Navigation Links
UCR researcher identifies mechanism malaria parasite uses to spread in 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 medicine news :

1. Penn researchers find genetic link to leukemias with an unknown origin
2. MSU researcher links potentially deadly infection, frequent cow exposure
3. Researchers discover second protective role for tumor-suppressor
4. Researchers chart genomic map spanning over 2 dozen cancers
5. Researchers find biomarkers in saliva for detection of early-stage pancreatic cancer
6. Clemson researchers develop hands-free texting application
7. GUMC researchers say flower power may reduce resistance to breast cancer drug tamoxifen
8. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
9. UT researcher receives $2.4 million to research obesity, high-risk pregnancy
10. MSU researcher linking breast cancer patients with alternative therapies
11. Researchers create drug to keep tumor growth switched off
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UCR researcher identifies mechanism malaria parasite uses to spread in red blood cells
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... United Benefit Advisors (UBA), the ... the latest addition to its family of Partner Firms. Headquartered in Mount Pleasant, ... human resources, and health care consumerism specialists. , “Partnering with UBA will enable ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... An essential tool for researching ... certain Canadian provinces is now available from the International Association of Industrial Accident ... The report, Workers’ Compensation Laws as of January 1, 2016, is ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... A recent survey by ... face challenges in getting employees to understand and use the free preventive care benefits ... nation’s leading non-profit business groups of large, self-insured public and private employers, MBGH found ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... Houston, TX (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... 2015 AIA/AAH Healthcare Design Awards, presented by the American Institute of Architects and the ... and designed by the renowned Perkins+Will and Harrell Architects, opened to patients in October ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... , ... May 05, 2016 , ... TIME for Kids ... – today announced a new partnership to reach nearly 1 million children with important ... an instant and is the leading cause of accidental death in children one to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... Research and Markets has ... Myeloma Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights - ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) , ... Highlights 2016, provides comprehensive insights into Multiple ... Myeloma market valuations and forecast, Multiple Myeloma ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... 2016 Research and ... Acute Myeloid Leukemia Market and Competitive Landscape ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ... and Competitive Landscape Highlights 2016, provides comprehensive ... Acute Myeloid Leukemia epidemiology, Acute Myeloid Leukemia ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Research and Markets has ... lymphocytic Leukemia Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) ... and Competitive Landscape Highlights 2016, provides comprehensive ... Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia epidemiology, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: