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An epigenetic map of malaria parasite development from host to vector

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Title: An epigenetic map of malaria parasite development from host to vector
Authors: Witmer, K
Fraschka, S
Vlachou, D
Bartfai, R
Christophides, G
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The malaria parasite replicates asexually in the red blood cells of its vertebrate host employing epigenetic mechanisms to regulate gene expression in response to changes in its environment. We used chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing in conjunction with RNA sequencing to create an epigenomic and transcriptomic map of the developmental transition from asexual blood stages to male and female gametocytes and to ookinetes in the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. Across the developmental stages examined, heterochromatin protein 1 associates with variantly expressed gene families localised at subtelomeric regions and variant gene expression based on heterochromatic silencing is observed only in some genes. Conversely, the euchromatin mark histone 3 lysine 9 acetylation (H3K9ac) is abundant in non-heterochromatic regions across all developmental stages. H3K9ac presents a distinct pattern of enrichment around the start codon of ribosomal protein genes in all stages but male gametocytes. Additionally, H3K9ac occupancy positively correlates with transcript abundance in all stages but female gametocytes suggesting that transcription in this stage is independent of H3K9ac levels. This finding together with known mRNA repression in female gametocytes suggests a multilayered mechanism operating in female gametocytes in preparation for fertilization and zygote development, coinciding with parasite transition from host to vector.
Issue Date: 14-Apr-2020
Date of Acceptance: 24-Mar-2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/79012
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-63121-5
ISSN: 2045-2322
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal / Book Title: Scientific Reports
Volume: 10
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. Te images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Sponsor/Funder: Wellcome Trust
Wellcome Trust
Funder's Grant Number: 093587/Z/10/Z
107983/Z/15/Z
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: ARTN 6354
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences