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Int J Parasitol. 2009 Jun;39(7):755-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2008.11.008. Epub 2008 Dec 24.

Plasmodium male development gene-1 (mdv-1) is important for female sexual development and identifies a polarised plasma membrane during zygote development.

Author information

1
The Division of Cell and Molecular Biology, Imperial College London, London, UK. Kalpana.lal@imperial.ac.uk

Abstract

Successful development of Plasmodium sexual stages is essential for parasite survival, but the genes involved are poorly understood. We 'knocked out' the male development gene-1 (mdv-1) locus in Plasmodium berghei and found it to be important in female gametocyte activation. Indirect immunofluorescence assays show MDV-1 has a punctate cytoplasmic distribution in gametocytes. After activation of both females and males, MDV-1 is more peripherally located but in males exclusively it becomes concentrated in a few large foci. In vitro ookinete conversion assays that test the ability of activated female gametocytes to develop into retort stage ookinetes, suggests a complicit role for MDV-1, with the knock-out parasite producing 86% reduction in ookinetes. The retort stage ookinete develops from the zygote by increasing growth of an apical protrusion and MDV-1 locates at the 'leading' extracellular apical pole of this protrusion. In the fully developed ookinete MDV-1 is localised to the posterior pole. In vivo, the knock-out parasites demonstrate a phenotype in which there is a 90% reduction of parasite transmission to oocysts in mosquitoes.

PMID:
19136003
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijpara.2008.11.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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