Plasmodium falciparum has a limited repertoire of autophagy‐related genes (ATGs), and the functions of various proteins of the autophagy‐like pathway are not fully established in this protozoan parasite. Studies suggest that some of the autophagy proteins are crucial for parasite growth. PfATG18, for example, is essential for parasite replication and has a noncanonical role in apicoplast biogenesis. In this study, we demonstrate the conserved functions of PfATG18 in food vacuole (FV) dynamics and autophagy. Intriguingly, the P. falciparum FV is found to undergo fission and fusion and PfATG18 gets enriched at the interfaces of the newly generated multilobed FV during the process.
Mol Microbiol, 2019 Dec 21.
PNAS October 29, 2019 116 (44) 22386-22392
Hosts defend themselves against pathogens by mounting an immune response. Fully understanding the immune response as a driver of host disease and pathogen evolution requires a quantitative account of its impact on parasite population dynamics.