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Trends Parasitol. 2008 Dec;24(12):551-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2008.08.010. Epub 2008 Oct 17.

Plasmodium gene regulation: far more to factor in.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, 246 Carl Icahn Laboratory, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA. mllinas@princeton.edu


Gene expression in the malaria parasite has received generous attention over the past several decades, predominantly because of the importance of var gene regulation, which is key to antigenic variation and host immune evasion. However, the role of transcriptional regulation in governing other genes expressed during the various stages of development has remained less well characterized. This mostly has been due to the lack of defined transcriptional regulators in Plasmodium parasites. Here, we describe recent advances that have become possible by joining traditional biochemistry with new technological innovations. These studies have increased our understanding of the role of transcriptional regulation, not only in the control of gene expression for antigenic variation but also in the coordination of stage-specific parasite development.

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