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Calcium signaling in Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes

Abstract

Plasmodium falciparum is the responsible for the most severe form of malaria in humans, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths every year. Parasite transmission from humans to the mosquito vector is mediated by sexual stages (gametocytes) that are formed within the erythrocytes. Intracellular Ca2+ is a vital second messenger and controls several physiological processes in the Plasmodium biology. The Ca2+ signaling in the asexual stages have been studied in the last past decades by several groups, however, the knowledge regarding this signaling pathway among gametocytes is still fragmentary. Here we propose to decipher the Ca2+ signaling in P. falciparum gametocytes. For this, we will rely on the expertise of Prof. Matthias Marti (a specialist in Plasmodium gametocytes) and the construction of gametocyte-forming Plasmodium strain that also encodes the Ca2+ indicator GCaMP3. (AU)

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