Unit | Malaria Gene Regulation
Function of Heterochromatin Protein 1
This project aims to deliver a detailed understanding of HP1 function in malaria parasites by conducting functional complementation assays and by identifying and characterising interacting partners and post-translational modifications of HP1.
Gametocyte Conversion and Differentiation
In this project we try to understand the molecular pathways and epigenetic control mechanisms congregating at the ap2-g locus to control the switch from asexual proliferation to sexual commitment and early differentiation of P. falciparum gametocytes.
In this project we investigate several regulatory proteins and DNA elements potentially implicated in the silencing and clonally variant expression of the var/PfEMP1 family. We hope such knowledge will help us to understand how P. falciparum controls antigenic variation, i.e. how it manages to express only a single var gene at a time and to switch expression between var gene loci.
Latest PublicationsAll Publications
Carrington E et al. In silico guided reconstruction and analysis of ICAM-1-binding var genes from Plasmodium falciparum. Sci Rep. 2018;8:3282. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-21591-8
Fraschka S.A et al. Comparative heterochromatin profiling reveals conserved and unique epigenome signatures linked to adaptation and development of malaria parasites. Cell Host Microbe. 2018;23(3):407-420 e8. DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2018.01.008
Maldonado R, Filarsky M, Grummt I, Längst G. Purine– and pyrimidine–triple-helix-forming oligonucleotides recognize qualitatively different target sites at the ribosomal DNA locus. RNA. 2018;24(3):371-380. DOI: 10.1261/rna.063800.117
Ross A, Brancucci N.M. On a mission to block transmission. Elife. 2018;7:e35246. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.35246
Bertschi N.L et al. Malaria parasites possess a telomere repeat-binding protein that shares ancestry with transcription factor IIIA. Nat Microbiol. 2017;2:17033. DOI: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2017.33