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      Comparative genomics of the neglected human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax

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      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          Abstract

          The human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax is responsible for 25-40% of the approximately 515 million annual cases of malaria worldwide. Although seldom fatal, the parasite elicits severe and incapacitating clinical symptoms and often causes relapses months after a primary infection has cleared. Despite its importance as a major human pathogen, P. vivax is little studied because it cannot be propagated continuously in the laboratory except in non-human primates. We sequenced the genome of P. vivax to shed light on its distinctive biological features, and as a means to drive development of new drugs and vaccines. Here we describe the synteny and isochore structure of P. vivax chromosomes, and show that the parasite resembles other malaria parasites in gene content and metabolic potential, but possesses novel gene families and potential alternative invasion pathways not recognized previously. Completion of the P. vivax genome provides the scientific community with a valuable resource that can be used to advance investigation into this neglected species.

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          Most cited references 34

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          A comprehensive survey of the Plasmodium life cycle by genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analyses.

          Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium chabaudi are widely used model malaria species. Comparison of their genomes, integrated with proteomic and microarray data, with the genomes of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium yoelii revealed a conserved core of 4500 Plasmodium genes in the central regions of the 14 chromosomes and highlighted genes evolving rapidly because of stage-specific selective pressures. Four strategies for gene expression are apparent during the parasites' life cycle: (i) housekeeping; (ii) host-related; (iii) strategy-specific related to invasion, asexual replication, and sexual development; and (iv) stage-specific. We observed posttranscriptional gene silencing through translational repression of messenger RNA during sexual development, and a 47-base 3' untranslated region motif is implicated in this process.
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            Genome sequence and comparative analysis of the model rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii yoelii.

            Species of malaria parasite that infect rodents have long been used as models for malaria disease research. Here we report the whole-genome shotgun sequence of one species, Plasmodium yoelii yoelii, and comparative studies with the genome of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum clone 3D7. A synteny map of 2,212 P. y. yoelii contiguous DNA sequences (contigs) aligned to 14 P. falciparum chromosomes reveals marked conservation of gene synteny within the body of each chromosome. Of about 5,300 P. falciparum genes, more than 3,300 P. y. yoelii orthologues of predominantly metabolic function were identified. Over 800 copies of a variant antigen gene located in subtelomeric regions were found. This is the first genome sequence of a model eukaryotic parasite, and it provides insight into the use of such systems in the modelling of Plasmodium biology and disease.
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              The genome of the simian and human malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi.

              Plasmodium knowlesi is an intracellular malaria parasite whose natural vertebrate host is Macaca fascicularis (the 'kra' monkey); however, it is now increasingly recognized as a significant cause of human malaria, particularly in southeast Asia. Plasmodium knowlesi was the first malaria parasite species in which antigenic variation was demonstrated, and it has a close phylogenetic relationship to Plasmodium vivax, the second most important species of human malaria parasite (reviewed in ref. 4). Despite their relatedness, there are important phenotypic differences between them, such as host blood cell preference, absence of a dormant liver stage or 'hypnozoite' in P. knowlesi, and length of the asexual cycle (reviewed in ref. 4). Here we present an analysis of the P. knowlesi (H strain, Pk1(A+) clone) nuclear genome sequence. This is the first monkey malaria parasite genome to be described, and it provides an opportunity for comparison with the recently completed P. vivax genome and other sequenced Plasmodium genomes. In contrast to other Plasmodium genomes, putative variant antigen families are dispersed throughout the genome and are associated with intrachromosomal telomere repeats. One of these families, the KIRs, contains sequences that collectively match over one-half of the host CD99 extracellular domain, which may represent an unusual form of molecular mimicry.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                October 2008
                October 2008
                : 455
                : 7214
                : 757-763
                Article
                10.1038/nature07327
                2651158
                18843361
                © 2008

                Comments

                Malaria vaccine development collection topic 5) Identifying and developing the new generation of malaria vaccines - Making use of reverse vaccinology and serology information:

                See https://www.scienceopen.com/collection/malariavaccine

                 

                The availability of the P. vivax genome provides the scientific community with a valuable resource that can be used to advance investigation into this parasite. Here the structure and regions of synteny are described for P. vivax chromosomes. Carlton and colleagues show how this parasite resembles other malaria parasites in gene content and metabolic potential, and describe novel gene families and potential alternative invasion pathways.

                2018-10-08 18:14 UTC
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