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PfMAP-2 is essential for male gametogenesis in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

Hitz, Eva and Balestra, Aurélia C. and Brochet, Mathieu and Voss, Till S.. (2020) PfMAP-2 is essential for male gametogenesis in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Scientific reports, 10. p. 11930.

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Abstract

In malaria parasites, male gametogenesis is a proliferative stage essential for parasite transmission to the mosquito vector. It is a rapid process involving three rounds of genome replication alternating with closed endomitoses, and assembly of axonemes to produce eight flagellated motile microgametes. Studies in Plasmodium berghei have highlighted tight regulation of gametogenesis by a network of kinases. The P. berghei MAPK homologue PbMAP-2 is dispensable for asexual development but important at the induction of axoneme motility. However, in P. falciparum, causing the most severe form of human malaria, PfMAP-2 was suggested to be essential for asexual proliferation indicating distinct functions for MAP-2 in these two Plasmodium species. We here show that PfMAP-2 is dispensable for asexual growth but important for male gametogenesis in vitro. Similar to PbMAP-2, PfMAP-2 is required for initiating axonemal beating but not for prior DNA replication or axoneme formation. In addition, single and double null mutants of PfMAP-2 and the second P. falciparum MAPK homologue PfMAP-1 show no defect in asexual proliferation, sexual commitment or gametocytogenesis. Our results suggest that MAPK activity plays no major role in the biology of both asexual and sexual blood stage parasites up until the point of male gametogenesis.
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:Hitz, Eva and Voss, Till S
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Springer Nature
ISSN:0169-5487
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
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Last Modified:28 Jul 2020 07:50
Deposited On:28 Jul 2020 07:50

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