The mechanisms behind the ability of Plasmodium falciparum to evade host immune system are poorly understood and are a major roadblock in achieving malaria elimination. Here, we use integrative genomic profiling and a longitudinal pediatric cohort in Burkina Faso to demonstrate the role of post-transcriptional regulation in host immune response in malaria.
Malaria is one of the most prevalent infectious disease in the world with 3.2 billion humans at risk. Malaria causes splenomegaly and damage in other organs including skeletal muscles. Skeletal muscles comprise nearly 50% of the human body and are largely responsible for the regulation and modulation of overall metabolism. It is essential to understand how malaria damages muscles in order to develop effective preventive measures and/or treatments. Using a pre-clinical animal model, the potential molecular mechanisms of Plasmodium infection affecting skeletal muscles of mice were investigated.
Mechanisms of transcriptional control in malaria parasites are still not fully understood. The positioning patterns of G-quadruplex (G4) DNA motifs in the parasite's AT-rich genome, especially within the var gene family which encodes virulence factors, and in the vicinity of recombination hotspots, points towards a possible regulatory role of G4 in gene expression and genome stability. Here, we carried out the most comprehensive genome-wide survey, to date, of G4s in the Plasmodium falciparum genome using G4Hunter, which identifies G4 forming sequences (G4FS) considering their G-richness and G-skewness.
Transcriptional profiling of the human immune response to malaria has been used to identify diagnostic markers, understand the pathogenicity of severe disease and dissect the mechanisms of naturally acquired immunity (NAI). However, interpreting this body of work is difficult given considerable variation in study design, definition of disease, patient selection and methodology employed. This work details a comprehensive review of gene expression profiling (GEP) of the human immune response to malaria to determine how this technology has been applied to date, instances where this has advanced understanding of NAI and the extent of variability in methodology between studies to allow informed comparison of data and interpretation of results.
DNA cytosine modifications are key epigenetic regulators of cellular processes in mammalian cells, with their misregulation leading to varied disease states. In the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, a unicellular eukaryotic pathogen, little is known about the predominant cytosine modifications, cytosine methylation (5mC) and hydroxymethylation (5hmC).