Disruption of the pfPK7 gene impairs schizogony and sporogony in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

Dorin-Semblat, D., Sicard, A., Doerig, C., Ranford-Cartwright, L. and Doerig, C. (2008) Disruption of the pfPK7 gene impairs schizogony and sporogony in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Eukaryotic Cell, 7(2), pp. 279-285. (doi:10.1128/EC.00245-07)

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Abstract

PfPK7 is an orphan protein kinase of Plasmodium falciparum with maximal homology to MEK3/6 and to fungal protein kinase A proteins in its C-terminal and N-terminal regions, respectively. We showed previously that recombinant PfPK7 is active on various substrates but is unable to phosphorylate the Plasmodium falciparum mitogen-activated protein kinase homologues, suggesting that it is not a MEK functional homologue. Using a reverse genetics approach to investigate the function of this enzyme in live parasites, we now show that PfPK7– parasite clones display phenotypes at two stages of their life cycle: first, a decrease in the rate of asexual growth in erythrocytes associated with a lower number of daughter merozoites generated per schizont, and second, a dramatic reduction in the ability to produce oocysts in the mosquito vector. A normal asexual growth rate and the ability to produce oocysts are restored if a functional copy of the PfPK7 gene is reintroduced into the PfPK7– parasites. Hence, PfPK7 is involved in a pathway that regulates parasite proliferation and development.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Doerig, Dr Christian and Ranford-Cartwright, Dr Lisa and Sicard, Miss Audrey
Authors: Dorin-Semblat, D., Sicard, A., Doerig, C., Ranford-Cartwright, L., and Doerig, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Eukaryotic Cell
ISSN:1535-9778
ISSN (Online):1535-9786
Published Online:14 December 2007

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