Alan F Cowman

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To establish infection in the host, malaria parasites export remodeling and virulence proteins into the erythrocyte. These proteins can traverse a series of membranes, including the parasite membrane, the parasitophorous vacuole membrane, and the erythrocyte membrane. We show that a conserved pentameric sequence plays a central role in protein export into(More)
The apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium falciparum causes the most severe form of malaria in humans. After invasion into erythrocytes, asexual parasite stages drastically alter their host cell and export remodeling and virulence proteins. Previously, we have reported identification and functional analysis of a short motif necessary for export of proteins out(More)
A vestigial, nonphotosynthetic plastid has been identified recently in protozoan parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa. The apicomplexan plastid, or "apicoplast," is indispensable, but the complete sequence of both the Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii apicoplast genomes has offered no clue as to what essential metabolic function(s) this organelle(More)
The plastid of Plasmodium falciparum (or 'apicoplast') is the evolutionary homolog of the plant chloroplast and represents a vestige of a photosynthetic past. Apicoplast indispensability indicates that it still provides essential functions to parasites. Similar to plant chloroplasts, the apicoplast is dependent on many nucleus-encoded genes to provide these(More)
Throughout the latter half of this century, the development and spread of resistance to most front-line antimalarial compounds used in the prevention and treatment of the most severe form of human malaria has given cause for grave clinical concern. Polymorphisms in pfmdr1, the gene encoding the P-glycoprotein homologue 1 (Pgh1) protein of Plasmodium(More)
The apicoplast and mitochondrion of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are important intracellular organelles and targets of several anti-malarial drugs. In recent years, our group and others have begun to piece together the metabolic pathways of these organelles, with a view to understanding their functions and identifying further anti-malarial(More)
Using a novel method for detecting cross-homologous nucleic acid sequences we have isolated the gene coding for the major rhodopsin of Drosophila melanogaster and mapped it to chromosomal region 92B8-11. Comparison of cDNA and genomic DNA sequences indicates that the gene is divided into five exons. The amino acid sequence deduced from the nucleotide(More)
The members of the phylum Apicomplexa parasitize a wide range of eukaryotic host cells. Plasmodium falciparum, responsible for the most virulent form of malaria, invades human erythrocytes using several specific and high affinity ligand-receptor interactions that define invasion pathways. We find that members of the P. falciparum reticulocyte-binding(More)
The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum undergoes antigenic variation to evade host immune responses through switching expression of variant surface proteins encoded by the var gene family. We demonstrate that both a subtelomeric transgene and var genes are subject to reversible gene silencing. Var gene silencing involves the SIR complex as gene(More)