Une protéine à domaine PHOX de liaison aux phosphoinositides impliquée dans le transport de l'hémoglobine chez le parasite de la malaria Plasmodium falciparum

Authors: Crochetière, Marie-Eve
Advisor: Richard, Dave
Abstract: Malaria is one of the most devastating curses in developing countries. The absence of a vaccine and resistance to available antimalarial agents demonstrate the urgent need to identify new therapeutic targets. Phosphoinositides (PIPs) are essential components of cell membranes in eukaryotes, playing an important role in intracellular signaling, DNA synthesis and protein trafficking, for example. Despite their importance in eukaryotes, little is known about their functions in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. In our laboratory, we screened 36 putative effectors of the PIP pathway by gene inactivation to identify the genes that are essential for proliferation in P. falciparum. Our studies showed that 72% of genes possibly involved in the PIP pathway could not be inactivated and are therefore potentially essential for parasite survival. Analysis of a knockout strain for PfPX protein, having a Phox-like PIP binding domain, demonstrated a severe slowdown in parasite growth. Characterization of the PfPX protein revealed that it was localized to the food vacuole membrane, the site where the parasite digests the hemoglobin (Hb) of the host in order to meet his needs in amino acids, and in vesicular type structures. We have shown that parasites lacking the Phox protein accumulate more Hb and that it is trapped in vesicles near the digestive vacuole, suggesting a role for this protein in the fusion of Hb vesicles with the membrane of the digestive vacuole. Overall, our results revealed that PIPs play an important role in the transport of P. falciparum Hb
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2019
Open Access Date: 6 September 2019
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/36374
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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