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Antigenic variation and the generation of diversity in malaria parasites.

TitleAntigenic variation and the generation of diversity in malaria parasites.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsKirkman L, Deitsch K
JournalCurr Opin Microbiol
Volume15
Issue4
Pagination456-62
Date Published2012 Aug
ISSN1879-0364
KeywordsAnimals, Antigenic Variation, Antigens, Protozoan, Gene Expression Regulation, Gene Silencing, Genes, Protozoan, Genetic Variation, Humans, Immune Evasion, Malaria, Falciparum, Plasmodium falciparum, Protozoan Proteins, Transcriptional Activation
Abstract

Investigations into the genetic basis underlying antigenic variation in malaria parasites have primarily described transcriptional regulation of the large, multi-copy gene families that encode red cell surface antigens. In particular, extensive alterations to chromatin structure and subnuclear localization have been shown to play key roles in mutually exclusive expression, gene silencing and activation, and epigenetic memory. However the mechanisms responsible for the generation of sequence diversity within these gene families, a characteristic that is equally important for a parasite's ability to avoid the host's immune response, remains poorly understood in malaria. Recent work in model organisms suggests that the mechanisms controlling gene activation and silencing might also contribute to preferential recombination between antigen encoding genes, thus linking these two key processes.

DOI10.1016/j.mib.2012.03.003
Alternate JournalCurr. Opin. Microbiol.
PubMed ID22503815
PubMed Central IDPMC3399988
Grant ListAI 52390 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
AI76635 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
K08 AI076635-05 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
R01 AI052390 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
R01 AI052390-11 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
R01 AI099327 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States

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