Transition of plasmodium sporozoites into liver stage-like forms is regulated by the RNA binding protein pumilio

Gomes-Santos, C.S.S. et al. (2011) Transition of plasmodium sporozoites into liver stage-like forms is regulated by the RNA binding protein pumilio. PLoS Pathogens, 7(5), e1002046. (doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002046)



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Many eukaryotic developmental and cell fate decisions that are effected post-transcriptionally involve RNA binding proteins as regulators of translation of key mRNAs. In malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.), the development of round, non-motile and replicating exo-erythrocytic liver stage forms from slender, motile and cell-cycle arrested sporozoites is believed to depend on environmental changes experienced during the transmission of the parasite from the mosquito vector to the vertebrate host. Here we identify a Plasmodium member of the RNA binding protein family PUF as a key regulator of this transformation. In the absence of Pumilio-2 (Puf2) sporozoites initiate EEF development inside mosquito salivary glands independently of the normal transmission-associated environmental cues. Puf2- sporozoites exhibit genome-wide transcriptional changes that result in loss of gliding motility, cell traversal ability and reduction in infectivity, and, moreover, trigger metamorphosis typical of early Plasmodium intra-hepatic development. These data demonstrate that Puf2 is a key player in regulating sporozoite developmental control, and imply that transformation of salivary gland-resident sporozoites into liver stage-like parasites is regulated by a post-transcriptional mechanism.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Waters, Professor Andy
Authors: Gomes-Santos, C.S.S., Braks, J., Prudêncio, M., Carret, C., Gomes, A.R., Pain, A., Feltwell, T., Khan, S., Waters, A.P., Janse, C., Mair, G.R., and Mota, M.M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
Journal Name:PLoS Pathogens
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1553-7374
Published Online:01 January 2011
Copyright Holders:© 2011 Gomes-Santos et al
First Published:First published in PLoS Pathogens 2011 7(5): e1002046
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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