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Anja Schmidt-Christensen

Assistant researcher

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Expression and processing of Plasmodium berghei SERA3 during liver stages

Author

  • Anja Schmidt-Christensen
  • Angelika Sturm
  • Sebastian Horstmann
  • Volker T. Heussler

Summary, in English

Cysteine proteases mediate liberation of Plasmodium berghei merozoites from infected hepatocytes. In an attempt to identify the responsible parasite proteases, we screened the genome of P. berghei for cysteine protease-encoding genes. RT-PCR analyses revealed that transcription of four out of five P. berghei serine repeat antigen (PbSERA) genes was strongly upregulated in late liver stages briefly before the parasitophorous vacuole membrane ruptured to release merozoites into the host cell cytoplasm, suggesting a role of PbSERA proteases in these processes. In order to characterize PbSERA3 processing, we raised an antiserum against a non-conserved region of the protein and generated a transgenic P. berghei strain expressing a TAP-tagged PbSERA3 under the control of the endogenous promoter. Immunofluorescence assays revealed that PbSERA3 leaks into the host cell cytoplasm during merozoite development, where it might contribute to host cell death or activate host cell proteases that execute cell death. Importantly, processed PbSERA3 has been detected by Western blot analysis in cell extracts of schizont-infected cells and merozoite-infected detached hepatic cells.

Publishing year

2008-08

Language

English

Pages

1723-1734

Publication/Series

Cellular Microbiology

Volume

10

Issue

8

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1462-5814