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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)
Clonally variant gene families underlie phenotypic plasticity in Plasmodium falciparum, a process indispensable for survival of the pathogen in its human host. Differential transcription of one of these gene families in clonal parasite lineages has been associated with chromatin modifications. Here, we determine the genome-wide distribution in P. falciparum(More)
Genome manipulation in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum remains largely intractable and improved genomic tools are needed to further understand pathogenesis and drug resistance. We demonstrated the CRISPR-Cas9 system for use in P. falciparum by disrupting chromosomal loci and generating marker-free, single-nucleotide substitutions with high(More)
Malaria during the first pregnancy causes a high rate of fetal and neonatal death. The decreasing susceptibility during subsequent pregnancies correlates with acquisition of antibodies that block binding of infected red cells to chondroitin sulfate A (CSA), a receptor for parasites in the placenta. Here we identify a domain within a particular Plasmodium(More)
Members of the Plasmodium falciparum var gene family encode clonally variant adhesins, which play an important role in the pathogenicity of tropical malaria. Here we employ a selective panning protocol to generate isogenic P.falciparum populations with defined adhesive phenotypes for CD36, ICAM-1 and CSA, expressing single and distinct var gene variants.(More)
Persistent and recurrent infections by Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites result from the ability of the parasite to undergo antigenic variation and evade host immune attack. P. falciparum parasites generate high levels of variability in gene families that comprise virulence determinants of cytoadherence and antigenic variation, such as the var genes.(More)
Malaria parasites use antigenic variation to avoid immune clearance and increase the duration of infection in the human host. Variation at the surface of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes is mediated by the differential control of a family of surface antigens encoded by var genes. Switching of var gene expression occurs in situ, mostly from(More)
The persistence of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum during blood stage proliferation in its host depends on the successive expression of variant molecules at the surface of infected erythrocytes. This variation is mediated by the differential control of a family of surface molecules termed PfEMP1 encoded by approximately 60 var genes. Each(More)
We studied the gene structure of the Plasmodium falciparum antigen 332 (Ag332). The gene size was estimated to be approx. 20 kb based on the large size of both the transcript found in mature asexual blood stage parasites and mung bean nuclease fragment generated from genomic DNA. Sequence analysis of genomic and cDNA clones representing different regions of(More)
The variant antigen Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), which is expressed on the surface of P. falciparum-infected red blood cells, is a critical virulence factor for malaria. Each parasite has 60 antigenically distinct var genes that each code for a different PfEMP1 protein. During infection the clonal parasite population(More)