Diverse Expression Patterns of Subgroups of the rif Multigene Family during Plasmodium falciparum GametocytogenesisReportar como inadecuado

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The maturation of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes in the human host takes several days, during which the parasites need to efficiently evade the host immune system. Like asexual stage parasites, immature gametocytes can sequester at various sites in the human body, and only mature sexual stages are found in the circulation. Although the fundamental mechanisms of gametocyte immune evasion are still largely unknown, candidate molecules that may be involved include variant antigens encoded by multigene families in the P. falciparum genome, such as the PfEMP1, STEVOR and RIFIN proteins. While expression of the former two families in sexual stages has been investigated earlier, we report here RIFIN expression during gametocytogenesis.

Methodology-Principal Findings

Variants of two previously characterized RIFIN subfamilies A- and B-type RIFINs were found to be synthesized in gametocytes. Immunofluorescence experiments showed A-type RIFINs to be accumulated in a crescent-shaped pattern of discrete punctate structures at the infected erythrocyte membrane, while members of the B-type family were associated with the parasite. Transcription analysis demonstrated the existence of diverse transcriptional regulation patterns during sexual differentiation and indicated variant-specific regulation of B-type RIFINs, in contrast to group-specific regulation for A-type RIFINs. Phylogenetic analysis of 5′-upstream regions showed that the rif–gene family falls into five defined clusters, designated rups rif upstream A1, A2, AB, B and C. In trophozoites and early gametocytes, rif variants of the rupsA2-type were preferentially expressed.


In this work we demonstrate the expression dynamics of the rif-gene family during sexual differentiation and present indications for subgroup specific regulation patterns. Therefore, our data provide a first foundation and point to new directions for future investigations of the potential role of RIFINs in gametocyte immune evasion.

Autor: Michaela Petter , Insa Bonow, Mo-Quen Klinkert

Fuente: http://plos.srce.hr/


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