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Construction of aptamer based knockdown of apetela2 nuclear protein (AP2) in Plasmodium falciparum

Grant number: 22/06187-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2022
Effective date (End): May 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Biochemistry of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Célia Regina da Silva Garcia
Grantee:Louis Henri Augusto Bertin
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCF). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/08684-7 - Decoding Plasmodium signaling at molecular level as a new tool to the development of new antimalarials, AP.TEM


Malaria is an infectious disease caused by intracellular parasites of the genus Plasmodium. In humans, the infection can be caused by five species of the parasite and Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the most severe form of the disease. Despite advances in the last decade resulting in a decrease in the number of cases, malaria is still responsible for causing more than 400,000 deaths per year worldwide. On the other hand, the emergence of resistant strains to the drugs used for the treatment of the disease corroborate to make it difficult to control and eradicate malaria. In this scenario, the study and characterization of proteins and signaling pathways in Plasmodium may result in the development of new therapeutic targets, in addition to elucidating the mechanisms behind the cellular machinery used by the parasite. Our work aims to analyze the impact of ApiAP2 gene modulation, using the Tet-Aptamer knockdown system, on the asexual life cycle of the P. falciparum parasite. The ApiAP2 gene is a transcription factor expressed throughout the asexual life cycle of the parasite that leads to its better adaptation to the environment in which it is inserted and potentially to an increase in antimalarial resistance. Thus, the results generated by our work will provide new information about this important gene. (AU)

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