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Exp Parasitol. 2005 Dec;111(4):255-9. Epub 2005 Sep 28.

Plasmodium berghei: effect of protease inhibitors during gametogenesis and early zygote development.

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Department of Experimental Parasitology, CINVESTAV-IPN, Av. IPN 2508, Col. San Pedro Zacatenco Delegacion G.A. Madero, Mexico 07360 DF, Mexico.


Plasmodium berghei: The effect of five protease inhibitors, TPCK, TLCK, PMSF, leupeptin, and 1,10-phenanthroline on in vitro gametogenesis and early zygote development of P. berghei was investigated. PMSF and leupeptin showed no effect. Cysteine/serine protease inhibitors TPCK/TLCK at concentrations of 75 and 100 microM were effective on inhibiting exflagellation center formation, and this effect was reversible with the addition of l-cysteine. Exflagellation center formation was most effectively blocked by 1,10-phenanthroline (1mM), and exflagellation center numbers were restored by the addition of Zn(2+). A reduction of ookinete production was observed when TPCK/TLCK (100 microM) was added at 2h after gametogenesis, but no effect was observed with 1,10-phenanthroline (1mM). Our results suggest that proteolysis is important in both gametocyte activation and sexual development of P. berghei.

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