State Univ Sao Paulo, IBB IBTEC, Dept Parasitol, Botucatu, SP - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 3
JUN 19 2018.
Web of Science Citations:
All Plasmodium species express variant antigens which may mediate immune escape in the vertebrate host. In Plasmodium falciparum, the rif gene family encodes variant antigens which are partly exposed on the infected red blood cell surface and may function as virulence factors. Not all rif genes are expressed at the same time and it is unclear what controls rif gene expression. In this work, we addressed global rif transcription using plasmid vectors with two drug resistance markers, one controlled by a rif 5' upstream region and the second by a constitutively active promoter. After spontaneous integration into the genome of one construct, we observed that the resistance marker controlled by the rif 5' upstream region was expressed dependent on the applied drug pressure. Then, the global transcription of rif genes in these transfectants was compared in the presence or absence of drugs. The relative transcript quantities of all rif loci did not change profoundly between strains grown with or without drug. We conclude that either there is no crosstalk between rif loci or that the elusive system of allelic exclusion of rif gene transcription is not controlled by their 5' upstream region alone. (AU)