Development of the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondrion and apicoplast during the asexual life cycle of Plasmodium falciparum

van Dooren, G. G., Marti, M. , Tonkin, C. J., Stimmler, L. M., Cowman, A. F. and McFadden, G. I. (2005) Development of the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondrion and apicoplast during the asexual life cycle of Plasmodium falciparum. Molecular Microbiology, 57(2), pp. 405-419. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2005.04699.x) (PMID:15978074)

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Abstract

Plasmodium parasites are unicellular eukaryotes that undergo a series of remarkable morphological transformations during the course of a multistage life cycle spanning two hosts (mosquito and human). Relatively little is known about the dynamics of cellular organelles throughout the course of these transformations. Here we describe the morphology of three organelles (endoplasmic reticulum, apicoplast and mitochondrion) through the human blood stages of the parasite life cycle using fluorescent reporter proteins fused to organelle targeting sequences. The endoplasmic reticulum begins as a simple crescent-shaped organelle that develops into a perinuclear ring with two small protrusions, followed by transformation into an extensive reticulated network as the parasite enlarges. Similarly, the apicoplast and the mitochondrion grow from single, small, discrete organelles into highly branched structures in later-stage parasites. These branched structures undergo an ordered fission – apicoplast followed by mitochondrion – to create multiple daughter organelles that are apparently linked as pairs for packaging into daughter cells. This is the first in-depth examination of intracellular organelles in live parasites during the asexual life cycle of this important human pathogen.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Marti, Professor Matthias
Authors: van Dooren, G. G., Marti, M., Tonkin, C. J., Stimmler, L. M., Cowman, A. F., and McFadden, G. I.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Molecular Microbiology
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:0950-382X
ISSN (Online):1365-2958
Published Online:09 June 2005

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