Dataset Information


Mutually Exclusive Transcription of Subtelomeric Gene Families in Plasmodium falciparum is Restricted to var Genes

ABSTRACT: The P. falciparum genome is equipped with several subtelomeric gene families that are implicated in parasite virulence and immune evasion. The members of these gene families are uniformly positioned within heterochromatic domains of the genome and are thus subject to variegated expression. The best-studied example is that of the var gene family encoding the major parasite virulence factor P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1). Transcriptional regulation of other subtelomeric gene families and their role in parasite biology is much less understood. Here, we investigated the mode of transcriptional control of var, rif, stevor, phist and pfmc-2tm families by comparative genome-wide transcriptional profiling of transgenic parasite lines. Our results establish a clear functional distinction between var and non-var transcriptional control mechanisms. Unlike var promoters, we find that promoters of non-var families are not silenced by default. Moreover, we show that mutually exclusive transcription is unique to the var gene family. 3D7 wild-type parasites were transfected with constructs carrying eight different promoters that drive expression of the drug-selectable marker hdhfr-gfp. Thereof seven promoters are members of the multigene families upsA var, upsB var, upsC var, rif, stevor, phistb and pfmc-2tm. The cam promoter was used as transfection-based control and also a wild-type 3D7 cell line was included as control. These nine cell lines were subjected to genome-wide transcriptional profiling. Parasites were synchronized to obtain an 8 hour growth window and were harvested at four consecutive timepoints (TP): TP1 (6-14 hours post-invasion (hpi)); TP2 (14-22 hpi); TP3 (22-30 hpi); TP4 (30-38 hpi) to monitor intra- and inter-family specific linkage of multigene family expression.

ORGANISM(S): Plasmodium falciparum  

SUBMITTER: Kathrin Witmer   Yen Hoon Luah 

PROVIDER: E-GEOD-31829 | ArrayExpress | 2011-09-01



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