with overlapping functions.

  12. Capture ELISA for IgM antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum glutamate rich protein

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dziegiel, Morten Hanefeld; Borre, M B; Petersen, E

    1992-01-01

    This report describes a novel mu chain capture ELISA for the detection of IgM antibodies against a Plasmodium falciparum antigen. A fragment of the 220 kDa P. falciparum glutamate rich protein containing amino acid residues 489-1271 was expressed in E. coli as a recombinant chimeric beta-galactos......This report describes a novel mu chain capture ELISA for the detection of IgM antibodies against a Plasmodium falciparum antigen. A fragment of the 220 kDa P. falciparum glutamate rich protein containing amino acid residues 489-1271 was expressed in E. coli as a recombinant chimeric beta...

  13. Dynamic subcellular localization of isoforms of the folate pathway enzyme serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT through the erythrocytic cycle of Plasmodium falciparum

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    Mitchell Sarah L

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The folate pathway enzyme serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT converts serine to glycine and 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate and is essential for the acquisition of one-carbon units for subsequent transfer reactions. 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate is used by thymidylate synthase to convert dUMP to dTMP for DNA synthesis. In Plasmodium falciparum an enzymatically functional SHMT (PfSHMTc and a related, apparently inactive isoform (PfSHMTm are found, encoded by different genes. Here, patterns of localization of the two isoforms during the parasite erythrocytic cycle are investigated. Methods Polyclonal antibodies were raised to PfSHMTc and PfSHMTm, and, together with specific markers for the mitochondrion and apicoplast, were employed in quantitative confocal fluorescence microscopy of blood-stage parasites. Results As well as the expected cytoplasmic occupancy of PfSHMTc during all stages, localization into the mitochondrion and apicoplast occurred in a stage-specific manner. Although early trophozoites lacked visible organellar PfSHMTc, a significant percentage of parasites showed such fluorescence during the mid-to-late trophozoite and schizont stages. In the case of the mitochondrion, the majority of parasites in these stages at any given time showed no marked PfSHMTc fluorescence, suggesting that its occupancy of this organelle is of limited duration. PfSHMTm showed a distinctly more pronounced mitochondrial location through most of the erythrocytic cycle and GFP-tagging of its N-terminal region confirmed the predicted presence of a mitochondrial signal sequence. Within the apicoplast, a majority of mitotic schizonts showed a marked concentration of PfSHMTc, whose localization in this organelle was less restricted than for the mitochondrion and persisted from the late trophozoite to the post-mitotic stages. PfSHMTm showed a broadly similar distribution across the cycle, but with a distinctive punctate accumulation towards

  14. Continued Sensitivity of Plasmodium falciparum to Artemisinin in Guyana, With Absence of Kelch Propeller Domain Mutant Alleles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Reyaud; Martin, Maria Jesus Sanchez; Persaud, Shamdeo; Ceron, Nicolas; Kellman, Dwayne; Musset, Lise; Carter, Keith H.; Ringwald, Pascal

    2016-01-01

    Because of concerns about possible emergence of artemisinin resistance strains of Plasmodium falciparum in mining areas of the interior of Guyana, a 7-day artesunate trial was conducted from March to December 2014. The day-3 parasite clearance rate, the efficacy of artesunate at day 28, and polymorphism of Kelch 13 (PfK13)—the marker of artemisinin resistance—were assessed. The study confirmed the continued sensitivity of P falciparum to artemisinin. A 7-day course of artesunate was 100% efficacious with only 2% (95% confidence interval, .1%–10.9%) of enrolled subjects positive at day 3. All day-0 parasite samples were wild type. Continued resistance monitoring is nevertheless recommended, given the widespread availability and uncontrolled use of artemisinin drugs in mining areas of Guyana.

  15. Comparative population structure of Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium falciparum under different transmission settings in Malawi

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    Molyneux Malcolm E

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Described here is the first population genetic study of Plasmodium malariae, the causative agent of quartan malaria. Although not as deadly as Plasmodium falciparum, P. malariae is more common than previously thought, and is frequently in sympatry and co-infection with P. falciparum, making its study increasingly important. This study compares the population parameters of the two species in two districts of Malawi with different malaria transmission patterns - one seasonal, one perennial - to explore the effects of transmission on population structures. Methods Six species-specific microsatellite markers were used to analyse 257 P. malariae samples and 257 P. falciparum samples matched for age, gender and village of residence. Allele sizes were scored to within 2 bp for each locus and haplotypes were constructed from dominant alleles in multiple infections. Analysis of multiplicity of infection (MOI, population differentiation, clustering of haplotypes and linkage disequilibrium was performed for both species. Regression analyses were used to determine association of MOI measurements with clinical malaria parameters. Results Multiple-genotype infections within each species were common in both districts, accounting for 86.0% of P. falciparum and 73.2% of P. malariae infections and did not differ significantly with transmission setting. Mean MOI of P. falciparum was increased under perennial transmission compared with seasonal (3.14 vs 2.59, p = 0.008 and was greater in children compared with adults. In contrast, P. malariae mean MOI was similar between transmission settings (2.12 vs 2.11 and there was no difference between children and adults. Population differentiation showed no significant differences between villages or districts for either species. There was no evidence of geographical clustering of haplotypes. Linkage disequilibrium amongst loci was found only for P. falciparum samples from the seasonal transmission

  16. Modelling the incidence of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Afghanistan 2006-2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alegana, Victor A; Wright, Jim A; Nahzat, Sami M; Butt, Waqar; Sediqi, Amad W; Habib, Naeem; Snow, Robert W; Atkinson, Peter M; Noor, Abdisalan M

    2014-01-01

    Identifying areas that support high malaria risks and where populations lack access to health care is central to reducing the burden in Afghanistan. This study investigated the incidence of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum using routine data to help focus malaria interventions. To estimate incidence, the study modelled utilisation of the public health sector using fever treatment data from the 2012 national Malaria Indicator Survey. A probabilistic measure of attendance was applied to population density metrics to define the proportion of the population within catchment of a public health facility. Malaria data were used in a Bayesian spatio-temporal conditional-autoregressive model with ecological or environmental covariates, to examine the spatial and temporal variation of incidence. From the analysis of healthcare utilisation, over 80% of the population was within 2 hours' travel of the nearest public health facility, while 64.4% were within 30 minutes' travel. The mean incidence of P. vivax in 2009 was 5.4 (95% Crl 3.2-9.2) cases per 1000 population compared to 1.2 (95% Crl 0.4-2.9) cases per 1000 population for P. falciparum. P. vivax peaked in August while P. falciparum peaked in November. 32% of the estimated 30.5 million people lived in regions where annual incidence was at least 1 case per 1,000 population of P. vivax; 23.7% of the population lived in areas where annual P. falciparum case incidence was at least 1 per 1000. This study showed how routine data can be combined with household survey data to model malaria incidence. The incidence of both P. vivax and P. falciparum in Afghanistan remain low but the co-distribution of both parasites and the lag in their peak season provides challenges to malaria control in Afghanistan. Future improved case definition to determine levels of imported risks may be useful for the elimination ambitions in Afghanistan.

  17. Role and Regulation of Glutathione Metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum

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    Sylke Müller

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Malaria in humans is caused by one of five species of obligate intracellular protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium. P. falciparum causes the most severe disease and is responsible for 600,000 deaths annually, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has long been suggested that during their development, malaria parasites are exposed to environmental and metabolic stresses. One strategy to drug discovery was to increase these stresses by interfering with the parasites’ antioxidant and redox systems, which may be a valuable approach to disease intervention. Plasmodium possesses two redox systems—the thioredoxin and the glutathione system—with overlapping but also distinct functions. Glutathione is the most abundant low molecular weight redox active thiol in the parasites existing primarily in its reduced form representing an excellent thiol redox buffer. This allows for an efficient maintenance of the intracellular reducing environment of the parasite cytoplasm and its organelles. This review will highlight the mechanisms that are responsible for sustaining an adequate concentration of glutathione and maintaining its redox state in Plasmodium. It will provide a summary of the functions of the tripeptide and will discuss the potential of glutathione metabolism for drug discovery against human malaria parasites.

  18. NMR insights into folding and self-association of Plasmodium falciparum P2.

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    Pushpa Mishra

    Full Text Available The eukaryotic 60S-ribosomal stalk is composed of acidic ribosomal proteins (P1 and P2 and neutral protein P0, which are thought to be associated as a pentameric structure, [2P1, 2P2, P0]. Plasmodium falciparum P2 (PfP2 appears to play additional non-ribosomal functions associated with its tendency for homo-oligomerization. Recombinant bacterially expressed PfP2 protein also undergoes self-association, as shown by SDS-PAGE analysis and light scattering studies. Secondary structure prediction algorithms predict the native PfP2 protein to be largely helical and this is corroborated by circular dichroism investigation. The (1H-(15N HSQC spectrum of native P2 showed only 43 cross peaks compared to the expected 138. The observed peaks were found to belong to the C-terminal region, suggesting that this segment is flexible and solvent exposed. In 9 M urea denaturing conditions the chain exhibited mostly non-native β structural propensity. (15N Relaxation data for the denatured state indicated substantial variation in ms-µs time scale motion along the chain. Average area buried upon folding (AABUF calculations on the monomer enabled identification of hydrophobic patches along the sequence. Interestingly, the segments of slower motion in the denatured state coincided with these hydrophobic patches, suggesting that in the denatured state the monomeric chain undergoes transient hydrophobic collapse. The implications of these results for the folding mechanism and self-association of PfP2 are discussed.

  19. The density of knobs on Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes depends on developmental age and varies among isolates.

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    Katharina A Quadt

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The virulence of Plasmodium falciparum malaria is related to the parasite's ability to evade host immunity through clonal antigenic variation and tissue-specific adhesion of infected erythrocytes (IEs. The P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1 family expressed on dome-shaped protrusions called knobs on the IE surface is central to both. Differences in receptor specificity and affinity of expressed PfEMP1 are important for IE adhesiveness, but it is not known whether differences in the number and size of the knobs on which the PfEMP1 proteins are expressed also play a role. Therefore, the aim of this study was to provide detailed information on isolate- and time-dependent differences in knob size and density. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used atomic force microscopy to characterize knobs on the surface of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes. Fourteen ex vivo isolates from Ghanaian children with malaria and 10 P. falciparum isolates selected in vitro for expression of a particular PfEMP1 protein (VAR2CSA were examined. Knob density increased from ∼20 h to ∼35 h post-invasion, with significant variation among isolates. The knob density ex vivo, which was about five-fold higher than following long-term in vitro culture, started to decline within a few months of culture. Although knob diameter and height varied among isolates, we did not observe significant time-dependent variation in these dimensions. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The density of knobs on the P. falciparum-IE surface depends on time since invasion, but is also determined by the infecting isolate in a time-independent manner. This is the first study to quantitatively evaluate knob densities and dimensions on different P. falciparum isolates, to examine ex vivo isolates from humans, and to compare ex vivo and long-term in vitro-cultured isolates. Our findings contribute to the understanding of the interaction between P. falciparum parasites and the

  20. Genetic diversity of the Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen I gene in parasite population from the China-Myanmar border area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xiaotong; Zhao, Zhenjun; Feng, Yonghui; Li, Peipei; Liu, Fei; Liu, Jun; Yang, Zhaoqing; Yan, Guiyun; Fan, Qi; Cao, Yaming; Cui, Liwang

    2016-04-01

    To investigate the genetic diversity of the Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1 (PfAMA1) gene in Southeast Asia, we determined PfAMA1 sequences from 135 field isolates collected from the China-Myanmar border area and compared them with 956 publically available PfAMA1 sequences from seven global P. falciparum populations. This analysis revealed high genetic diversity of PfAMA1 in global P. falciparum populations with a total of 229 haplotypes identified. The genetic diversity of PfAMA1 gene from the China-Myanmar border is not evenly distributed in the different domains of this gene. Sequence diversity in PfAMA1 from the China-Myanmar border is lower than that observed in Thai, African and Oceanian populations, but higher than that in the South American population. This appeared to correlate well with the levels of endemicity of different malaria-endemic regions, where hyperendemic regions favor genetic cross of the parasite isolates and generation of higher genetic diversity. Neutrality tests show significant departure from neutrality in the entire ectodomain and Domain I of PfAMA1 in the China-Myanmar border parasite population. We found evidence supporting a substantial continent-wise genetic structure among P. falciparum populations, with the highest genetic differentiation detected between the China-Myanmar border and the South American populations. Whereas no alleles were unique to a specific region, there were considerable geographical differences in major alleles and their frequencies, highlighting further necessity to include more PfAMA1 alleles in vaccine designs.

  1. Proteomic identification of host and parasite biomarkers in saliva from patients with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huang Honglei

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria cases attributed to Plasmodium falciparum account for approximately 600,000 deaths yearly, mainly in African children. The gold standard method to diagnose malaria requires the visualization of the parasite in blood. The role of non-invasive diagnostic methods to diagnose malaria remains unclear. Methods A protocol was optimized to deplete highly abundant proteins from saliva to improve the dynamic range of the proteins identified and assess their suitability as candidate biomarkers of malaria infection. A starch-based amylase depletion strategy was used in combination with four different lectins to deplete glycoproteins (Concanavalin A and Aleuria aurantia for N-linked glycoproteins; jacalin and peanut agglutinin for O-linked glycoproteins. A proteomic analysis of depleted saliva samples was performed in 17 children with fever and a positive–malaria slide and compared with that of 17 malaria-negative children with fever. Results The proteomic signature of malaria-positive patients revealed a strong up-regulation of erythrocyte-derived and inflammatory proteins. Three P. falciparum proteins, PFL0480w, PF08_0054 and PFI0875w, were identified in malaria patients and not in controls. Aleuria aurantia and jacalin showed the best results for parasite protein identification. Conclusions This study shows that saliva is a suitable clinical specimen for biomarker discovery. Parasite proteins and several potential biomarkers were identified in patients with malaria but not in patients with other causes of fever. The diagnostic performance of these markers should be addressed prospectively.

  2. Complement activation in Ghanaian children with severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ofori Michael F

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Severe anaemia (SA, intravascular haemolysis (IVH and respiratory distress (RD are severe forms of Plasmodium falciparum malaria, with RD reported to be of prognostic importance in African children with malarial anaemia. Complement factors have been implicated in the mechanism leading to excess anaemia in acute P. falciparum infection. Methods The direct Coombs test (DCT and flow cytometry were used to investigate the mean levels of RBC-bound complement fragments (C3d and C3bαβ and the regulatory proteins [complement receptor 1 (CD35 and decay accelerating factor (CD55] in children with discrete clinical forms of P. falciparum malaria. The relationship between the findings and clinical parameters including coma, haemoglobin (Hb levels and RD were investigated. Results Of the 484 samples tested, 131(27% were positive in DCT, out of which 115/131 (87.8% were positive for C3d alone while 16/131 (12.2% were positive for either IgG alone or both. 67.4% of the study population were below 5 years of age and DCT positivity was more common in this age group relative to children who were 5 years or older (Odds ratio, OR = 3.8; 95%CI, 2.2–6.7, p Conclusion These results suggest that complement activation contributed to anaemia in acute childhood P. falciparum malaria, possibly through induction of erythrophagocytosis and haemolysis. In contrast to other studies, this study did not find association between levels of the complement regulatory proteins, CD35 and CD55 and malarial anaemia. These findings suggest that complement activation could also be involved in the pathogenesis of RD but larger studies are needed to confirm this finding.

  3. Heterologous Protection against Malaria after Immunization with Plasmodium falciparum Sporozoites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Remko Schats

    Full Text Available Sterile protection in >90% of volunteers against homologous Plasmodium falciparum infection has been achieved only using the controlled human malaria infection (CHMI model. This efficient model involves whole parasite immunizations under chloroquine prophylaxis (CPS-immunization, requiring only 30-45 mosquitoes bites infected with P. falciparum-sporozoites. Given the large diversity of P. falciparum parasites, it is essential to assess protection against heterologous parasite strains.In an open-label follow-up study, 16 volunteers previously CPS-immunized and challenged with P. falciparum NF54 (West-Africa in a dose de-escalation and challenge trial were re-challenged with clone NF135.C10 (Cambodia at 14 months after the last immunization (NCT01660854.Two out of thirteen NF54 protected volunteers previously fully protected against NF54 were also fully protected against NF135.C10, while 11/13 showed a delayed patency (median prepatent period of 10.5 days (range 9.0-15.5 versus 8.5 days in 5 malaria-naïve controls (p = 0.0005. Analysis of patency by qPCR indicated a 91 to >99% estimated reduction of liver parasite load in 7/11 partially protected subjects. Three volunteers previously not protected against NF54, were also not protected against NF135.C10.This study shows that CPS-immunization can induce heterologous protection for a period of more than one year, which is a further impetus for clinical development of whole parasite vaccines.Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01660854.

  4. Phase I Clinical Trial of a Recombinant Blood Stage Vaccine Candidate for Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Based on MSP1 and EBA175.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chitnis, Chetan E; Mukherjee, Paushali; Mehta, Shantanu; Yazdani, Syed Shams; Dhawan, Shikha; Shakri, Ahmad Rushdi; Bhardwaj, Rukmini; Bharadwaj, Rukmini; Gupta, Puneet Kumar; Hans, Dhiraj; Mazumdar, Suman; Singh, Bijender; Kumar, Sanjeev; Pandey, Gaurav; Parulekar, Varsha; Imbault, Nathalie; Shivyogi, Preethi; Godbole, Girish; Mohan, Krishna; Leroy, Odile; Singh, Kavita; Chauhan, Virander S

    2015-01-01

    A phase I randomised, controlled, single blind, dose escalation trial was conducted to evaluate safety and immunogenicity of JAIVAC-1, a recombinant blood stage vaccine candidate against Plasmodium falciparum malaria, composed of a physical mixture of two recombinant proteins, PfMSP-1(19), the 19 kD conserved, C-terminal region of PfMSP-1 and PfF2 the receptor-binding F2 domain of EBA175. Healthy malaria naïve Indian male subjects aged 18-45 years were recruited from the volunteer database of study site. Fifteen subjects in each cohort, randomised in a ratio of 2:1 and meeting the protocol specific eligibility criteria, were vaccinated either with three doses (10 μg, 25 μg and 50 μg of each antigen) of JAIVAC-1 formulated with adjuvant Montanide ISA 720 or with standard dosage of Hepatitis B vaccine. Each subject received the assigned vaccine in the deltoid muscle of the upper arms on Day 0, Day 28 and Day 180. JAIVAC-1 was well tolerated and no serious adverse event was observed. All JAIVAC-1 subjects sero-converted for PfF2 but elicited poor immune response to PfMSP-1(19). Dose-response relationship was observed between vaccine dose of PfF2 and antibody response. The antibodies against PfF2 were predominantly of IgG1 and IgG3 isotype. Sera from JAIVAC-1 subjects reacted with late schizonts in a punctate pattern in immunofluorescence assays. Purified IgG from JAIVAC-1 sera displayed significant growth inhibitory activity against Plasmodium falciparum CAMP strain. Antigen PfF2 should be retained as a component of a recombinant malaria vaccine but PfMSP-1(19) construct needs to be optimised to improve its immunogenicity. Clinical Trial Registry, India CTRI/2010/091/000301.

  5. Targeting sialic acid dependent and independent pathways of invasion in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosalynn Louise Ord

    Full Text Available The pathology of malaria is a consequence of the parasitaemia which develops through the cyclical asexual replication of parasites in a patient's red blood cells. Multiple parasite ligand-erythrocyte receptor interactions must occur for successful Plasmodium invasion of the human red cell. Two major malaria ligand families have been implicated in these variable ligand-receptor interactions used by Plasmodium falciparum to invade human red cells: the micronemal proteins from the Erythrocyte Binding Ligands (EBL family and the rhoptry proteins from the Reticulocyte binding Homolog (PfRH family. Ligands from the EBL family largely govern the sialic acid (SA dependent pathways of invasion and the RH family ligands (except for RH1 mediate SA independent invasion. In an attempt to dissect out the invasion inhibitory effects of antibodies against ligands from both pathways, we have used EBA-175 and RH5 as model members of each pathway. Mice were immunized with either region II of EBA-175 produced in Pichia pastoris or full-length RH5 produced by the wheat germ cell-free system, or a combination of the two antigens to look for synergistic inhibitory effects of the induced antibodies. Sera obtained from these immunizations were tested for native antigen recognition and for efficacy in invasion inhibition assays. Results obtained show promise for the potential use of such hybrid vaccines to induce antibodies that can block multiple parasite ligand-red cell receptor interactions and thus inhibit parasite invasion.

  6. Binding of Plasmodium falciparum to CD36 can be shielded by the glycocalyx

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hempel, Casper; Wang, Christian William; Kurtzhals, Jorgen Anders Lindholm

    2017-01-01

    Background: Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes sequester in the microcirculation due to interaction between surface-expressed parasite proteins and endothelial receptors. Endothelial cells are covered in a carbohydrate-rich glycocalyx that shields against undesired leukocyte adhesion...

  7. Loading of erythrocyte membrane with pentacyclic triterpenes inhibits Plasmodium falciparum invasion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ziegler, Hanne L; Staalsø, Trine; Jaroszewski, Jerzy W

    2006-01-01

    Lupeol and betulinic acid inhibit the proliferation of Plasmodium falciparum parasites by inhibition of the invasion of merozoites into erythrocytes. This conclusion is based on experiments employing parasite cultures synchronized by magnetic cell sorting (MACS). Identical inhibitory effects were...

  8. Longevity and composition of cellular immune responses following experimental Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection in humans.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Teirlinck, A.C.; McCall, M.B.B.; Roestenberg, M.; Scholzen, A.; Woestenenk, R.M.; Mast, Q. de; Ven, A.J.A.M. van der; Hermsen, C.C.; Luty, A.J.F.; Sauerwein, R.W.

    2011-01-01

    Cellular responses to Plasmodium falciparum parasites, in particular interferon-gamma (IFNgamma) production, play an important role in anti-malarial immunity. However, clinical immunity to malaria develops slowly amongst naturally exposed populations, the dynamics of cellular responses in relation

  9. Drug resistance to sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine in Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Mlimba, Tanzania

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mbugi, E.V.; Mutayoba, B.M.; Malisa, A.L.; Balthazary, S.T.; Nyambo, T.B.; Mshinda, H.

    2006-01-01

    Background - Sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) has been and is currently used for treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in many African countries. Nevertheless, the response of parasites to SP treatment has shown significant variation between individuals. Methods - The genes for

  10. Transcriptomic evidence for modulation of host inflammatory responses during febrile Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tran, T.M.; Jones, M.B.; Ongoiba, A.; Bijker, E.M.; Schats, R.; Venepally, P.; Skinner, J.; Doumbo, S.; Quinten, E.; Visser, L.G.; Whalen, E.; Presnell, S.; O'Connell, E.M.; Kayentao, K.; Doumbo, O.K.; Chaussabel, D.; Lorenzi, H.; Nutman, T.B.; Ottenhoff, T.H.; Haks, M.C.; Traore, B.; Kirkness, E.F.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Crompton, P.D.

    2016-01-01

    Identifying molecular predictors and mechanisms of malaria disease is important for understanding how Plasmodium falciparum malaria is controlled. Transcriptomic studies in humans have so far been limited to retrospective analysis of blood samples from clinical cases. In this prospective,

  11. Reducing Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission in Africa: a model-based evaluation of intervention strategies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Griffin, Jamie T; Hollingsworth, T Deirdre; Okell, Lucy C; Churcher, Thomas S; White, Michael; Hinsley, Wes; Bousema, Teun; Drakeley, Chris J; Ferguson, Neil M; Basáñez, María-Gloria; Ghani, Azra C

    2010-01-01

    .... We developed an individual-based simulation model for Plasmodium falciparum transmission in an African context incorporating the three major vector species (Anopheles gambiae s.s., An. arabiensis, and An. funestus...

  12. Plasmodium falciparum population dynamics in a cohort of pregnant women in Senegal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guitard, Juliette; Andersen, Pernille; Ermont, Caroline

    2010-01-01

    Background: Pregnant women acquire protective antibodies that cross-react with geographically diverse placental Plasmodium falciparum isolates, suggesting that surface molecules expressed on infected erythrocytes by pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) parasites have conserved epitopes and, that de...

  13. Structural basis for the inhibition of the essential Plasmodium falciparum M1 neutral aminopeptidase

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Sheena; Porter, Corrine J.; Lowther, Jonathan; Stack, Colin M.; Golding, Sarah J.; Skinner-Adams, Tina S.; Trenholme, Katharine R.; Teuscher, Franka; Donnelly, Sheila M.; Grembecka, Jolanta; Mucha, Artur; Kafarski, Pawel; DeGori, Ross; Buckle, Ashley M.; Gardiner, Donald L.; Whisstock, James C.; Dalton, John P.

    2009-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum parasites are responsible for the major global disease malaria, which results in >2 million deaths each year. With the rise of drug-resistant malarial parasites, novel drug targets and lead compounds are urgently required for the development of new therapeutic strategies. Here, we address this important problem by targeting the malarial neutral aminopeptidases that are involved in the terminal stages of hemoglobin digestion and essential for the provision of amino acids used for parasite growth and development within the erythrocyte. We characterize the structure and substrate specificity of one such aminopeptidase, PfA-M1, a validated drug target. The X-ray crystal structure of PfA-M1 alone and in complex with the generic inhibitor, bestatin, and a phosphinate dipeptide analogue with potent in vitro and in vivo antimalarial activity, hPheP[CH2]Phe, reveals features within the protease active site that are critical to its function as an aminopeptidase and can be exploited for drug development. These results set the groundwork for the development of antimalarial therapeutics that target the neutral aminopeptidases of the parasite. PMID:19196988

  14. Structural basis for the inhibition of the essential Plasmodium falciparum M1 neutral aminopeptidase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Sheena; Porter, Corrine J; Lowther, Jonathan; Stack, Colin M; Golding, Sarah J; Skinner-Adams, Tina S; Trenholme, Katharine R; Teuscher, Franka; Donnelly, Sheila M; Grembecka, Jolanta; Mucha, Artur; Kafarski, Pawel; Degori, Ross; Buckle, Ashley M; Gardiner, Donald L; Whisstock, James C; Dalton, John P

    2009-02-24

    Plasmodium falciparum parasites are responsible for the major global disease malaria, which results in >2 million deaths each year. With the rise of drug-resistant malarial parasites, novel drug targets and lead compounds are urgently required for the development of new therapeutic strategies. Here, we address this important problem by targeting the malarial neutral aminopeptidases that are involved in the terminal stages of hemoglobin digestion and essential for the provision of amino acids used for parasite growth and development within the erythrocyte. We characterize the structure and substrate specificity of one such aminopeptidase, PfA-M1, a validated drug target. The X-ray crystal structure of PfA-M1 alone and in complex with the generic inhibitor, bestatin, and a phosphinate dipeptide analogue with potent in vitro and in vivo antimalarial activity, hPheP[CH(2)]Phe, reveals features within the protease active site that are critical to its function as an aminopeptidase and can be exploited for drug development. These results set the groundwork for the development of antimalarial therapeutics that target the neutral aminopeptidases of the parasite.

  15. Three-dimensional structures of Plasmodium falciparum spermidine synthase with bound inhibitors suggest new strategies for drug design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sprenger, Janina [Lund University, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden); Lund University, SE-221 84 Lund (Sweden); Svensson, Bo [Lund University, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden); SARomics Biostructures AB, Box 724, SE-220 07 Lund (Sweden); Hålander, Jenny [Lund University, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden); Carey, Jannette [Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey (United States); Persson, Lo [Lund University, SE-221 84 Lund (Sweden); Al-Karadaghi, Salam, E-mail: salam.al-karadaghi@biochemistry.lu.se [Lund University, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden)

    2015-03-01

    In this work, X-ray crystallography was used to examine ligand complexes of spermidine synthase from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfSpdS). The enzymes of the polyamine-biosynthesis pathway have been proposed to be promising drug targets in the treatment of malaria. Spermidine synthase (SpdS; putrescine aminopropyltransferase) catalyzes the transfer of the aminopropyl moiety from decarboxylated S-adenosylmethionine to putrescine, leading to the formation of spermidine and 5′-methylthioadenosine (MTA). In this work, X-ray crystallography was used to examine ligand complexes of SpdS from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfSpdS). Five crystal structures were determined of PfSpdS in complex with MTA and the substrate putrescine, with MTA and spermidine, which was obtained as a result of the enzymatic reaction taking place within the crystals, with dcAdoMet and the inhibitor 4-methylaniline, with MTA and 4-aminomethylaniline, and with a compound predicted in earlier in silico screening to bind to the active site of the enzyme, benzimidazol-(2-yl)pentan-1-amine (BIPA). In contrast to the other inhibitors tested, the complex with BIPA was obtained without any ligand bound to the dcAdoMet-binding site of the enzyme. The complexes with the aniline compounds and BIPA revealed a new mode of ligand binding to PfSpdS. The observed binding mode of the ligands, and the interplay between the two substrate-binding sites and the flexible gatekeeper loop, can be used in the design of new approaches in the search for new inhibitors of SpdS.

  16. Differential Distortion of Purine Substrates by Human and Plasmodium falciparum Hypoxanthine-Guanine Phosphoribosyltransferase to Catalyse the Formation of Mononucleotides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karnawat, Vishakha; Gogia, Spriha; Balaram, Hemalatha; Puranik, Mrinalini

    2015-07-20

    Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRT) is a potential therapeutic target. Compared to structurally homologous human enzymes, it has expanded substrate specificity. In this study, 9-deazapurines are used as in situ probes of the active sites of human and Pf HGPRTs. Through the use of these probes it is found that non-covalent interactions stabilise the pre-transition state of the HGPRT-catalysed reaction. Vibrational spectra reveal that the bound substrates are extensively distorted, the carbonyl bond of nucleobase moiety is weakened and the substrate is destabilised along the reaction coordinate. Raman shifts of the human and Pf enzymes are used to quantify the differing degrees of hydrogen bonding in the homologues. A decreased Raman cross-section in enzyme-bound 9-deazaguanine (9DAG) shows that the phenylalanine residue (Phe186 in human and Phe197 in Pf) of HGPRT stacks with the nucleobase. Differential loss of the Raman cross-section suggests that the active site is more compact in human HGPRT as compared to the Pf enzyme, and is more so in the phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate (PRPP) complex 9DAG-PRPP-HGPRT than in 9-deazahypoxanthine (9DAH)-PRPP-HGPRT.

  17. The effects of a partitioned var gene repertoire of Plasmodium falciparum on antigenic diversity and the acquisition of clinical immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arinaminpathy Nimalan

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum exploits antigenic diversity and within-host antigenic variation to evade the host's immune system. Of particular importance are the highly polymorphic var genes that encode the family of cell surface antigens PfEMP1 (Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1. It has recently been shown that in spite of their extreme diversity, however, these genes fall into distinct groups according to chromosomal location or sequence similarity, and that recombination may be confined within these groups. Methods This study presents a mathematical analysis of how recombination hierarchies affect diversity, and, by using simple stochastic simulations, investigates how intra- and inter-genic diversity influence the rate at which individuals acquire clinical immunity. Results The analysis demonstrates that the partitioning of the var gene repertoire has a limiting effect on the total diversity attainable through recombination and that the limiting effect is strongly influenced by the respective sizes of each of the partitions. Furthermore, by associating expression of one of the groups with severe malaria it is demonstrated how a small number of infections can be sufficient to protect against disease despite a seemingly limitless number of possible non-identical repertoires. Conclusion Recombination hierarchies within the var gene repertoire of P. falciparum have a severe effect on strain diversity and the process of acquiring immunity against clinical malaria. Future studies will show how the existence of these recombining groups can offer an evolutionary advantage in spite of their restriction on diversity.

  18. Genetic ablation of a Maurer's cleft protein prevents assembly of the Plasmodium falciparum virulence complex

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dixon, Matthew W. A; Kenny, Shannon; McMillan, Paul J; Hanssen, Eric; Trenholme, Katharine R; Gardiner, Donald L; Tilley, Leann

    2011-01-01

    .... falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein‐1 (PfEMP1). Membranous structures called Maurer's clefts are established in the erythrocyte cytoplasm and function as sorting compartments for proteins en route to the RBC membrane, including the knob...

  19. In vivo resistance to chloroquine by Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum at Nabire, Irian Jaya, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, J K; Wiady, I; Fryauff, D J; Sutanihardja, M A; Leksana, B; Widjaya, H; Kysdarmanto; Subianto, B

    1997-06-01

    A survey of resistance to chloroquine by Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum was conducted during May 1995 at three mesoendemic villages 30 km southeast of Nabire, near the central northern coast of Irian Jaya, Indonesia. The prevalence of malaria at Urusumu (n = 157), Margajaya (n = 573), and Topo (n = 199) was 18%. 9%, and 9%, respectively, with spleen rates among children of 79%, 10%, and 27%. Infected patients among those screened formed a study population of 64 subjects eligible for a 28-day in vivo test of resistance to chloroquine. Sixty-three patients successfully completed the test; 45 males and 18 females 1-60 years of age, of whom 29 were Javanese transmigrants of five years residence in Irian Jaya and 34 were native to Irian Jaya. The seven-day day cumulative incidence of therapeutic failure for P. vivax and P. falciparum was 15% (n = 34) and 30% (n = 37). The 14- and 28-day estimates of cumulative incidence were 45% and 64% for P. vivax and 58% and 89% for P. falciparum. Almost all recurrences appeared in the face of ordinarily effective levels of chloroquine and its major metabolite, desethylchloroquine, in whole blood (> or = 100 ng/ml). Four infections by P. malariae in subjects enrolled in this study cleared by day 2 and none reappeared within 28 days. Chloroquine no longer provides effective therapy for falciparum or vivax malaria along the northern coast of Irian Jaya, Indonesia.

  20. MOLECULAR SURVEILLANCE OF Plasmodium vivax AND Plasmodium falciparum DHFR MUTATIONS IN ISOLATES FROM SOUTHERN IRAN.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharifi-Sarasiabi, Khojasteh; Haghighi, Ali; Kazemi, Bahram; Taghipour, Niloofar; Mojarad, Ehsan Nazemalhosseini; Gachkar, Latif

    2016-01-01

    In Iran, both Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum malaria have been detected, but P. vivax is the predominant species. Point mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) gene in both Plasmodia are the major mechanisms of pyrimethamine resistance. From April 2007 to June 2009, a total of 134 blood samples in two endemic areas of southern Iran were collected from patients infected with P. vivax and P. falciparum. The isolates were analyzed for P. vivax dihydrofolate reductase (pvdhfr) and P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr) point mutations using various PCR-based methods. The majority of the isolates (72.9%) had wild type amino acids at five codons of pvdhfr. Amongst mutant isolates, the most common pvdhfr alleles were double mutant in 58 and 117 amino acids (58R-117N). Triple mutation in 57, 58, and 117 amino acids (57L/58R/117N) was identified for the first time in the pvdhfr gene of Iranian P. vivax isolates. All the P. falciparumsamples analyzed (n = 16) possessed a double mutant pfdhfrallele (59R/108N) and retained a wild-type mutation at position 51. This may be attributed to the fact that the falciparum malaria patients were treated using sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in Iran. The presence of mutant haplotypes in P. vivax is worrying, but has not yet reached an alarming threshold regarding drugs such as SP. The results of this study reinforce the importance of performing a molecular surveillance by means of a continuous chemoresistance assessment.

  1. Evidence that the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum Putative Rhoptry Protein 2 Localizes to the Golgi Apparatus throughout the Erythrocytic Cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallée, Stéphanie; Richard, Dave

    2015-01-01

    Invasion of a red blood cell by Plasmodium falciparum merozoites is an essential step in the malaria lifecycle. Several of the proteins involved in this process are stored in the apical complex of the merozoite, a structure containing secretory organelles that are released at specific times during invasion. The molecular players involved in erythrocyte invasion thus represent potential key targets for both therapeutic and vaccine-based strategies to block parasite development. In our quest to identify and characterize new effectors of invasion, we investigated the P. falciparum homologue of a P. berghei protein putatively localized to the rhoptries, the Putative rhoptry protein 2 (PbPRP2). We show that in P. falciparum, the protein colocalizes extensively with the Golgi apparatus across the asexual erythrocytic cycle. Furthermore, imaging of merozoites caught at different times during invasion show that PfPRP2 is not secreted during the process instead staying associated with the Golgi apparatus. Our evidence therefore suggests that PfPRP2 is a Golgi protein and that it is likely not a direct effector in the process of merozoite invasion.

  2. Field performance of malaria rapid diagnostic test for the detection of Plasmodium falciparum infection in Odisha State, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S S Sahu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background & objectives: Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs have become an essential surveillance tool in the malaria control programme in India. The current study aimed to assess the performance of ParaHIT-f, a rapid test in diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum infection through detecting its specific antigen, histidine rich protein 2 (PfHRP-2, in Odisha State, India. Methods: The study was undertaken in eight falciparum malaria endemic southern districts of Odisha State. Febrile patients included through active case detection, were diagnosed by Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs for P. falciparum infection using the RDT, ParaHIT-f. The performance of ParaHIT-f was evaluated using microscopy as the gold standard. Results: A total of 1030 febrile patients were screened by both microscopy and the RDT for P. falciparum infection. The sensitivity of ParaHIT-f was 63.6% (95% CI: 56.0-70.6 and specificity was 98.9% (95% CI: 97.9-99.5, with positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV of 92.6% (95% CI: 86.0-96.3 and 93.0% (95% CI: 91.0-94.5, respectively. When related to parasitaemia, the RDT sensitivity was 47.8% at the low parasitaemia of 4 to 40 parasites/µl of blood. Interpretation & conclusions: The results showed that the performance of the RDT, ParaHIT-f, was not as sensitive as microscopy in detecting true falciparum infections; a high specificity presented a low frequency of false-positive RDT results. t0 he sensitivity of ParaHIT-f was around 60 per cent. It is, therefore, essential to improve the efficiency (sensitivity of the kit so that the true falciparum infections will not be missed especially in areas where P. falciparum has been the predominant species causing cerebral malaria.

  3. Anti-phospholipid antibodies in patients with Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jakobsen, P H; Morris-Jones, S D; Hviid, L;

    1993-01-01

    Plasma levels of antibodies against phosphatidylinositol (PI), phosphatidylcholine (PC) and cardiolipin (CL) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in patients from malaria endemic area of Sudan and The Gambia. Some Sudanese adults produced IgM antibodies against all three types...... of phospholipids (PL) during an acute Plasmodium falciparum infection. The anti-PL antibody titre returned to preinfection levels in most of the donors 30 days after the disease episode. IgG titres against PI, PC and CL were low. In Gambian children with malaria, IgM antibody titres against PI and PC were...... significantly higher in those with severe malaria than in those with mild malaria. These results show that a proportion of malaria patients produce anti-PL antibodies during infection and that titres of these antibodies are associated with the severity of disease....

  4. Origins and spread of pfdhfr mutant alleles in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mita, Toshihiro

    2010-06-01

    The emergence and spread of Plasmodium falciparum parasite resistant to sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine (SP) poses a serious public health problem. Resistance is caused by point mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (pfdhps), the two key enzymes in the folate biosynthetic pathway. The use of microsatellite markers flanking pfdhfr has recently shown that the invasion of limited resistant lineages may explain the widespread SP resistance in many endemic regions. In Africa, however, multiple indigenous origins of pfdhfr triple mutants have been demonstrated. More new independent lineages and routes of geographical spread of resistance may be found by further molecular evolutionary analyses using samples from various endemic regions. Here, I review recent studies about the history of SP usage and the evolution and spread of resistant lineages while addressing the technical issue of microsatellite analysis.

  5. Cryo scanning electron microscopy of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hempel, Casper

    2017-07-01

    Plasmodium falciparum invades erythrocytes as an essential part of their life cycle. While living inside erythrocytes, the parasite remodels the cell's intracellular organization as well as its outer surface. Late trophozoite-stage parasites and schizonts introduce numerous small protrusions on the erythrocyte surface, called knobs. Current methods for studying these knobs include atomic force microscopy and electron microscopy. Standard electron microscopy methods rely on chemical fixation and dehydration modifying cell size. Here, a novel method is presented using rapid freezing and scanning electron microscopy under cryogenic conditions allowing for high resolution and magnification of erythrocytes. This novel technique can be used for precise estimates of knob density and for studies on cytoadhesion. © 2017 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Plasmodium falciparum full life cycle and Plasmodium ovale liver stages in humanized mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soulard, Valérie; Bosson-Vanga, Henriette; Lorthiois, Audrey; Roucher, Clémentine; Franetich, Jean- François; Zanghi, Gigliola; Bordessoulles, Mallaury; Tefit, Maurel; Thellier, Marc; Morosan, Serban; Le Naour, Gilles; Capron, Frédérique; Suemizu, Hiroshi; Snounou, Georges; Moreno-Sabater, Alicia; Mazier, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    Experimental studies of Plasmodium parasites that infect humans are restricted by their host specificity. Humanized mice offer a means to overcome this and further provide the opportunity to observe the parasites in vivo. Here we improve on previous protocols to achieve efficient double engraftment of TK-NOG mice by human primary hepatocytes and red blood cells. Thus, we obtain the complete hepatic development of P. falciparum, the transition to the erythrocytic stages, their subsequent multiplication, and the appearance of mature gametocytes over an extended period of observation. Furthermore, using sporozoites derived from two P. ovale-infected patients, we show that human hepatocytes engrafted in TK-NOG mice sustain maturation of the liver stages, and the presence of late-developing schizonts indicate the eventual activation of quiescent parasites. Thus, TK-NOG mice are highly suited for in vivo observations on the Plasmodium species of humans. PMID:26205537

  7. Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum are Common Malaria Species in Pakistan

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    Tauseef Ahmad

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The microbes have a diverse nature, it makes human laugh and cry. Some microbes are fruitful for humans while others are harmful. Infectious diseases are a key problem in the modern world. In the last few decades, million of peoples have died from different diseases, including bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic, etc. Among these diseases, malaria is one of the major health problems for developing countries including Pakistan. This study was undertaken to provide baseline information about the prevalence of malaria, species distribution and to contribute to the data regarding epidemiology in Pakistan. For a collection of literature, the electronic search engine was used, using different key words i.e. prevalence, species distribution, epidemiology of malaria in Pakistan, etc. The time frame of the obtained articles was from 2000 to 2014. The two species of malaria Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum are common in Pakistan. [Biomed Res Ther 2016; 3(6.000: 666-672

  8. Characterization of the autophagy marker protein Atg8 reveals atypical features of autophagy in Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Rahul Navale

    Full Text Available Conventional autophagy is a lysosome-dependent degradation process that has crucial homeostatic and regulatory functions in eukaryotic organisms. As malaria parasites must dispose a number of self and host cellular contents, we investigated if autophagy in malaria parasites is similar to the conventional autophagy. Genome wide analysis revealed a partial autophagy repertoire in Plasmodium, as homologs for only 15 of the 33 yeast autophagy proteins could be identified, including the autophagy marker Atg8. To gain insights into autophagy in malaria parasites, we investigated Plasmodium falciparum Atg8 (PfAtg8 employing techniques and conditions that are routinely used to study autophagy. Atg8 was similarly expressed and showed punctate localization throughout the parasite in both asexual and sexual stages; it was exclusively found in the pellet fraction as an integral membrane protein, which is in contrast to the yeast or mammalian Atg8 that is distributed among cytosolic and membrane fractions, and suggests for a constitutive autophagy. Starvation, the best known autophagy inducer, decreased PfAtg8 level by almost 3-fold compared to the normally growing parasites. Neither the Atg8-associated puncta nor the Atg8 expression level was significantly altered by treatment of parasites with routinely used autophagy inhibitors (cysteine (E64 and aspartic (pepstatin protease inhibitors, the kinase inhibitor 3-methyladenine, and the lysosomotropic agent chloroquine, indicating an atypical feature of autophagy. Furthermore, prolonged inhibition of the major food vacuole protease activity by E64 and pepstatin did not cause accumulation of the Atg8-associated puncta in the food vacuole, suggesting that autophagy is primarily not meant for degradative function in malaria parasites. Atg8 showed partial colocalization with the apicoplast; doxycycline treatment, which disrupts apicoplast, did not affect Atg8 localization, suggesting a role, but not exclusive, in

  9. CD36 selection of 3D7 Plasmodium falciparum associated with severe childhood malaria results in reduced VAR4 expression

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    Hviid Lars

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A subset of the Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1SM is involved in the cytoadherence of P. falciparum-infected red blood cells (iRBC contributing to the pathogenesis of severe disease among young children in malaria endemic areas. The PfEMP1SM are encoded by group A var genes that are composed of a more constrained range of amino acid sequences than groups B and C var genes encoding PfEMP1UM associated with uncomplicated malaria. Also, unlike var genes from groups B and C, those from group A do not have sequences consistent with CD36 binding – a major cytoadhesion phenotype of P. falciparum isolates. Methods A 3D7 PfEMP1SM sub-line (3D7SM expressing VAR4 (PFD1235w/MAL8P1.207 was selected for binding to CD36. The protein expression of this parasite line was monitored by surface staining of iRBC using VAR4-specific antibodies. The serological phenotype of the 3D7SM parasites was determined by flow cytometry using malaria semi-immune and immune plasma and transcription of the 59 var genes in 3D7 were analysed by real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR using var-specific primers. Results A selection-induced increased adhesion of 3D7SM iRBC to CD36 resulted in a reduced var4 transcription and VAR4 surface expression. Conclusion VAR4 is not involved in CD36 adhesion. The current findings are consistent with the notion that CD36 adhesion is not associated with particular virulent parasite phenotypes, such as those believed to be exhibited by VAR4 expressing parasites.

  10. Limited polymorphism in Plasmodium falciparum ookinete surface antigen, von Willebrand factor A domain-related protein from clinical isolates

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    Eisen Damon P

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background As malaria becomes increasingly drug resistant and more costly to treat, there is increasing urgency to develop effective vaccines. In comparison to other stages of the malaria lifecycle, sexual stage antigens are under less immune selection pressure and hence are likely to have limited antigenic diversity. Methods Clinical isolates from a wide range of geographical regions were collected. Direct sequencing of PCR products was then used to determine the extent of polymorphisms for the novel Plasmodium falciparum sexual stage antigen von Willebrand Factor A domain-related Protein (PfWARP. These isolates were also used to confirm the extent of diversity of sexual stage antigen Pfs28. Results PfWARP was shown to have non-synonymous substitutions at 3 positions and Pfs28 was confirmed to have a single non-synonymous substitution as previously described. Conclusion This study demonstrates the limited antigenic diversity of two prospective P. falciparum sexual stage antigens, PfWARP and Pfs28. This provides further encouragement for the proceeding with vaccine trials based on these antigens.

  11. Computational and biophysical approaches to protein-protein interaction inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum AMA1/RON2 complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pihan, Emilie; Delgadillo, Roberto F.; Tonkin, Michelle L.; Pugnière, Martine; Lebrun, Maryse; Boulanger, Martin J.; Douguet, Dominique

    2015-06-01

    Invasion of the red blood cell by Plasmodium falciparum parasites requires formation of an electron dense circumferential ring called the Moving Junction (MJ). The MJ is anchored by a high affinity complex of two parasite proteins: Apical Membrane Antigen 1 ( PfAMA1) displayed on the surface of the parasite and Rhoptry Neck Protein 2 that is discharged from the parasite and imbedded in the membrane of the host cell. Structural studies of PfAMA1 revealed a conserved hydrophobic groove localized to the apical surface that coordinates RON2 and invasion inhibitory peptides. In the present work, we employed computational and biophysical methods to identify competitive P. falciparum AMA1-RON2 inhibitors with the goal of exploring the `druggability' of this attractive antimalarial target. A virtual screen followed by molecular docking with the PfAMA1 crystal structure was performed using an eight million compound collection that included commercial molecules, the ChEMBL malaria library and approved drugs. The consensus approach resulted in the selection of inhibitor candidates. We also developed a fluorescence anisotropy assay using a modified inhibitory peptide to experimentally validate the ability of the selected compounds to inhibit the AMA1-RON2 interaction. Among those, we identified one compound that displayed significant inhibition. This study offers interesting clues to improve the throughput and reliability of screening for new drug leads.

  12. Homology modeling and docking studies of Plasmodium falciparum telomerase reverse transcriptase with berberine and some of its derivatives

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    Pratap Parida

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT sequence from Plasmodium falciparum provides valuable information for the design of specific anti-telomerase drugs. The present study deals with the interaction of pfTERT against berberine derivatives to derive novel analogues. Berberine intercalates DNA, thereby inhibits DNA synthesis and PfTERT. This indicated that P. falciparum telomerase might be a potential target for malaria chemotherapy. The nature of the interactions between A three-dimensional structural model of PfTERT was constructed using multiple sequence alignment and homology modeling procedures, followed by extensive molecular dynamics calculations. The analogues of berberine were successfully docked into the binding pocket of the protein. The hydrogen bonds were analyzed along with the binding energy was observed. The binding energy were found to be -8.36, -8.36, -8.23, -11.34, -10.51, -3.56, +186.20, -5.99, -1.10 and -7.48 in Kcal/mol with reference drugs. The least binding energy was found to be -11.34 Kcal/mol which determines that the most effective analogue. As a result this can be used as antiplasmodial drug.

  13. Synthesis of 3-(1,2,3-triazol-1-yl)- and 3-(1,2,3-triazol-4-yl)-substituted pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidin-4-amines via click chemistry: potential inhibitors of the Plasmodium falciparum PfPK7 protein kinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Michael; Dinér, Peter; Dorin-Semblat, Dominique; Doerig, Christian; Grøtli, Morten

    2009-09-07

    Efficient routes to 3-(1,2,3-triazol-1-yl)- and 3-(1,2,3-triazol-4-yl)pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidin-4-amines using a one-pot two-step reaction are presented. The two routes give easy access to two different isomers of 1,4-disubstituted triazoles and the target compounds are obtained from a variety of readily available aromatic and aliphatic halides without isolation of potentially unstable organic azide intermediates. Two compounds show activity towards the PfPK7 kinase (IC(50) 10-20 microM) of P. falciparum, the organism responsible for the most virulent form of malaria, and can be regarded as hits useful for further development into lead compounds.

  14. Whole-Genome Scans Provide Evidence of Adaptive Evolution in Malawian Plasmodium falciparum Isolates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ocholla, Harold; Preston, Mark D; Mipando, Mwapatsa

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND:  Selection by host immunity and antimalarial drugs has driven extensive adaptive evolution in Plasmodium falciparum and continues to produce ever-changing landscapes of genetic variation. METHODS:  We performed whole-genome sequencing of 69 P. falciparum isolates from Malawi and used ...

  15. Lack of Evidence for Chloroquine-Resistant Plasmodium falciparum Malaria, Leogane, Haiti

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuberger, Ami; Zhong, Kathleen; Kain, Kevin C

    2012-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Haiti is considered chloroquine susceptible, although resistance transporter alleles associated with chloroquine resistance were recently detected. Among 49 patients with falciparum malaria, we found neither parasites carrying haplotypes associated with chloroquine resistance nor instances of chloroquine treatment failure. Continued vigilance to detect emergence of chloroquine resistance is needed. PMID:22932030

  16. Lymphocyte response to purified Plasmodium falciparum antigens during and after malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bygbjerg, I C; Jepsen, S; Theander, T G

    1986-01-01

    The peripheral blood lymphocyte response to affinity purified soluble Plasmodium falciparum antigens from in vitro cultures was studied in seven patients with acute falciparum malaria, on eight occasions, and in 15 persons having had malaria, at various times post infection, on 24 occasions. During...

  17. Lack of evidence for chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria, Leogane, Haiti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuberger, Ami; Zhong, Kathleen; Kain, Kevin C; Schwartz, Eli

    2012-09-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Haiti is considered chloroquine susceptible, although resistance transporter alleles associated with chloroquine resistance were recently detected. Among 49 patients with falciparum malaria, we found neither parasites carrying haplotypes associated with chloroquine resistance nor instances of chloroquine treatment failure. Continued vigilance to detect emergence of chloroquine resistance is needed.

  18. Cord blood dendritic cell subsets in African newborns exposed to Plasmodium falciparum in utero.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breitling, L.P.; Fendel, R.; Mordmueller, B.; Adegnika, A.A.; Kremsner, P.G.; Luty, A.J.F.

    2006-01-01

    Placental Plasmodium falciparum infection affects birth outcomes and sensitizes fetal lymphocytes to parasite antigens. We assessed the influence of maternal P. falciparum infection on fetal myeloid dendritic cells (mDC) and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC), analyzing the cord blood of offspring o

  19. Genetics of refractoriness to Plasmodium falciparum in the mosquito Anopheles stephensi

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Feldmann, A.M.; Gemert, Geert-Jan van; Vegte-Bolmer, Marga G. van de; Jansen, Ritsert C.

    1998-01-01

    We previously selected a line of the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles stephensi refractory (resistant) to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, using in vitro infections with P. falciparum gametocytes. This report presents data on the genetic background of refractoriness. The results of

  20. Amplification of a Gene Related to Mammalian mdr Genes in Drug-Resistant Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Craig M.; Serrano, Adelfa E.; Wasley, Annemarie; Bogenschutz, Michael P.; Shankar, Anuraj H.; Wirth, Dyann F.

    1989-06-01

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum contains at least two genes related to the mammalian multiple drug resistance genes, and at least one of the P. falciparum genes is expressed at a higher level and is present in higher copy number in a strain that is resistant to multiple drugs than in a strain that is sensitive to the drugs.

  1. Polymorphisms of the oxidant enzymes glutathione S-transferase and glutathione reductase and their association with resistance ofPlasmodium falciparum isolates to antimalarial drugs

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Raewadee Wisedpanichkij; Wanna Chaicharoenkul; Poonuch Mahamad; Prapichaya Prompradit; Kesara Na-Bangchang

    2010-01-01

    Objective:To investigate the association between amplification of the two regulatory genes controlling glutathione(GSH)levels, glutathione reductase(PfGR)and glutathione S-transferase (PfGST) genes and sensitivity ofPlasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum)isolates collected from different malaria endemic areas of Thailand to standard antimalarial drugs.Methods: A total of70P. falciparum isolates were collected from endemic areas of multi-drug resistance (Tak, Chantaburi and Ranong Provinces) during the year2008-2009. The in vitro assessment of antimalarial activity ofP. falciparumclones (K1- and Dd2 chloroquine resistant and3D7-chloroquine sensitive) and isolates to chloroquine, quinine, mefloquine and arteusnate was performed based onSYBR Green modified assay.Results:68 (97.14%), 11 (15.71%) and28 (40%) isolates respectively were classified as chloroquine-, quinine- and mefloquine-resistant isolates. With this limited number ofP. falciparum isolates included in the analysis, no significant association between amplification ofPfGST gene and sensitivity of the parasite to chloroquine, quinine, mefloquine and quinine was found. Based onPCR analysis,Dd2, K1 and3D7clones all contained only one copy of thePfGST gene. All isolates (70) also carried only one copy number of PfGST gene. There appears to be an association between amplification ofPfGR gene and chloroquine resistance. The3D7and Dd2 clones were found to carry only onePfGR gene copy, whereas the K1 clone carried two gene copies.Conclusions: Chloroquine resistance is likely to be a consequence of multi-factors and enzymes in theGSH system may be partly involved. Larger number of parasite isolates are required to increase power of the hypothesis testing in order to confirm the involvement of both genes as well as other genes implicated in glutathione metabolism in conferring chloroquine resistance.

  2. Computational and experimental analysis identified 6-diazo-5-oxonorleucine as a potential agent for treating infection by Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plaimas, Kitiporn; Wang, Yulin; Rotimi, Solomon O; Olasehinde, Grace; Fatumo, Segun; Lanzer, Michael; Adebiyi, Ezekiel; König, Rainer

    2013-12-01

    Plasmodium falciparum (PF) is the most severe malaria parasite. It is developing resistance quickly to existing drugs making it indispensable to discover new drugs. Effective drugs have been discovered targeting metabolic enzymes of the parasite. In order to predict new drug targets, computational methods can be used employing database information of metabolism. Using this data, we performed recently a computational network analysis of metabolism of PF. We analyzed the topology of the network to find reactions which are sensitive against perturbations, i.e., when a single enzyme is blocked by drugs. We now used a refined network comprising also the host enzymes which led to a refined set of the five targets glutamyl-tRNA (gln) amidotransferase, hydroxyethylthiazole kinase, deoxyribose-phophate aldolase, pseudouridylate synthase, and deoxyhypusine synthase. It was shown elsewhere that glutamyl-tRNA (gln) amidotransferase of other microorganisms can be inhibited by 6-diazo-5-oxonorleucine. Performing a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) assay, we showed, that 6-diazo-5-oxonorleucine is also severely affecting viability of PF in blood plasma of the human host. We confirmed this by an in vivo study observing Plasmodium berghei infected mice.

  3. Serum enzymes activities in Plasmodium falciparum infection in Southern Pakistan

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    Koay Yen Chin

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Serum levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH,aspartate aminotranferase (AST, alanine aminotransferase(ALT, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP were assessed todetermine the liver functions of patients infected withPlasmodium falciparum. The enzyme activities were assessedin 60 malarial patients and a control group of 44 people.Materials and Methods: The data for the study was collectedfrom the survey conducted from Liaquat University of medicaland health sciences Hospital, Hyderabad, Pakaistan. Sample of60 patients aged between 20 and 50 years were collected. Acontrol group of 44 healthy individual adults was also assessedfor comparative purposes. All the malaria patients who visitedthe OPD during the study period enrolled in the study.Results: The LDH activity in male patients was found to be674.89 ± 33.354 IU/L. This is above the control LDH activity of296.59 ± 14.476 IU/L. Similarly, in female patients, the serumLDH activity of 580.25 ± 24.507 IU/L is over twice the controlfemale serum LDH activity of 302.18 ± 18.082 IU/L. Furtherone-way anova test was performed to find any significance ininfected and control male and female.Conclusion: Hepatic dysfunction was found to be associated toP. falciparum malaria infection.

  4. Targeting glycolysis in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Niekerk, David D; Penkler, Gerald P; du Toit, Francois; Snoep, Jacky L

    2016-02-01

    Glycolysis is the main pathway for ATP production in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and essential for its survival. Following a sensitivity analysis of a detailed kinetic model for glycolysis in the parasite, the glucose transport reaction was identified as the step whose activity needed to be inhibited to the least extent to result in a 50% reduction in glycolytic flux. In a subsequent inhibitor titration with cytochalasin B, we confirmed the model analysis experimentally and measured a flux control coefficient of 0.3 for the glucose transporter. In addition to the glucose transporter, the glucokinase and phosphofructokinase had high flux control coefficients, while for the ATPase a small negative flux control coefficient was predicted. In a broader comparative analysis of glycolytic models, we identified a weakness in the P. falciparum pathway design with respect to stability towards perturbations in the ATP demand. The mathematical model described here has been submitted to the JWS Online Cellular Systems Modelling Database and can be accessed at http://jjj.bio.vu.nl/database/vanniekerk1. The SEEK-study including the experimental data set is available at DOI 10.15490/seek.1. 56 (http://dx.doi.org/10.15490/seek.1. 56). © 2015 FEBS.

  5. Atorvastatin prevents Plasmodium falciparum cytoadherence and endothelial damage

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    Soubrier Florent

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum parasitized red blood cell (PRBC to human endothelial cells (EC induces inflammatory processes, coagulation cascades, oxidative stress and apoptosis. These pathological processes are suspected to be responsible for the blood-brain-barrier and other organs' endothelial dysfunctions observed in fatal cases of malaria. Atorvastatin, a drug that belongs to the lowering cholesterol molecule family of statins, has been shown to ameliorate endothelial functions and is widely used in patients with cardiovascular disorders. Methods The effect of this compound on PRBC induced endothelial impairments was assessed using endothelial co-culture models. Results Atorvastatin pre-treatment of EC was found to reduce the expression of adhesion molecules and P. falciparum cytoadherence, to protect cells against PRBC-induced apoptosis and to enhance endothelial monolayer integrity during co-incubation with parasites. Conclusions These results might suggest a potential interest use of atorvastatin as a protective treatment to interfere with the pathophysiological cascades leading to severe malaria.

  6. Correlation between 'H' blood group antigen and Plasmodium falciparum invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathak, Vrushali; Colah, Roshan; Ghosh, Kanjaksha

    2016-06-01

    The ABO blood group system is the most important blood group system in clinical practice. The relationship between Plasmodium falciparum and ABO blood groups has been studied for many years. This study was undertaken to investigate the abilities of different blood group erythrocytes to support in vitro growth of P. falciparum parasites. P. falciparum parasites of four different strains (3D7, 7G8, Dd2 and RKL9) were co-cultured with erythrocytes of blood group 'A', 'B', 'O' (n = 10 for each) and 'O(h)' (Bombay group) (n = 7) for 5 days. Statistically significant differences were observed on the fourth day among the mean percent parasitemias of 'O', non-'O' ('A' and 'B') and 'O(h)' group cultures. The parasitemias of four strains ranged from 12.23 to 14.66, 11.68 to 13.24, 16.89 to 22.3, and 7.37 to 11.27 % in 'A', 'B', 'O' and Bombay group cultures, respectively. As the expression of H antigen decreased from 'O' blood group to 'A' and 'B' and then to Bombay blood group, parasite invasion (percent parasitemia) also decreased significantly (p group erythrocytes were virtually converted to Bombay group-like erythrocytes by the treatment of anti-H lectins extracted from Ulex europaeus seeds. Mean percent parasitemia of lectin-treated cultures on the fourth day was significantly lower (p Bombay group erythrocyte cultures, thus further strengthening the hypothesis.

  7. Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte invasion: combining function with immune evasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gavin J Wright

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available All the symptoms and pathology of malaria are caused by the intraerythrocytic stages of the Plasmodium parasite life cycle. Because Plasmodium parasites cannot replicate outside a host cell, their ability to recognize and invade erythrocytes is an essential step for both parasite survival and malaria pathogenesis. This makes invasion a conceptually attractive vaccine target, especially because it is one of the few stages when the parasite is directly exposed to the host humoral immune system. This apparent vulnerability, however, has been countered by the parasite, which has evolved sophisticated molecular mechanisms to evade the host immune response so that parasites asymptomatically replicate within immune individuals. These mechanisms include the expansion of parasite invasion ligands, resulting in multiple and apparently redundant invasion "pathways", highly polymorphic parasite surface proteins that are immunologically distinct, and parasite proteins which are poorly immunogenic. These formidable defences have so far thwarted attempts to develop an effective blood-stage vaccine, leading many to question whether there really is an exploitable chink in the parasite's immune evasion defences. Here, we review recent advances in the molecular understanding of the P. falciparum erythrocyte invasion field, discuss some of the challenges that have so far prevented the development of blood-stage vaccines, and conclude that the parasite invasion ligand RH5 represents an essential pinch point that might be vulnerable to vaccination.

  8. Cytokine balance in human malaria: does Plasmodium vivax elicit more inflammatory responses than Plasmodium falciparum?

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    Raquel M Gonçalves

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The mechanisms by which humans regulate pro- and anti-inflammatory responses on exposure to different malaria parasites remains unclear. Although Plasmodium vivax usually causes a relatively benign disease, this parasite has been suggested to elicit more host inflammation per parasitized red blood cell than P. falciparum. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured plasma concentrations of seven cytokines and two soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α receptors, and evaluated clinical and laboratory outcomes, in Brazilians with acute uncomplicated infections with P. vivax (n = 85, P. falciparum (n = 30, or both species (n = 12, and in 45 asymptomatic carriers of low-density P. vivax infection. Symptomatic vivax malaria patients, compared to those infected with P. falciparum or both species, had more intense paroxysms, but they had no clear association with a pro-inflammatory imbalance. To the contrary, these patients had higher levels of the regulatory cytokine interleukin (IL-10, which correlated positively with parasite density, and elevated IL-10/TNF-α, IL-10/interferon (IFN-γ, IL-10/IL-6 and sTNFRII/TNF-α ratios, compared to falciparum or mixed-species malaria patient groups. Vivax malaria patients had the highest levels of circulating soluble TNF-α receptor sTNFRII. Levels of regulatory cytokines returned to normal values 28 days after P. vivax clearance following chemotherapy. Finally, asymptomatic carriers of low P. vivax parasitemias had substantially lower levels of both inflammatory and regulatory cytokines than did patients with clinical malaria due to either species. CONCLUSIONS: Controlling fast-multiplying P. falciparum blood stages requires a strong inflammatory response to prevent fulminant infections, while reducing inflammation-related tissue damage with early regulatory cytokine responses may be a more cost-effective strategy in infections with the less virulent P. vivax parasite. The early induction

  9. Exitoso cultivo in vitro de gametocitos de Plasmodium falciparum

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    Silvia Blair

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Introducción. Los estadios sexuales de Plasmodium falciparum han sido menos estudiados que los estadios asexuales. Al parecer, esto se debe a la carencia de cultivos estandarizados in vitro y a la dificultad de reconocer sus estadios de desarrollo. Estos hechos no permiten el estudio de aspectos biológicos, aspectos metabólicos, expresión de genes y síntesis de proteínas durante los estadios sexuales, temas de interés en la investigación de nuevos medicamentos antipalúdicos, principalmente los aislados de plantas, y la identificación de un potencial blanco contra Plasmodium. Objetivos. Establecer un cultivo in vitro de gametocitos, con la identificación de sus cinco estadios de desarrollo, y asegurar su continua producción. Materiales y métodos. El cultivo in vitro de gametocitos se realizó a partir de la cepa NF54 de P. falciparum en medio RPMI, con determinación de la parasitemia asexual y sexual, adición de glóbulos rojos A-Rh+ sólo el primer día de cultivo y cambio diario del medio con adición de mezcla de gases (90% N2, 5% O2; 5% CO2, asegurándose que el cultivo se mantuviera a 37 °C. Cuando la parasitemia asexual estuvo entre 3% y 5%, se comenzó a agregar el doble de volumen de medio. Resultados. Se obtuvieron gametocitos en estadios I, II y III a partir del día 11 de cultivo y estadios IV y V a partir del día 14 de cultivo. Conclusiones. Se estandarizó un cultivo in vitro para estadios sexuales de P. falciparum que puede usarse para futuros estudios de evaluación de compuestos, naturales o sintéticos, que actúen sobre los gametocitos, lo cual podría permitir el desarrollo de nuevas estrategias de control contra el paludismo.

  10. On the mechanism of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum.

    KAUST Repository

    Chinappi, Mauro

    2010-11-19

    Resistance to chloroquine of malaria strains is known to be associated with a parasite protein named PfCRT, the mutated form of which is able to reduce chloroquine accumulation in the digestive vacuole of the pathogen. Whether the protein mediates extrusion of the drug acting as a channel or as a carrier and which is the protonation state of its chloroquine substrate is the subject of a scientific debate. We present here an analytical approach that explores which combination of hypotheses on the mechanism of transport and the protonation state of chloroquine are consistent with available equilibrium experimental data. We show that the available experimental data are not, by themselves, sufficient to conclude whether the protein acts as a channel or as a transporter, which explains the origin of their different interpretation by different authors. Interestingly, though, each of the two models is only consistent with a subset of hypotheses on the protonation state of the transported molecule. The combination of these results with a sequence and structure analysis of PfCRT, which strongly suggests that the molecule is a carrier, indicates that the transported species is either or both the mono and di-protonated forms of chloroquine. We believe that our results, besides shedding light on the mechanism of chloroquine resistance in P. falciparum, have implications for the development of novel therapies against resistant malaria strains and demonstrate the usefulness of an approach combining systems biology strategies with structural bioinformatics and experimental data.

  11. Design, in silico and in vitro evaluation of curcumin analogues against Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dohutia, Chandrajit; Chetia, Dipak; Gogoi, Kabita; Sarma, Kishore

    2017-04-01

    The polyphenolic compound curcumin has been reported for its antimalarial properties in various scientific studies. Plasmodium falciparum ATP6, the parasite orthologue of mammalian sarcoplasmic Ca(2+) ATPase (SERCA) has been identified as a key molecular target of both artemisinin and curcumin. The work was thereby undertaken to study the anti-malarial properties of two different series of curcumin analogues based on their docking interactions with PfATP6 and correlating the results with their anti-malarial activity. The compounds were designed retaining similar functional groups as that of the parent curcumin nucleus while incorporating changes in the carbon chain length, unsaturated groups and the number of ketone groups. The compounds (1E, 4E)-1,5-bis(4-methylphenyl)penta-1,4-dien-3-one (CD-9), (1E, 4E)-1,5-bis(4-methoxyphenyl)penta-1,4-dien-3-one (CD-8) and (E)-1,3-bis(4-hydroxylphenyl)prop-2-en-1-one (CD-1) showed IC50 values of 1.642 μM, 1.764 μM and 2.59 μM in 3D7 strain and 3.039 μM, 7.40 μM and 11.3 μM in RKL-2 strain respectively. Detailed structure-activity relationship studies of the compounds showed that CD-9 and CD-8 had a common hydrophobic interaction with the residue Leu268 of the PfATP6 protein and has been postulated through our study to be the reason for their antimalarial activity as seen after corroborating the results with the in vitro study. The study provided valuable insight about the ligand-protein interaction of the various functional groups of curcumin and its analogues against the PfATP6 protein and their importance in imparting antimalarial action.

  12. Fatal Plasmodium falciparum, Clostridium perfringens, and Candida spp. Coinfections in a Traveler to Haiti

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genrich, Gillian L.; Bhatnagar, Julu; Paddock, Christopher D.; Zaki, Sherif R.

    2009-01-01

    Malaria is one of the most common causes of febrile illness in travelers. Coinfections with bacterial, viral, and fungal pathogens may not be suspected unless a patient fails to respond to malaria treatment. Using novel immunohistochemical and molecular techniques, Plasmodium falciparum, Clostridium perfringens, and Candida spp. coinfections were confirmed in a German traveler to Haiti. Plasmodium falciparum-induced ischemia may have increased this patient's susceptibility to C. perfringens and disseminated candidiasis leading to his death. When a patient presents with P. falciparum and shock and is unresponsive to malaria treatment, secondary infections should be suspected to initiate appropriate treatment. PMID:20339463

  13. Yeast-based High-Throughput Screen Identifies Plasmodium falciparum Equilibrative Nucleoside Transporter 1 Inhibitors That Kill Malaria Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frame, I. J.; Deniskin, Roman; Rinderspacher, Alison; Katz, Francine; Deng, Shi-Xian; Moir, Robyn D.; Adjalley, Sophie H.; Coburn-Flynn, Olivia; Fidock, David A.; Willis, Ian M.; Landry, Donald W.; Akabas, Myles H.

    2015-01-01

    Equilibrative transporters are potential drug targets, however most functional assays involve radioactive substrate uptake that is unsuitable for high-throughput screens (HTS). We developed a robust yeast-based growth assay that is potentially applicable to many equilibrative transporters. As proof of principle, we applied our approach to Equilibrative Nucleoside Transporter 1 of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfENT1). PfENT1 inhibitors might serve as novel antimalarial drugs since PfENT1-mediated purine import is essential for parasite proliferation. To identify PfENT1 inhibitors, we screened 64,560 compounds and identified 171 by their ability to rescue the growth of PfENT1-expressing fui1Δ yeast in the presence of a cytotoxic PfENT1 substrate, 5-fluorouridine (5-FUrd). In secondary assays, nine of the highest activity compounds inhibited PfENT1-dependent growth of a purine auxotrophic yeast strain with adenosine as the sole purine source (IC50 0.2–2 µM). These nine compounds completely blocked [3H]adenosine uptake into PfENT1-expressing yeast and erythrocyte-free trophozoite-stage parasites (IC50 5–50 nM), and inhibited chloroquine-sensitive and -resistant parasite proliferation (IC50 5–50 µM). Wild-type (WT) parasite IC50 values were up to four-fold lower compared to PfENT1-knockout (pfent1Δ) parasites. pfent1Δ parasite killing showed a delayed-death phenotype not observed with WT. We infer that in parasites, the compounds inhibit both PfENT1 and a secondary target with similar efficacy. The secondary target identity is unknown, but its existence may reduce the likelihood of parasites developing resistance to PfENT1 inhibitors. Our data support the hypothesis that blocking purine transport through PfENT1 may be a novel and compelling approach for antimalarial drug development. PMID:25602169

  14. In vitro Potentiation of Antimalarial Activities by Daphnetin Derivatives Against Plasmodium falciparum

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FANG HUANG; LIN-HUA TANG; LIN-QIAN YU; YI-CHANG NI; QIN-MEI WANG; FA-JUN NAN

    2006-01-01

    Objective To screen the antimalarial compounds of daphnetin derivatives against Plasmodium falciparum in vitro. Method Plasmodium faciparum (FCC1) was cultured in vitro by a modified method of Trager and Jensen. Antimalarial compounds were screened by microscopy-based assay and microfluorimetric method. Results DA79 and DA78 showed potent antimalarial activity against Plasmodium falciparum cultured in vitro. Conclusion Though the relationship between the structures of daphnetin derivatives and their antimalarial activities has not been clarified yet, this study may provide a new direction for discovery of more potential antimalarial compounds.

  15. Transgene optimization, immunogenicity and in vitro efficacy of viral vectored vaccines expressing two alleles of Plasmodium falciparum AMA1.

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    Sumi Biswas

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1 is a leading candidate vaccine antigen against blood-stage malaria, although to date numerous clinical trials using mainly protein-in-adjuvant vaccines have shown limited success. Here we describe the pre-clinical development and optimization of recombinant human and simian adenoviral (AdHu5 and ChAd63 and orthopoxviral (MVA vectors encoding transgene inserts for Plasmodium falciparum AMA1 (PfAMA1. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: AdHu5-MVA prime-boost vaccination in mice and rabbits using these vectors encoding the 3D7 allele of PfAMA1 induced cellular immune responses as well as high-titer antibodies that showed growth inhibitory activity (GIA against the homologous but not heterologous parasite strains. In an effort to overcome the issues of PfAMA1 antigenic polymorphism and pre-existing immunity to AdHu5, a simian adenoviral (ChAd63 vector and MVA encoding two alleles of PfAMA1 were developed. This antigen, composed of the 3D7 and FVO alleles of PfAMA1 fused in tandem and with expression driven by a single promoter, was optimized for antigen secretion and transmembrane expression. These bi-allelic PfAMA1 vaccines, when administered to mice and rabbits, demonstrated comparable immunogenicity to the mono-allelic vaccines and purified serum IgG now showed GIA against the two divergent strains of P. falciparum encoded in the vaccine. CD8(+ and CD4(+ T cell responses against epitopes that were both common and unique to the two alleles of PfAMA1 were also measured in mice. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Optimized transgene inserts encoding two divergent alleles of the same antigen can be successfully inserted into adeno- and pox-viral vaccine vectors. Adenovirus-MVA immunization leads to the induction of T cell responses common to both alleles, as well as functional antibody responses that are effective against both of the encoded strains of P. falciparum in vitro. These data support the further clinical

  16. The remarkable journey of adaptation of the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite to New World anopheline mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Barillas-Mury, Carolina

    2014-08-01

    Plasmodium falciparum originated in Africa, dispersed around the world as a result of human migration and had to adapt to several different indigenous anopheline mosquitoes. Anophelines from the New World are evolutionary distant form African ones and this probably resulted in a more stringent selection of Plasmodium as it adapted to these vectors. It is thought that Plasmodium has been genetically selected by some anopheline species through unknown mechanisms. The mosquito immune system can greatly limit infection and P. falciparum evolved a strategy to evade these responses, at least in part mediated by Pfs47, a highly polymorphic gene. We propose that adaptation of P. falciparum to new vectors may require evasion of their immune system. Parasites with a Pfs47 haplotype compatible with the indigenous mosquito vector would be able to survive and be transmitted. The mosquito antiplasmodial response could be an important determinant of P. falciparum population structure and could affect malaria transmission in the Americas.

  17. The remarkable journey of adaptation of the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite to New World anopheline mosquitoes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvaro Molina-Cruz

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum originated in Africa, dispersed around the world as a result of human migration and had to adapt to several different indigenous anopheline mosquitoes. Anophelines from the New World are evolutionary distant form African ones and this probably resulted in a more stringent selection of Plasmodium as it adapted to these vectors. It is thought that Plasmodium has been genetically selected by some anopheline species through unknown mechanisms. The mosquito immune system can greatly limit infection and P. falciparum evolved a strategy to evade these responses, at least in part mediated by Pfs47, a highly polymorphic gene. We propose that adaptation of P. falciparum to new vectors may require evasion of their immune system. Parasites with a Pfs47 haplotype compatible with the indigenous mosquito vector would be able to survive and be transmitted. The mosquito antiplasmodial response could be an important determinant of P. falciparum population structure and could affect malaria transmission in the Americas.

  18. Reduced susceptibility of Plasmodium falciparum to artesunate in southern Myanmar.

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    Myat P Kyaw

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinins, the first line treatment for malaria worldwide, has been reported in western Cambodia. Resistance is characterized by significantly delayed clearance of parasites following artemisinin treatment. Artemisinin resistance has not previously been reported in Myanmar, which has the highest falciparum malaria burden among Southeast Asian countries. METHODS: A non-randomized, single-arm, open-label clinical trial of artesunate monotherapy (4 mg/kg daily for seven days was conducted in adults with acute blood-smear positive P. falciparum malaria in Kawthaung, southern Myanmar. Parasite density was measured every 12 hours until two consecutive negative smears were obtained. Participants were followed weekly at the study clinic for three additional weeks. Co-primary endpoints included parasite clearance time (the time required for complete clearance of initial parasitemia, parasite clearance half-life (the time required for parasitemia to decrease by 50% based on the linear portion of the parasite clearance slope, and detectable parasitemia 72 hours after commencement of artesunate treatment. Drug pharmacokinetics were measured to rule out delayed clearance due to suboptimal drug levels. RESULTS: The median (range parasite clearance half-life and time were 4.8 (2.1-9.7 and 60 (24-96 hours, respectively. The frequency distributions of parasite clearance half-life and time were bimodal, with very slow parasite clearance characteristic of the slowest-clearing Cambodian parasites (half-life longer than 6.2 hours in approximately 1/3 of infections. Fourteen of 52 participants (26.9% had a measurable parasitemia 72 hours after initiating artesunate treatment. Parasite clearance was not associated with drug pharmacokinetics. CONCLUSIONS: A subset of P. falciparum infections in southern Myanmar displayed markedly delayed clearance following artemisinin treatment, suggesting either emergence of

  19. Reduced Susceptibility of Plasmodium falciparum to Artesunate in Southern Myanmar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyaw, Myat P.; Nyunt, Myat H.; Chit, Khin; Aye, Moe M.; Aye, Kyin H.; Aye, Moe M.; Tarning, Joel; Imwong, Mallika; Jacob, Christopher G.; Rasmussen, Charlotte; Perin, Jamie; Ringwald, Pascal; Nyunt, Myaing M.

    2013-01-01

    Background Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinins, the first line treatment for malaria worldwide, has been reported in western Cambodia. Resistance is characterized by significantly delayed clearance of parasites following artemisinin treatment. Artemisinin resistance has not previously been reported in Myanmar, which has the highest falciparum malaria burden among Southeast Asian countries. Methods A non-randomized, single-arm, open-label clinical trial of artesunate monotherapy (4 mg/kg daily for seven days) was conducted in adults with acute blood-smear positive P. falciparum malaria in Kawthaung, southern Myanmar. Parasite density was measured every 12 hours until two consecutive negative smears were obtained. Participants were followed weekly at the study clinic for three additional weeks. Co-primary endpoints included parasite clearance time (the time required for complete clearance of initial parasitemia), parasite clearance half-life (the time required for parasitemia to decrease by 50% based on the linear portion of the parasite clearance slope), and detectable parasitemia 72 hours after commencement of artesunate treatment. Drug pharmacokinetics were measured to rule out delayed clearance due to suboptimal drug levels. Results The median (range) parasite clearance half-life and time were 4.8 (2.1–9.7) and 60 (24–96) hours, respectively. The frequency distributions of parasite clearance half-life and time were bimodal, with very slow parasite clearance characteristic of the slowest-clearing Cambodian parasites (half-life longer than 6.2 hours) in approximately 1/3 of infections. Fourteen of 52 participants (26.9%) had a measurable parasitemia 72 hours after initiating artesunate treatment. Parasite clearance was not associated with drug pharmacokinetics. Conclusions A subset of P. falciparum infections in southern Myanmar displayed markedly delayed clearance following artemisinin treatment, suggesting either emergence of artemisinin

  20. Chondroitin sulfate A-adhering Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes express functionally important antibody epitopes shared by multiple variants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barfod, Lea; Dobrilovic, Tina; Magistrado, Pamela

    2010-01-01

    Acquired protection from Plasmodium falciparum placental malaria, a major cause of maternal, fetal, and infant morbidity, is mediated by IgG specific for the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 variant VAR2CSA. This protein enables adhesion of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes to chond......Acquired protection from Plasmodium falciparum placental malaria, a major cause of maternal, fetal, and infant morbidity, is mediated by IgG specific for the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 variant VAR2CSA. This protein enables adhesion of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes...

  1. Genome Wide In silico Analysis of the Mismatch Repair Components of Plasmodium falciparum and Their Comparison with Human Host

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarique, Mohammed; Ahmad, Moaz; Chauhan, Manish; Tuteja, Renu

    2017-01-01

    Malaria a major parasitic infection globally particularly in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world is responsible for about 198 million cases and estimated deaths due to this disease are about 0.6 million. The emergence of drug resistance in the malaria parasite is alarming and it is necessary to understand its underlying cause and molecular mechanisms. It has been established that drug resistant malaria parasites have defective mismatch repair (MMR) therefore it is essential to study this pathway and its components in detail. Recently a number of non-synonymous Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms have been reported in genes involved in MMR pathways. PfMLH is an endonuclease essential to restore the MMR in drug resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum. Considering all these facts about the role of MMR in emergence of drug resistant parasite, in this manuscript we report a genome wide analysis of the components of the MMR pathway such as MLH, Pms1, MSH2-1, MSH2-2, MSH6, and UvrD using in silico bioinformatics based approaches. The phylogenetic analysis revealed evolutionary closeness with the MMR components of various organisms. It is noteworthy that P. falciparum contains two homologs of MSH2, which are located on different chromosomes. The structural modeling of these components showed their similarity with the human/yeast MMR components. The docking studies reveal that PfUvrD and PfMLH interact with each other. The in silico identification of interacting partners of the major MMR components identified numerous P. falciparum specific proteins. In line with our previous studies the present study will also contribute significantly to understand the MMR pathway of malaria parasite. PMID:28232818

  2. Structure and function of Plasmodium falciparum malate dehydrogenase: role of critical amino acids in co-substrate binding pocket.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pradhan, Anupam; Tripathi, Abhai K; Desai, Prashant V; Mukherjee, Prasenjit K; Avery, Mitchell A; Walker, Larry A; Tekwani, Babu L

    2009-01-01

    The malaria parasite thrives on anaerobic fermentation of glucose for energy. Earlier studies from our laboratory have demonstrated that a cytosolic malate dehydrogenase (PfMDH) with striking similarity to lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH) might complement PfLDH function in Plasmodium falciparum. The N-terminal glycine motif, which forms a characteristic Rossman dinucleotide-binding fold in the co-substrate binding pocket, differentiates PfMDH (GlyXGlyXXGly) from other eukaryotic and prokaryotic malate dehydrogenases (GlyXXGlyXXGly). The amino acids lining the co-substrate binding pocket are completely conserved in MDHs from different species of human, primate and rodent malaria parasites. Based on this knowledge and conserved domains among prokaryotic and eukaryotic MDH, the role of critical amino acids lining the co-substrate binding pocket was analyzed in catalytic functions of PfMDH using site-directed mutagenesis. Insertion of Ala at the 9th or 10th position, which converts the N-terminal GlyXGlyXXGly motif (characteristic of malarial MDH and LDH) to GlyXXGlyXXGly (as in bacterial and eukaryotic MDH), uncoupled regulation of the enzyme through substrate inhibition. The dinucleotide fold GlyXGlyXXGly motif seems not to be responsible for the distinct affinity of PfMDH to 3-acetylpyridine-adenine dinucleotide (APAD, a synthetic analog of NAD), since Ala9 and Ala10 insertion mutants still utilized APADH. The Gln11Met mutation, which converts the signature glycine motif in PfMDH to that of PfLDH, did not change the enzyme function. However, the Gln11Gly mutant showed approximately a 5-fold increase in catalytic activity, and higher susceptibility to inhibition with gossypol. Asn119 and His174 participate in binding of both co-substrate and substrate. The Asn119Gly mutant exhibited approximately a 3-fold decrease in catalytic efficiency, while mutation of His174 to Asn or Ala resulted in an inactive enzyme. These studies provide critical insights into the co

  3. Transfected HEK293 Cells Expressing Functional Recombinant Intercellular Adhesion Molecule 1 (ICAM-1) - A Receptor Associated with Severe Plasmodium falciparum Malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bengtsson, Anja; Joergensen, Louise; Barbati, Zachary R;

    2013-01-01

    Intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) is a membrane-bound glycoprotein expressed on endothelial cells and cells of the immune system. Human ICAM-1 mediates adhesion and migration of leucocytes, and is implicated in inflammatory pathologies, autoimmune diseases and in many cancer processes....... Additionally, ICAM-1 acts as receptor for pathogens like human rhinovirus and Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites. A group of related P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) domains, the DBLβ, mediates ICAM-1 binding of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes. This ICAM‑1-binding phenotype has...... as vaccine candidates and go into clinical trials. Such studies require availability of functional recombinant ICAM-1 in large quantities. In this study, we compared recombinant ICAM-1 expressed in HEK293 and COS-7 cells with mouse myeloma NS0 ICAM-1 purchased from a commercial vendor in terms of protein...

  4. Plasmodium falciparum signal recognition particle components and anti-parasitic effect of ivermectin in blocking nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling of SRP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panchal, M; Rawat, K; Kumar, G; Kibria, K M; Singh, S; Kalamuddin, Md; Mohmmed, A; Malhotra, P; Tuteja, R

    2014-01-16

    Signal recognition particle (SRP) is a ubiquitous ribonucleoprotein complex that targets proteins to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in eukaryotes. Here we report that Plasmodium falciparum SRP is composed of six polypeptides; SRP9, SRP14, SRP19, SRP54, SRP68 and SRP72 and a 303nt long SRP RNA. We generated four transgenic parasite lines expressing SRP-GFP chimeric proteins and co-localization studies showed the nucleo-cytoplasmic localization for these proteins. The evaluation of the effect of known SRP and nuclear import/export inhibitors on P. falciparum revealed that ivermectin, an inhibitor of importin α/β mediated nuclear import inhibited the nuclear import of PfSRP polypeptides at submicromolar concentration, thereby killing the parasites. These findings provide insights into dynamic structure of P. falciparum SRP and also raise the possibility that ivermectin could be used in combination with other antimalarial agents to control the disease.

  5. The prognostic value of schizontaemia in imported Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background In Plasmodium falciparum infection, peripheral parasite counts do not always correlate well with the sequestered parasite burden. As erythrocytes parasitized with mature trophozoites and schizonts have a high tendency to adhere to the microvascular endothelium, they are often absent in peripheral blood samples. The appearance of schizonts in peripheral blood smears is thought to be a marker of high sequestered parasite burden and severe disease. In the present study, the value of schizontaemia as an early marker for severe disease in non-immune individuals with imported malaria was evaluated. Methods All patients in the Rotterdam Malaria Cohort diagnosed with P. falciparum malaria between 1 January 1999 and 1 January 2012 were included. Thick and thin blood films were examined for the presence of schizontaemia. The occurrence of WHO defined severe malaria was the primary endpoint. The diagnostic performance of schizontaemia was compared with previously evaluated biomarkers C-reactive protein and lactate. Results Schizonts were present on admission in 49 of 401 (12.2%) patients. Patients with schizontaemia were more likely to present with severe malaria, a more complicated course and had longer duration of admission in hospital. Schizontaemia had a specificity of 0.95, a sensitivity of 0.53, a negative predictive value of 0.92 and a positive predictive value of 0.67 for severe malaria. The presence of schizonts was an independent predictor for severe malaria. Conclusion Absence of schizonts was found to be a specific marker for exclusion of severe malaria. Presence of schizonts on admission was associated with a high positive predictive value for severe malaria. This may be of help to identify patients who are at risk of a more severe course than would be expected when considering peripheral parasitaemia alone. PMID:22929647

  6. Volatile organic compounds associated with Plasmodium falciparum infection in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correa, Ricardo; Coronado, Lorena M; Garrido, Anette C; Durant-Archibold, Armando A; Spadafora, Carmenza

    2017-05-02

    In order to identify new ways to prevent transmission of vector-borne diseases such as malaria, efforts have been made to understand how insects are attracted to humans. Vector-host interaction studies have shown that several volatile compounds play an important role in attracting mosquitoes to human targets. A headspace solid-phase micro-extraction/gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HSPME GC-MS) analysis of the volatile organic composition of extracellular vesicles (EVs) and supernatants of ultracentrifugation (SNUs) was carried out in Plasmodium falciparum-infected cultures with high and low parasitemias. A list of 18 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) was obtained from the EVs of both infected and uninfected RBCs with 1,2,3-Propanetriol, diacetate (diacetin) increased in the infected EVs, regardless of the parasitemia of the culture. The supernatant analysis, however, gave off 56 VOCs, with pentane 2,2,4-trimethyl being present in all the SNUs of uninfected erythrocytes but absent from the parasite-infected ones. Standing out in this study was hexanal, a reported insect attractant, which was the only VOC present in all samples from SNUs from infected erythrocytes and absent from uninfected ones, suggesting that it originates during parasite infection. The hexanal compound, reportedly a low-level component found in healthy human samples such as breath and plasma, had not been found in previous analyses of P. falciparum-infected patients or cultures. This compound has been reported as an Anopheles gambiae attractant in plants. While the compound could be produced during infection by the malaria parasite in human erythrocytes, the A. gambiae attraction could be used by the parasite as a strategy for transmission.

  7. Molecular characterisation of drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum from Thailand

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    Gil José

    2002-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The increasing levels of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to chloroquine (CQ in Thailand have led to the use of alternative antimalarials, which are at present also becoming ineffective. In this context, any strategies that help improve the surveillance of drug resistance, become crucial in overcoming the problem. Methods In the present study, we have established the in vitro sensitivity to CQ, mefloquine (MF, quinine (QUIN and amodiaquine (AMQ of 52 P. falciparum isolates collected in Thailand, and assessed the prevalence of four putative genetic polymorphisms of drug resistance, pfcrt K76T, pfmdr1 N86Y, pfmdr1 D1042N and pfmdr1 Y1246D, by PCR-RFLP. Results The percentage of isolates resistant to CQ, MF, and AMQ was 96% (50/52, 62% (32/52, and 58% (18/31, respectively, while all parasites were found to be sensitive to QUIN. In addition, 41 (79% of the isolates assayed were resistant simultaneously to more than one drug; 25 to CQ and MF, 9 to CQ and AMQ, and 7 to all three drugs, CQ, MF and AMQ. There were two significant associations between drug sensitivity and presence of particular molecular markers, i CQ resistance / pfcrt 76T (P = 0.001, and ii MF resistance / pfmdr1 86N (P Conclusions i In Thailand, the high levels of CQ pressure have led to strong selection of the pfcrt 76T polymorphism and ii pfmdr1 86N appears to be a good predictor of in vitro MF resistance.

  8. Origin and evolution of sulfadoxine resistant Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Sumiti Vinayak

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available The Thailand-Cambodia border is the epicenter for drug-resistant falciparum malaria. Previous studies have shown that chloroquine (CQ and pyrimethamine resistance originated in this region and eventually spread to other Asian countries and Africa. However, there is a dearth in understanding the origin and evolution of dhps alleles associated with sulfadoxine resistance. The present study was designed to reveal the origin(s of sulfadoxine resistance in Cambodia and its evolutionary relationship to African and South American dhps alleles. We sequenced 234 Cambodian Plasmodium falciparum isolates for the dhps codons S436A/F, A437G, K540E, A581G and A613S/T implicated in sulfadoxine resistance. We also genotyped 10 microsatellite loci around dhps to determine the genetic backgrounds of various alleles and compared them with the backgrounds of alleles prevalent in Africa and South America. In addition to previously known highly-resistant triple mutant dhps alleles SGEGA and AGEAA (codons 436, 437, 540, 581, 613 are sequentially indicated, a large proportion of the isolates (19.3% contained a 540N mutation in association with 437G/581G yielding a previously unreported triple mutant allele, SGNGA. Microsatellite data strongly suggest the strength of selection was greater on triple mutant dhps alleles followed by the double and single mutants. We provide evidence for at least three independent origins for the double mutants, one each for the SGKGA, AGKAA and SGEAA alleles. Our data suggest that the triple mutant allele SGEGA and the novel allele SGNGA have common origin on the SGKGA background, whereas the AGEAA triple mutant was derived from AGKAA on multiple, albeit limited, genetic backgrounds. The SGEAA did not share haplotypes with any of the triple mutants. Comparative analysis of the microsatellite haplotypes flanking dhps alleles from Cambodia, Kenya, Cameroon and Venezuela revealed an independent origin of sulfadoxine resistant alleles in each

  9. Origin and evolution of sulfadoxine resistant Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinayak, Sumiti; Alam, Md Tauqeer; Mixson-Hayden, Tonya; McCollum, Andrea M; Sem, Rithy; Shah, Naman K; Lim, Pharath; Muth, Sinuon; Rogers, William O; Fandeur, Thierry; Barnwell, John W; Escalante, Ananias A; Wongsrichanalai, Chansuda; Ariey, Frederick; Meshnick, Steven R; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2010-03-26

    The Thailand-Cambodia border is the epicenter for drug-resistant falciparum malaria. Previous studies have shown that chloroquine (CQ) and pyrimethamine resistance originated in this region and eventually spread to other Asian countries and Africa. However, there is a dearth in understanding the origin and evolution of dhps alleles associated with sulfadoxine resistance. The present study was designed to reveal the origin(s) of sulfadoxine resistance in Cambodia and its evolutionary relationship to African and South American dhps alleles. We sequenced 234 Cambodian Plasmodium falciparum isolates for the dhps codons S436A/F, A437G, K540E, A581G and A613S/T implicated in sulfadoxine resistance. We also genotyped 10 microsatellite loci around dhps to determine the genetic backgrounds of various alleles and compared them with the backgrounds of alleles prevalent in Africa and South America. In addition to previously known highly-resistant triple mutant dhps alleles SGEGA and AGEAA (codons 436, 437, 540, 581, 613 are sequentially indicated), a large proportion of the isolates (19.3%) contained a 540N mutation in association with 437G/581G yielding a previously unreported triple mutant allele, SGNGA. Microsatellite data strongly suggest the strength of selection was greater on triple mutant dhps alleles followed by the double and single mutants. We provide evidence for at least three independent origins for the double mutants, one each for the SGKGA, AGKAA and SGEAA alleles. Our data suggest that the triple mutant allele SGEGA and the novel allele SGNGA have common origin on the SGKGA background, whereas the AGEAA triple mutant was derived from AGKAA on multiple, albeit limited, genetic backgrounds. The SGEAA did not share haplotypes with any of the triple mutants. Comparative analysis of the microsatellite haplotypes flanking dhps alleles from Cambodia, Kenya, Cameroon and Venezuela revealed an independent origin of sulfadoxine resistant alleles in each of these regions.

  10. Spatial prediction of Plasmodium falciparum prevalence in Somalia

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    Shewchuk Tanya

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Maps of malaria distribution are vital for optimal allocation of resources for anti-malarial activities. There is a lack of reliable contemporary malaria maps in endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa. This problem is particularly acute in low malaria transmission countries such as those located in the horn of Africa. Methods Data from a national malaria cluster sample survey in 2005 and routine cluster surveys in 2007 were assembled for Somalia. Rapid diagnostic tests were used to examine the presence of Plasmodium falciparum parasites in finger-prick blood samples obtained from individuals across all age-groups. Bayesian geostatistical models, with environmental and survey covariates, were used to predict continuous maps of malaria prevalence across Somalia and to define the uncertainty associated with the predictions. Results For analyses the country was divided into north and south. In the north, the month of survey, distance to water, precipitation and temperature had no significant association with P. falciparum prevalence when spatial correlation was taken into account. In contrast, all the covariates, except distance to water, were significantly associated with parasite prevalence in the south. The inclusion of covariates improved model fit for the south but not for the north. Model precision was highest in the south. The majority of the country had a predicted prevalence of Conclusion The maps showed that malaria transmission in Somalia varied from hypo- to meso-endemic. However, even after including the selected covariates in the model, there still remained a considerable amount of unexplained spatial variation in parasite prevalence, indicating effects of other factors not captured in the study. Nonetheless the maps presented here provide the best contemporary information on malaria prevalence in Somalia.

  11. Prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum infection in pregnant women in Gabon

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    Kendjo Eric

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In areas where malaria is endemic, pregnancy is associated with increased susceptibility to malaria. It is generally agreed that this risk ends with delivery and decreases with the number of pregnancies. Our study aimed to demonstrate relationships between malarial parasitaemia and age, gravidity and anaemia in pregnant women in Libreville, the capital city of Gabon. Methods Peripheral blood was collected from 311 primigravidae and women in their second pregnancy. Thick blood smears were checked, as were the results of haemoglobin electrophoresis. We also looked for the presence of anaemia, fever, and checked whether the volunteers had had chemoprophylaxis. The study was performed in Gabon where malaria transmission is intense and perennial. Results A total of 177 women (57% had microscopic parasitaemia; 139 (64%of them were primigravidae, 38 (40% in their second pregnancy and 180 (64% were teenagers. The parasites densities were also higher in primigravidae and teenagers. The prevalence of anaemia was 71% and was associated with microscopic Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia: women with moderate or severe anaemia had higher parasite prevalences and densities. However, the sickle cell trait, fever and the use of chemoprophylaxis did not have a significant association with the presence of P. falciparum. Conclusions These results suggest that the prevalence of malaria and the prevalence of anaemia, whether associated with malaria or not, are higher in pregnant women in Gabon. Primigravidae and young pregnant women are the most susceptible to infection. It is, therefore, urgent to design an effective regimen of malaria prophylaxis for this high risk population.

  12. Plasmodium falciparum Hsp70-z, an Hsp110 homologue, exhibits independent chaperone activity and interacts with Hsp70-1 in a nucleotide-dependent fashion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zininga, Tawanda; Achilonu, Ikechukwu; Hoppe, Heinrich; Prinsloo, Earl; Dirr, Heini W; Shonhai, Addmore

    2016-05-01

    The role of molecular chaperones, among them heat shock proteins (Hsps), in the development of malaria parasites has been well documented. Hsp70s are molecular chaperones that facilitate protein folding. Hsp70 proteins are composed of an N-terminal nucleotide binding domain (NBD), which confers them with ATPase activity and a C-terminal substrate binding domain (SBD). In the ADP-bound state, Hsp70 possesses high affinity for substrate and releases the folded substrate when it is bound to ATP. The two domains are connected by a conserved linker segment. Hsp110 proteins possess an extended lid segment, a feature that distinguishes them from canonical Hsp70s. Plasmodium falciparum Hsp70-z (PfHsp70-z) is a member of the Hsp110 family of Hsp70-like proteins. PfHsp70-z is essential for survival of malaria parasites and is thought to play an important role as a molecular chaperone and nucleotide exchange factor of its cytosolic canonical Hsp70 counterpart, PfHsp70-1. Unlike PfHsp70-1 whose functions are fairly well established, the structure-function features of PfHsp70-z remain to be fully elucidated. In the current study, we established that PfHsp70-z possesses independent chaperone activity. In fact, PfHsp70-z appears to be marginally more effective in suppressing protein aggregation than its cytosol-localized partner, PfHsp70-1. Furthermore, based on coimmunoaffinity chromatography and surface plasmon resonance analyses, PfHsp70-z associated with PfHsp70-1 in a nucleotide-dependent fashion. Our findings suggest that besides serving as a molecular chaperone, PfHsp70-z could facilitate the nucleotide exchange function of PfHsp70-1. These dual functions explain why it is essential for parasite survival.

  13. Protease-associated cellular networks in malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilburn Timothy G

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria continues to be one of the most severe global infectious diseases, responsible for 1-2 million deaths yearly. The rapid evolution and spread of drug resistance in parasites has led to an urgent need for the development of novel antimalarial targets. Proteases are a group of enzymes that play essential roles in parasite growth and invasion. The possibility of designing specific inhibitors for proteases makes them promising drug targets. Previously, combining a comparative genomics approach and a machine learning approach, we identified the complement of proteases (degradome in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and its sibling species 123, providing a catalog of targets for functional characterization and rational inhibitor design. Network analysis represents another route to revealing the role of proteins in the biology of parasites and we use this approach here to expand our understanding of the systems involving the proteases of P. falciparum. Results We investigated the roles of proteases in the parasite life cycle by constructing a network using protein-protein association data from the STRING database 4, and analyzing these data, in conjunction with the data from protein-protein interaction assays using the yeast 2-hybrid (Y2H system 5, blood stage microarray experiments 678, proteomics 9101112, literature text mining, and sequence homology analysis. Seventy-seven (77 out of 124 predicted proteases were associated with at least one other protein, constituting 2,431 protein-protein interactions (PPIs. These proteases appear to play diverse roles in metabolism, cell cycle regulation, invasion and infection. Their degrees of connectivity (i.e., connections to other proteins, range from one to 143. The largest protease-associated sub-network is the ubiquitin-proteasome system which is crucial for protein recycling and stress response. Proteases are also implicated in heat shock response, signal peptide

  14. Plasmodium falciparum malaria in infants under 5 kg: retrospective surveillance of hospital records in five sub-saharan African countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alao, Maroufou J; Gbadoé, Adama D; Meremikwu, Martin; Tshefu, Antoinette; Tiono, Alfred B; Cousin, Marc; Hamed, Kamal

    2013-04-01

    To investigate the disease burden, clinical features, treatment and outcomes of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in neonates and infants weighing Plasmodium falciparum malaria exists in this subpopulation. Further epidemiological data are needed to estimate malaria morbidity and mortality in young infants. Moreover, clinical evidence on the efficacy and safety of artemisinin-based combination therapies in this subpopulation is warranted.

  15. Genome-wide discovery and verification of novel structured RNAs in Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mourier, Tobias; Carret, Celine; Kyes, Sue;

    2008-01-01

    We undertook a genome-wide search for novel noncoding RNAs (ncRNA) in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. We used the RNAz program to predict structures in the noncoding regions of the P. falciparum 3D7 genome that were conserved with at least one of seven other Plasmodium spp. genome seq...

  16. Invasion of erythrocytes in vitro by Plasmodium falciparum can be inhibited by monoclonal antibody directed against an S antigen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saul, A; Cooper, J; Ingram, L; Anders, R F; Brown, G V

    1985-11-01

    A monoclonal antibody has been produced which binds to the heat stable S antigen present in the FCQ-27/PNG isolate of Plasmodium falciparum. This monoclonal antibody also inhibits the invasion in vitro of erythrocytes by malarial merozoites thus demonstrating that the S antigens of Plasmodium falciparum may be a target of protective immune responses.

  17. Molecular epidemiology of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum malaria among Duffy-positive and Duffy-negative populations in Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Eugenia; Yewhalaw, Delenasaw; Zhong, Daibin; Zemene, Endalew; Degefa, Teshome; Tushune, Kora; Ha, Margaret; Lee, Ming-Chieh; James, Anthony A; Yan, Guiyun

    2015-02-19

    Malaria is the most prevalent communicable disease in Ethiopia, with 75% of the country's landmass classified as endemic for malaria. Accurate information on the distribution and clinical prevalence of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum malaria in endemic areas, as well as in Duffy-negative populations, is essential to develop integrated control strategies. A total of 390 and 416 community and clinical samples, respectively, representing different localities and age groups across Ethiopia were examined. Malaria prevalence was estimated using nested PCR of the 18S rRNA region. Parasite gene copy number was measured by quantitative real-time PCR and compared between symptomatic and asymptomatic samples, as well as between children/adolescents and adults from the local community. An approximately 500-bp segment of the human DARC gene was amplified and sequenced to identify Duffy genotype at the -33rd nucleotide position for all the clinical and community samples. Plasmodium vivax prevalence was higher in the south while P. falciparum was higher in the north. The prevalence of P. vivax and P. falciparum malaria is the highest in children compared to adolescents and adults. Four P. vi