New selectable markers and single crossover integration for the highly versatile Plasmodium knowlesi transfection system.
ABSTRACT Plasmodium knowlesi provides a highly versatile transfection system for malaria, since it enables rapid genetic modification of the parasite both in vivo as well as in vitro. However, it is not possible to perform multiple genetic manipulations within one parasite line because of a lack of selectable markers. In an effort to develop additional selectable markers for this parasite, positive and negative selectable markers that have recently been successfully used in Plasmodium falciparum were tested. It was shown that the positive selectable markers human dihydrofolate reductase (hdhfr), blasticidin S deaminase (bsd) and neomycin phosphotransferase II (neo) all conferred drug resistance to P. knowlesi when introduced as episomes. The plasmid containing the hdhfr selectable marker was not only successfully introduced as circular form, but also as linear fragment, demonstrating for the first time single crossover integration in P. knowlesi. Thymidine kinase was tested for its potential as negative selectable marker and it was shown that recombinant P. knowlesi parasites expressing thymidine kinase from episomes were highly sensitive to ganciclovir compared to wild-type P. knowlesi. The availability of new positive selectable markers and a strong candidate for a negative selectable marker for P. knowlesi, in combination with the opportunity to perform targeted single crossover integration in P. knowlesi, significantly increases the flexibility of this transfection system, making it one of the most versatile systems available for Plasmodium.
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ABSTRACT: Thymidylate synthetase and dihydrofolate reductase exist as a bifunctional protein in a number of species of protozoa which span diverse groups of the subkingdom. The enzymes copurify upon gel filtration and on affinity chromatography columns specific for dihydrofolate reductase. The bifunctional protein has been found in species of Crithidia, Leishmania, Trypanosoma, Plasmodium, Eimeria, Tetrahymena and Euglena. For reasons unknown, neither enzyme could be detected in Entamoeba histolytica or E. invadens. Since neither enzyme has yet been found as a separate protein in protozoa, it is likely that the bifunctional protein is widespread among these primitive eukaryotes. In most cases, the apparent size of the native protein is approximately twice that of the subunit possessing thymidylate synthetase. Further, with one exception, the subunit sizes are close to the sum of the subunit sizes of the separate enzymes found in other sources.Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 05/1984; 11:257-65. · 2.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Primate--and, specifically, monkey--malaria infections are commonly used for understanding the pathology of and immune response to the human disease because they are thought to resemble most closely the host-parasite relationship found in humans. Plasmodium cynomolgi is used extensively as a model for the human parasite, P. vivax, and P. knowlesi is used primarily as a model for the development of erythrocytic-stage vaccines. Both of these simian parasites can naturally infect man, resulting in mildly symptomatic episodes of the disease. The phylogenetic relationship between these two simian parasites and previously characterized Plasmodium species, including P. vivax, was examined by comparison of the asexually expressed small-subunit ribosomal RNA genes. Our analysis confirmed that P. vivax is most closely related to P. cynomolgi and that it remains an appropriate model of the human pathogen. Furthermore, with P. knowlesi and P. fragile, these two species form a group of closely related species, distant from other Plasmodium species. What is considered to be the most ancient of the human malaria pathogens, P. malariae, was also included in the analysis and does not group at all with other simian or human parasites.Molecular Biology and Evolution 08/1993; 10(4):914-23. · 10.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The development of transfection technology for malaria parasites holds significant promise for a more detailed characterization of molecules targeted by vaccines or drugs. One asexual blood stage vaccine candidate, apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1) of merozoite rhoptries has been shown to be the target of inhibitory, protective antibodies in both in vitro and in vivo studies. We have investigated heterologous (trans-species) expression of the human malaria Plasmodium falciparum AMA-1 (PF83/AMA-1) in the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei. Transfected P. berghei expressed correctly folded and processed PF83/AMA-1 under control of both pb66/ama-1 and dhfr-ts promoters. Timing of expression was highly promoter-dependent and was critical for subsequent subcellular localization. Under control of pb66/ama-1, PF83/AMA-1 expression and localization in P. berghei was limited to the rhoptries of mature schizonts, similar to that observed for PF83/AMA-1 in P. falciparum. In contrast the dhfr-ts promoter permitted PF83/AMA-1 expression throughout schizogony as well as in gametocytes and gametes. Localization was aberrant and included direct expression at the merozoite and gamete surface. Processing from the full-length 83-kDa protein to a 66-kDa protein was observed not only in schizonts but also in gametocytes, indicating that processing could be mediated outside of rhoptries by a common protease. Trans-species expressed PF83/AMA-1 was highly immunogenic in mice, resulting in a response against a functionally critical domain of the molecule.Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/1998; 273(24):15119-24. · 4.65 Impact Factor