The role of serine-type serine repeat antigen in plasmodium yoelii blood stage development
Liew, Kingsley Jiin Liang
Preiser, Peter Rainer
Date of Issue2013
School of Biological Sciences
A key step for the survival of the malaria parasite is the release from and subsequent invasion of erythrocytes by the merozoite. Differences in the efficiency of these two linked processes have a direct impact on overall parasite burden in the host and thereby virulence. A number of parasite proteases have recently been shown to play important roles during both merozoite egress as well as merozoite invasion. The rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii has been extensively used to investigate the mechanisms of parasite virulence in vivo and a number of important proteins have been identified as being key contributors to pathology. Here we have utilized transcriptional comparisons to identify two protease-like SERAs as playing a potential role in virulence. We show that both SERAs are non-essential for blood stage development of the parasite though they provide a subtle but important growth advantage in vivo. In particular SERA2 appears to be an important factor in enabling the parasite to fully utilize the whole age repertoire of circulating erythrocytes. This work for the first time demonstrates the subtle contributions different protease-like SERAs make to provide the parasite with a maximal capacity to successfully maintain an infection in the host.
© 2013 The Authors. This paper was published in PLoS ONE and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of The Authors. The paper can be found at the following official DOI: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0060723]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.