Navigation Links
UCR researcher identifies mechanism malaria parasite uses to spread among red blood cells
Date:2/18/2010

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Malaria remains one of the most deadly infectious diseases. Yet, how Plasmodium, the malaria parasite, regulates its infectious cycle has remained an enigma despite decades of rigorous research.

But now a research team led by a cell biologist at the University of California, Riverside has identified a mechanism by which Plasmodium intensively replicates itself in human blood to spread the disease.

"If this mechanism can be stopped," said Karine Le Roch, an assistant professor of cell biology and neuroscience, who led the research, "Plasmodium replication would cease or be severely inhibited, thus controlling the spread of malaria."

In the cells of eukaryotes, such as the unicellular Plasmodium and humans, DNA, which can be as long as two meters, is closely packed to fit into the cell's tiny nucleus. Huge complex proteins called nucleosomes facilitate this DNA compaction so that eventually the DNA is coiled in an ordered manner to form chromosomes.

Made up of histone, a kind of protein, the nucleosomes are repeating units around which the double helix of DNA gets wrapped and vast amounts of genetic information get organized.

In trying to understand how the malaria parasite multiplies in red blood cells, Le Roch's team found that in Plasmodium a kind of "histone crash" takes place a massive breakdown of histone that explains how the parasite can replicate extensively its DNA and coding gene in human red blood cells.

For cell multiplication to occur, the genes in a DNA strand need to first be transcribed and translated (converted) into protein. For this transcription to take place, however, the nucleosomes must first get evicted (removed), a process that opens up the DNA strand to give special "transcription factors" full access to the genes. The transcription factors then convert these genes into protein.

While in humans such eviction of nucleosomes is specific to only some sections of the DNA strand and performed only when needed, in Plasmodium the situation is vastly different.

Le Roch's experiments in the lab show that 18 hours after Plasmodium enters a red blood cell, a huge eviction of nucleosomes occurs in the Plasmodium DNA. Gene transcription throughout the genome follows; after multiplication into up to 32 daughter cells, the newly-formed parasites are ready to exit the red blood cell and invade new ones about 18 hours later.

"We found in our experiments that histones are massively evicted everywhere in the Plasmodium genome, resulting in most of the Plasmodium genes to be transcribed at once," Le Roch said. "If we can find a candidate enzyme that can regulate this massive histone eviction, we could halt or greatly limit Plasmodium replication."

Study results appear this month in the journal Genome Research.

"Dr. Le Roch's findings document a global mechanism mediating significant changes in gene expression as the parasites transition through developmental stages in the human hosts," said Anthony A. James, a distinguished professor of microbiology & molecular genetics and molecular biology & biochemistry at UC Irvine, who was not involved in the research. "As well as being a major basic discovery, this provides a basis for probing the mechanisms for novel drug development."


'/>"/>

Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. MDC researchers link protein tether to touch perception
2. Caltech researchers presenting at AAAS Meeting
3. Researchers develop standard of care for breast cancer survivors with lymphedema
4. U-M researchers find key interaction that controls telomeres
5. UWM researcher predicts stem cell fate with software
6. Researchers identify mechanism for Frank-Ter Haar syndrome
7. OHSU researchers discover cellular mechanism that protects against disease
8. Cameras of the future: heart researchers create revolutionary photographic technique
9. Cleveland Clinic, CWRU dental researcher finds switch that turns on the spread of cancer
10. Caltech researchers obtain first brain recordings from behaving fruit flies
11. Researchers envision high-tech applications for multiferroic crystals
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UCR researcher identifies mechanism malaria parasite uses to spread among red blood cells
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017 Vigilant Solutions ... serving law enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment of ... director of public safety business development. Mr. ... enforcement experience, including a focus on the aviation transportation ... most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... March 20, 2017 PMD Healthcare announces the ... and Wellness Management System (WMS), a remote, real-time lung ... 2010, PMD Healthcare is a Medical Device, Digital Health, ... dedicated to creating innovative solutions that empower people to ... intent focus, PMD developed the first ever personal spirometer, ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... March 13, 2017 Future of security: Biometric Face Matching ... ... DERMALOGs Face Matching enables to match face pictures against each ... to identify individuals. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG,s "Face Matching" is the fastest software for biometric Face Matching on ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/20/2017)... 20, 2017  Kibow Biotech Inc., a pioneer in ... issuance of a new patent covering a unique method ... U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on May 23 rd ... Buzz of Bio award in 2014 in ... non-drug approaches to chronic disease. Renadyl™, the first and ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... , ... June 20, 2017 , ... Do More with ... transition from being a trusted supplier in the weighing industry, to extending its expertise ... ELISA essays, enzyme reactions, immunoassays, hybridizations and more, allowing for its customers ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... ... activities supporting EDETEK’s products including training, implementation, support, and client process and SOP ... role. He has previously held leadership roles for service providers and top-tier pharmaceuticals, ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... King of Prussia, PA (PRWEB) , ... June 19, 2017 , ... ... by life sciences companies for over 50 years. One of the biggest challenges faced ... environment. Joining the firm’s regulatory affairs services team is Kati Abraham , who ...
Breaking Biology Technology: