State Key Laboratory of Cellular Stress Biology,Xiamen University
Jing Yuan: An intracellular membrane protein GEP1 regulates xanthurenic acid induced gametogenesis of malaria parasites
Source:sklcsben Pubdate:2020-04-10 Hits:24

Abstract: Gametocytes differentiation to gametes (gametogenesis) within mosquitos is essential for malaria parasite transmission. Both reduction in temperature and mosquito-derived XA or elevated pH are required for triggering cGMP/PKG dependent gametogenesis. However, the parasite molecule for sensing or transducing these environmental signals to initiate gametogenesis remains unknown. Here we perform a CRISPR/Cas9-based functional screening of 59 membrane proteins expressed in the gametocytes of Plasmodium yoelii and identify that GEP1 is required for XA-stimulated gametogenesis. GEP1 disruption abolishes XA-stimulated cGMP synthesis and the subsequent signaling and cellular events, such as Ca2+ mobilization, gamete formation, and gametes egress out of erythrocytes. GEP1 interacts with GCα, a cGMP synthesizing enzyme in gametocytes. Both GEP1 and GCα are expressed in cytoplasmic puncta of both male and female gametocytes. Depletion of GCα impairs XA-stimulated gametogenesis, mimicking the defect of GEP1 disruption. The identification of GEP1 being essential for gametogenesis provides a potential new target for intervention of parasite transmission.