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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)
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)
Telomerase replicates chromosome ends, a function necessary for maintaining genome integrity. We have identified the gene that encodes the catalytic reverse transcriptase (RT) component of this enzyme in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfTERT) as well as the orthologous genes from two rodent and one simian malaria species. PfTERT is predicted to(More)
Increasing experimental evidence shows a prominent role of histone modifications in the coordinated control of gene expression in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The search for the histone-mark-reading machinery that translates histone modifications into biological processes, such as formation of heterochromatin and antigenic variation is(More)
Dynamic changes in gene positioning contribute to differential expression of virulence-related gene families in protozoan pathogens; however, the role of nuclear architecture in gene expression in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum remains poorly understood. Here we investigated the developmentally regulated ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene family in(More)
Chromosome ends have been implicated in the default silencing of clonally variant gene families in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. These chromosome regions are organized into heterochromatin, as defined by the presence of a repressive histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylated marker and heterochromatin protein 1. Here, we show that the non-coding(More)
Telomeres have the capacity to recruit proteins that facilitate the spreading of heterochromatin into subtelomeric DNA regions. In the human protozoan pathogen Plasmodium falciparum, the telomere-associated protein Sir2 has been shown to control the silencing of members of virulence genes at some, but not all, chromosome-end loci, indicating that additional(More)
Post-translational histone modifications and sub-nuclear organization epigenetically influence gene regulation, especially those implicated in antigenic variation of Plasmodium falciparum. Here we screened for histone methylation modifications and determined, for the first time, their spatial nuclear localisation. Differential enrichment in sub-nuclear(More)
The Plasmodium falciparum histone deacetylase Sir2a localizes at telomeric regions where it contributes to epigenetic silencing of clonally variant virulence genes. Apart from telomeres, PfSir2a also accumulates in the nucleolus, which harbours the developmentally regulated ribosomal RNA genes. Here we investigate the nucleolar function of PfSir2a and(More)
Fluorescence-based techniques have been used extensively in the malaria field to study the functional role of nuclear organization and gene positioning in blood stages of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. In this chapter, we present optimized protocols for bromouridine (BrUTP) incorporation into nascent RNA in live parasites and fluorescent(More)
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