Article

Transcript level responses of Plasmodium falciparum to antimycin A.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB2 1QW, United Kingdom.
Protist (Impact Factor: 3.56). 04/2012; 163(5):755-66. DOI: 10.1016/j.protis.2012.01.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The mitochondrial electron transport chain is essential to Plasmodium and is the target of the antimalarial drug atovaquone. The mitochondrial genomes of Plasmodium sp. are the most reduced known, and the majority of mitochondrial proteins are encoded in the nucleus and imported into the mitochondrion post-translationally. Many organisms have signalling pathways between the mitochondria and the nucleus to regulate the expression of nuclear-encoded mitochondrially-targeted proteins, for example in response to mitochondrial dysfunction. We have studied the transcript profiles of synchronous Plasmodium falciparum treated with an LD(50) concentration of the complex III inhibitor antimycin A, to investigate whether such pathways exist in the parasite. There was a broad perturbation of gene expression. The differentially expressed genes were enriched for transcripts encoding proteins involved in invasion, stress response, nucleotide biosynthesis and respiration. Some effects were attributable to a delay in the gene expression phase of drug-treated parasites. However, our data indicated regulation of mitochondrial stress response genes and genes involved in pyrimidine biosynthesis, implying the existence of a signalling pathway from the mitochondrion to the nucleus.

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