An essential role for the plasmodium nek-2 NIMA-related protein kinase in the sexual development of malaria parasites

Reininger, L., Tewari, R., Fennell, C., Holland, Z., Goldring, D., Ranford-Cartwright, L.C., Billker, O. and Doerig, C. (2009) An essential role for the plasmodium nek-2 NIMA-related protein kinase in the sexual development of malaria parasites. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 284(31), pp. 20858-20868. (doi:10.1074/jbc.M109.017988)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M109.017988

Abstract

The molecular control of cell division and development in malaria parasites is far from understood. We previously showed that a Plasmodium gametocyte-specific NIMA-related protein kinase, nek-4, is required for completion of meiosis in the ookinete, the motile form that develops from the zygote in the mosquito vector. Here, we show that another NIMA-related kinase, Pfnek-2, is also predominantly expressed in gametocytes, and that Pfnek-2 is an active enzyme displaying an in vitro substrate preference distinct from that of Pfnek-4. A functional nek-2 gene is required for transmission of both Plasmodium falciparum and the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei to the mosquito vector, which is explained by the observation that disruption of the nek-2 gene in P. berghei causes dysregulation of DNA replication during meiosis and blocks ookinete development. This has implications (i) in our understanding of sexual development of malaria parasites and (ii) in the context of control strategies aimed at interfering with malaria transmission

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ranford-Cartwright, Dr Lisa
Authors: Reininger, L., Tewari, R., Fennell, C., Holland, Z., Goldring, D., Ranford-Cartwright, L.C., Billker, O., and Doerig, C.
Subjects:Q Science > QH Natural history > QH345 Biochemistry
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Journal of Biological Chemistry
Journal Abbr.:J Biol Chem.
Publisher:American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
ISSN:0021-9258
ISSN (Online):1083-351X
Published Online:02 June 2009

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