A Plasmodium calcium-dependent protein kinase controls zygote development and transmission by translationally activating repressed mRNAs.

Sarah Sebastian*, Mathieu Brochet, Mark O. Collins, Frank Schwach, Matthew L. Jones, David Goulding, Julian C. Rayner, Jyoti S. Choudhary, Oliver Billker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) play key regulatory roles in the life cycle of the malaria parasite, but in many cases their precise molecular functions are unknown. Using the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei, we show that CDPK1, which is known to be essential in the asexual blood stage of the parasite, is expressed in all life stages and is indispensable during the sexual mosquito life-cycle stages. Knockdown of CDPK1 in sexual stages resulted in developmentally arrested parasites and prevented mosquito transmission, and these effects were independent of the previously proposed function for CDPK1 in regulating parasite motility. In-depth translational and transcriptional profiling of arrested parasites revealed that CDPK1 translationally activates mRNA species in the developing zygote that in macrogametes remain repressed via their 3' and 5'UTRs. These findings indicate that CDPK1 is a multifunctional protein that translationally regulates mRNAs to ensure timely and stage-specific protein expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalCell Host and Microbe
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2012

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