Article

A Central Role for P48/45 in Malaria Parasite Male Gamete Fertility

Laboratory for Parasitology, Leiden University Medical Center, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.
Cell (Impact Factor: 33.12). 02/2001; 104(1):153-64. DOI: 10.1016/S0092-8674(01)00199-4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fertilization and zygote development are obligate features of the malaria parasite life cycle and occur during parasite transmission to mosquitoes. The surface protein PFS48/45 is expressed by male and female gametes of Plasmodium falciparum and PFS48/45 antibodies prevent zygote development and transmission. Here, gene disruption was used to show that Pfs48/45 and the ortholog Pbs48/45 from a rodent malaria parasite P. berghei play a conserved and important role in fertilization. p48/45- parasites had a reduced capacity to produce oocysts in mosquitoes due to greatly reduced zygote formation. Unexpectedly, only male gamete fertility of p48/45- parasites was affected, failing to penetrate otherwise fertile female gametes. P48/45 is shown to be a surface protein of malaria parasites with a demonstrable role in fertilization.

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