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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1997 Dec 1;90(1):131-44.

Stable transgene expression in Plasmodium falciparum.

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The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia.


Plasmid vectors designed to express transgenes and a selectable marker in Plasmodiumfalciparum were constructed. These consist of a selectable gene cassette comprising the Toxoplasma gondii dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) gene mutated to confer pyrimethamine resistance flanked by either Plasmodium chabaudi DHFR-TS or P. falciparum calmodulin promoter sequences and the P. falciparum histidine rich protein 2 3' region. Also, each vector includes a different expression cassette driven by various Plasmodium transcriptional control sequences. Initially, the chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) reporter gene was cloned into the expression site of two vectors, pCC6-CAT and pCC13-CAT, which were identical except for the orientation of the expression cassette with respect to the selectable gene cassette. Approximately 8-fold more CAT activity was detected when the direction of transcription of the expression cassettes was in a head to head, rather than a tail to head, orientation. Importantly, it was found that stable transfection could only be achieved when the gene cassettes were in the head to head direction suggesting that this orientation also has an effect on the level of expression of the selectable marker. All other plasmids were designed with the cassettes in a head to head orientation. With the exception of pCC6-CAT and a second vector pHC4-CAT, stable transfectants were obtained with each vector in which the CAT gene had been inserted into the expression cassette. This is the first time vectors for the stable expression in Plasmodium parasites of transgenes other than a selectable marker have been described.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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