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Title: Comparative heterochromatin profiling reveals conserved and unique epigenome signatures linked to adaptation and development of malaria parasites
Authors: Fraschka, Sabine A.
Filarsky, Michael
Hoo, Regina
Niederwieser, Igor
Yam, Xue Yan
Mohring, Franziska
Huang, Ximei
Christensen, Peter R.
Nosten, Francois
Bozdech, Zbynek
Russell, Bruce
Moon, Robert W.
Marti, Matthias
Bártfai, Richárd
Voss, Till S.
Brancucci, Nicolas M. B.
Mushunje, Annals Tatenda
Preiser, Peter Rainer
Keywords: Plasmodium
Science::Biological sciences
Issue Date: 2018
Source: Fraschka, S. A., Filarsky, M., Hoo, R., Niederwieser, I., Yam, X. Y., Brancucci, N. M., . . . Voss, T. S. (2018). Comparative heterochromatin profiling reveals conserved and unique epigenome signatures linked to adaptation and development of malaria parasites. Cell Host and Microbe, 23(3), 407-420. doi:10.1016/j.chom.2018.01.008
Series/Report no.: Cell Host and Microbe
Abstract: Heterochromatin-dependent gene silencing is central to the adaptation and survival of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites, allowing clonally variant gene expression during blood infection in humans. By assessing genome-wide heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) occupancy, we present a comprehensive analysis of heterochromatin landscapes across different Plasmodium species, strains, and life cycle stages. Common targets of epigenetic silencing include fast-evolving multi-gene families encoding surface antigens and a small set of conserved HP1-associated genes with regulatory potential. Many P. falciparum heterochromatic genes are marked in a strain-specific manner, increasing the parasite's adaptive capacity. Whereas heterochromatin is strictly maintained during mitotic proliferation of asexual blood stage parasites, substantial heterochromatin reorganization occurs in differentiating gametocytes and appears crucial for the activation of key gametocyte-specific genes and adaptation of erythrocyte remodeling machinery. Collectively, these findings provide a catalog of heterochromatic genes and reveal conserved and specialized features of epigenetic control across the genus Plasmodium.
ISSN: 1931-3128
DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2018.01.008
Schools: School of Biological Sciences 
Rights: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SBS Journal Articles

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