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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2019 Jun;90:144-153. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2018.07.015. Epub 2018 Jul 27.

Unraveling the 3D genome of human malaria parasites.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology, University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.
2
Department of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology, University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, USA. Electronic address: karine.leroch@ucr.edu.

Abstract

The chromosomes within the eukaryotic cell nucleus are highly dynamic and adopt complex hierarchical structures. Understanding how this three-dimensional (3D) nuclear architectureaffects gene regulation, cell cycle progression and disease pathogenesis are important biological questions in development and disease. Recently, many genome-wide technologies including chromosome conformation capture (3C) and 3C-based methodologies (4C, 5C, and Hi-C) have been developed to investigate 3D chromatin structure. In this review, we introduce 3D genome methodologies, with a focus on their application for understanding the nuclear architecture of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. An increasing amount of evidence now suggests that gene regulation in the parasite is largely regulated by epigenetic mechanisms and nuclear reorganization. Here, we explore the 3D genome architecture of P. falciparum, including local and global chromatin structure. In addition, molecular components important for maintaining 3D chromatin organization including architectural proteins and long non-coding RNAs are discussed. Collectively, these studies contribute to our understanding of how the plasticity of 3D genome architecture regulates gene expression and cell cycle progression in this deadly parasite.

KEYWORDS:

3D genome; Chromatin; Genome architecture; Malaria; Plasmodium

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