LaCount, D. J. et al. A protein interaction network of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Nature 438, 103-107

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Washington, Box 357730, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 41.46). 12/2005; 438(7064):103-7. DOI: 10.1038/nature04104
Source: PubMed


Plasmodium falciparum causes the most severe form of malaria and kills up to 2.7 million people annually. Despite the global importance of P. falciparum, the vast majority of its proteins have not been characterized experimentally. Here we identify P. falciparum protein-protein interactions using a high-throughput version of the yeast two-hybrid assay that circumvents the difficulties in expressing P. falciparum proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. From more than 32,000 yeast two-hybrid screens with P. falciparum protein fragments, we identified 2,846 unique interactions, most of which include at least one previously uncharacterized protein. Informatic analyses of network connectivity, coexpression of the genes encoding interacting fragments, and enrichment of specific protein domains or Gene Ontology annotations were used to identify groups of interacting proteins, including one implicated in chromatin modification, transcription, messenger RNA stability and ubiquitination, and another implicated in the invasion of host cells. These data constitute the first extensive description of the protein interaction network for this important human pathogen.

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    • "Two of these proteins, the reticulocyte-binding protein and reticulocyte-binding protein 2 homologue are adhesins expressed by merozoites and have been shown to be involved in invasion of E [24], [25]. The LRR domain-containing protein (Gene bank accession # PFCO760c) is a conserved Plasmodium protein of unknown function [26]. The MATH and LRR domain-containing protein is thought to be involved in the invasion E [26], as well as the growth and survival of malaria parasites during development within the Es. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Complement (C) is a crucial part of the innate immune system and becomes over activated during malaria, resulting in depletion of C components, especially those for lectin pathway (LP), thereby compromising the host's innate defense. In this study, involvement of P. falciparum antigens in C activation was investigated. Methods A highly synchronous culture of the Dd2 clone of P. falciparum was established in a serum free medium. Supernatants harvested from rings, trophozoites and schizonts at various parasite densities were tested for ability to activate C by quantifying amount of C3b deposited on erythrocytes (E). Uninfected sham culture was used as control. Remnants of each C pathway were determined using Wieslab complement System Screenkit (Euro-diagnostica, Sweden). To identify MBL binding antigens of LP, culture supernatants were added to MBL sepharose columns and trapped antigens eluted with increasing concentrations of EDTA (10 mM, 50 mM and 100 mM) and then desalted before being tested for ability to activate C. The EDTA eluate with highest activity was run on a polyacrylamide gel and silver stained proteins analyzed by mass spectroscopy. Results Antigens released by P. falciparum growing in culture activated C leading to C3b deposition on E. Maximal activation at 7% parasitemia was associated with schizont stage (36.7%) compared to 22% for rings, 21% for trophozoites and 3% for sham culture. All the three pathways of C were activated, with highest activation being for the alternative pathway (only 6% of C activation potential remained), 65% for classiical and 43% for the LP. Seven MBL binding merozoite proteins were identified by mass spectrometry in the 50 mM EDTA eluate. Conclusions MBL binding merozoite adhesins with ability to activate C pathway were identified. The survival advantage for such pronounced C activation is unclear, but opsonisation could facilitate recognition and invasion of E.
    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e105093. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0105093 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "The function of ApiAP2 proteins outside of the AP2 domain(s) itself is unclear, though the rest of the protein presumably has some involvement in facilitating protein–protein interactions. Yeast-two-hybrid studies have indicated that some P. falciparum ApiAP2 proteins interact with each other, as well as with other regulatory proteins, such as the histone acetyltransferase Gcn5 (76). Structural studies of a P. falcparum ApiAP2 (PF14_0633) demonstrate that AP2 domains can dimerize to bind DNA (56). "
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    ABSTRACT: We provide the first comprehensive analysis of any transcription factor family in Cryptosporidium, a basal-branching apicomplexan that is the second leading cause of infant diarrhea globally. AP2 domain-containing proteins have evolved to be the major regulatory family in the phylum to the exclusion of canonical regulators. We show that apicomplexan and perkinsid AP2 domains cluster distinctly from other chromalveolate AP2s. Protein-binding specificity assays of C. parvum AP2 domains combined with motif conservation upstream of co-regulated gene clusters allowed the construction of putative AP2 regulons across the in vitro life cycle. Orthologous Apicomplexan AP2 (ApiAP2) expression has been rearranged relative to the malaria parasite P. falciparum, suggesting ApiAP2 network rewiring during evolution. C. hominis orthologs of putative C. parvum ApiAP2 proteins and target genes show greater than average variation. C. parvum AP2 domains display reduced binding diversity relative to P. falciparum, with multiple domains binding the 5′-TGCAT-3′, 5′-CACACA-3′ and G-box motifs (5′-G[T/C]GGGG-3′). Many overrepresented motifs in C. parvum upstream regions are not AP2 binding motifs. We propose that C. parvum is less reliant on ApiAP2 regulators in part because it utilizes E2F/DP1 transcription factors. C. parvum may provide clues to the ancestral state of apicomplexan transcriptional regulation, pre-AP2 domination.
    Nucleic Acids Research 06/2014; 42(13). DOI:10.1093/nar/gku500 · 9.11 Impact Factor
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    • "Bozdech et al. [69] considered in their analysis of the intraerythrocytic cycle transcriptome the expression of 5508 genes. LaCount and colleagues [70] analysed 1267 proteins for their protein interaction network of P. falciparum. In [67], Florens et al. use approximately 2400 proteins in order to create a proteomic view of the P. falciparum life cycle. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Technological improvements have shifted the focus from data generation to data analysis. The availability of large amounts of data from transcriptomics, protemics and metabolomics experiments raise new questions concerning suitable integrative analysis methods. We compare three integrative analysis techniques (co-inertia analysis, generalized singular value decomposition and integrative biclustering) by applying them to gene and protein abundance data from the six life cycle stages of Plasmodium falciparum. Co-inertia analysis is an analysis method used to visualize and explore gene and protein data. The generalized singular value decomposition has shown its potential in the analysis of two transcriptome data sets. Integrative Biclustering applies biclustering to gene and protein data. Results Using CIA, we visualize the six life cycle stages of Plasmodium falciparum, as well as GO terms in a 2D plane and interpret the spatial configuration. With GSVD, we decompose the transcriptomic and proteomic data sets into matrices with biologically meaningful interpretations and explore the processes captured by the data sets. IBC identifies groups of genes, proteins, GO Terms and life cycle stages of Plasmodium falciparum. We show method-specific results as well as a network view of the life cycle stages based on the results common to all three methods. Additionally, by combining the results of the three methods, we create a three-fold validated network of life cycle stage specific GO terms: Sporozoites are associated with transcription and transport; merozoites with entry into host cell as well as biosynthetic and metabolic processes; rings with oxidation-reduction processes; trophozoites with glycolysis and energy production; schizonts with antigenic variation and immune response; gametocyctes with DNA packaging and mitochondrial transport. Furthermore, the network connectivity underlines the separation of the intraerythrocytic cycle from the gametocyte and sporozoite stages. Conclusion Using integrative analysis techniques, we can integrate knowledge from different levels and obtain a wider view of the system under study. The overlap between method-specific and common results is considerable, even if the basic mathematical assumptions are very different. The three-fold validated network of life cycle stage characteristics of Plasmodium falciparum could identify a large amount of the known associations from literature in only one study.
    BMC Systems Biology 03/2014; 8(Suppl 2):S4. DOI:10.1186/1752-0509-8-S2-S4 · 2.44 Impact Factor
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