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Comparative heterochromatin profiling reveals conserved and unique epigenome signatures linked to adaptation and development of malaria parasites

Fraschka, Sabine A. and Filarsky, Michael and Hoo, Regina and Niederwieser, Igor and Yam, Xue Yan and Brancucci, Nicolas M. B. and Mohring, Franziska and Mushunje, Annals T. and Huang, Ximei and Christensen, Peter R. and Nosten, Francois and Bozdech, Zbynek and Russell, Bruce and Moon, Robert W. and Marti, Matthias and Preiser, Peter R. and Bártfai, Richárd and Voss, Till S.. (2018) Comparative heterochromatin profiling reveals conserved and unique epigenome signatures linked to adaptation and development of malaria parasites. Cell host & microbe, 23 (3). pp. 407-420.e8.

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Abstract

Heterochromatin-dependent gene silencing is central to the adaptation and survival of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites, allowing clonally variant gene expression during blood infection in humans. By assessing genome-wide heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) occupancy, we present a comprehensive analysis of heterochromatin landscapes across different Plasmodium species, strains, and life cycle stages. Common targets of epigenetic silencing include fast-evolving multi-gene families encoding surface antigens and a small set of conserved HP1-associated genes with regulatory potential. Many P. falciparum heterochromatic genes are marked in a strain-specific manner, increasing the parasite's adaptive capacity. Whereas heterochromatin is strictly maintained during mitotic proliferation of asexual blood stage parasites, substantial heterochromatin reorganization occurs in differentiating gametocytes and appears crucial for the activation of key gametocyte-specific genes and adaptation of erythrocyte remodeling machinery. Collectively, these findings provide a catalog of heterochromatic genes and reveal conserved and specialized features of epigenetic control across the genus Plasmodium.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology (MPI) > Gene Regulation (Voss)
UniBasel Contributors:Filarsky, Michael and Filarsky, Michael and Niederwieser, Igor and Voss, Till S
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Cell Press
ISSN:1931-3128
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:07 Sep 2018 13:16
Deposited On:02 Jul 2018 09:30

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