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Trends Parasitol. 2015 Dec;31(12):676-685. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2015.08.002. Epub 2015 Oct 1.

Commit and Transmit: Molecular Players in Plasmodium Sexual Development and Zygote Differentiation.

Author information

1
Cell and Developmental Biology Group, School of Life Sciences, Queens Medical Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG2 7UH, UK; Department of Cancer Studies and Cancer Research UK Leicester Centre, University of Leicester, Robert Kilpatrick Building, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester LE2 7LX, UK.
2
Cell and Developmental Biology Group, School of Life Sciences, Queens Medical Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG2 7UH, UK.
3
Mill Hill Laboratory, The Francis Crick Institute, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA, UK.
4
Cell and Developmental Biology Group, School of Life Sciences, Queens Medical Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG2 7UH, UK. Electronic address: rita.tewari@nottingham.ac.uk.

Abstract

During each cycle of asexual endomitotic division in erythrocytes, the malaria parasite makes a fundamental and crucial decision: to continue to invade and proliferate or to differentiate into gametocytes ready for continuation of sexual development. The proteins and regulatory pathways involved in Plasmodium sexual development have been of great interest in recent years as targets for blocking malaria transmission. However, the 'Holy Grail', the master switch orchestrating asexual-to-sexual commitment and further differentiation, has remained elusive - until now. Here we highlight the recent studies identifying the epigenetic and transcriptional master regulators of sexual commitment and discuss the key players in reversible phosphorylation pathways involved in sexual and zygote differentiation.

PMID:
26440790
DOI:
10.1016/j.pt.2015.08.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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