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Title: Expression of the Plasmodium falciparum Clonally Variant clag3 Genes in Human Infections
Author: Mira-Martinez, Sofia
Schuppen, Evi van
Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred
Bottieau, Emmanuel
Affara, Muna
Esbroeck, Marjan van
Vlieghe, Erika
Guetens, Pieter
Rovira Graells, Núria
Gomez-Perez, Gloria P.
Alonso, Pedro
D'Alessandro, Umberto
Rosanas-Urgell, Anna
Cortés, Alfred
Keywords: Malària
Plasmodium falciparum
Plasmodium falciparum
Issue Date: 7-Feb-2017
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract: Background.: Many genes of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum show clonally variant expression regulated at the epigenetic level. These genes participate in fundamental host-parasite interactions and contribute to adaptive processes. However, little is known about their expression patterns during human infections. A peculiar case of clonally variant genes are the 2 nearly identical clag3 genes, clag3.1 and clag3.2, which mediate nutrient uptake and are linked to resistance to some toxic compounds. Methods.: We developed a procedure to characterize the expression of clag3 genes in naturally infected patients and in experimentally infected human volunteers. Results.: We provide the first description of clag3 expression during human infections, which revealed mutually exclusive expression and identified the gene predominantly expressed. Adaptation to culture conditions or selection with a toxic compound resulted in isolate-dependent changes in clag3 expression. We also found that clag3 expression patterns were reset during transmission stages. Conclusions.: Different environment conditions select for parasites with different clag3 expression patterns, implying functional differences between the proteins encoded. The epigenetic memory is likely erased before parasites start infection of a new human host. Altogether, our findings support the idea that clonally variant genes facilitate the adaptation of parasite populations to changing conditions through bet-hedging strategies.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2017, vol. 215, num. 6 , p. 938-945
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ISSN: 0022-1899
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (ISGlobal)

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