Salinipostin A (Sal A) is a potent antiplasmodial marine natural product with an undefined mechanism of action. Using a Sal A-derived activity-based probe, we identify its targets in the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. All of the identified proteins contain α/β serine hydrolase domains and several are essential for parasite growth. One of the essential targets displays a high degree of homology to human monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) and is able to process lipid esters including a MAGL acylglyceride substrate.
The epigenome of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, is associated with regulation of various essential processes in the parasite including control of proliferation during asexual development as well as control of sexual differentiation. The unusual nature of the epigenome has prompted investigations into the potential to target epigenetic modulators with novel chemotypes. Here, we explored the diversity within a library of 95 compounds, active against various epigenetic modifiers in cancerous cells, for activity against multiple stages of P. falciparum development.
Bromodomains (BRDs) bind to acetylated lysine residues, often on histones. The BRD proteins can contribute to gene regulation either directly through enzymatic activity or indirectly through recruitment of chromatin-modifying complexes or transcription factors. There is no evidence of direct orthologues of the Plasmodium falciparum BRD proteins (PfBDPs) outside the apicomplexans. PfBDPs are expressed during the parasite’s life cycle in both the human host’s blood and in the mosquito. PfBDPs could also prove to be promising targets for novel antimalarials, which are urgently required to address increasing drug resistance.
The efficient spread of malaria from infected humans to mosquitoes is a major challenge for malaria elimination initiatives. Gametocytes are the only Plasmodium life stage infectious to mosquitoes. Here, we summarize evidence for naturally acquired anti‐gametocyte immunity and the current state of transmission blocking vaccines (TBV). Although gametocytes are intra‐erythrocytic when present in infected humans, developing Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes may express proteins on the surface of red blood cells that elicit immune responses in naturally exposed individuals.
Malaria parasites are characterized by a complex life cycle that is accompanied by dynamic gene expression patterns. The factors and mechanisms that regulate gene expression in these parasites have been searched for even before the advent of next generation sequencing technologies. Functional genomics approaches have substantially boosted this area of research and have yielded significant insights into the interplay between epigenetic, transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms.
Here, we report a monoallelic expression pattern of the non-coding GC-elements flanking chromosomal internal var genes, and transcript from the active one was required for activation of the var gene in the same array.
This result, in concordance with the above negative results, supports the “avoidance” hypothesis that states that only individuals with efficient immune defense machinery are able to bear the costs of risk-taking that can emerge through the increased infection rates of risk-taker individuals.
Therefore, the main objective of the present study was to provide data on the prevalence of molecular markers in two genes (pvdhfr and pvdhps) associated with SP resistance after nine years of AS + SP deployment among P. vivax parasites from Eastern and Central Sudan using PCR-RFLP.
Assays for analysing parasite invasion in vitro have been developed, but no equivalent assays exist for in vivo studies. This article describes a novel flow cytometric in vivo parasite invasion assay.
In addition, we report a novel way of assessing efficacy of new candidate vaccines against P. vivax using a fully infectious transgenic Plasmodium berghei parasite expressing P. vivax TRAP to allow studies of vaccine efficacy and protective mechanisms in rodents.