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Molecular genetics and comparative genomics reveal RNAi is not functional in malaria parasites

Baum, Jake, Papenfuss, Anthony T., Mair, Gunnar R., Janse, Chris J., Vlachou, Dina, Waters, Andrew P., Cowman, Alan F., Crabb, Brendan S. and de Koning-Ward, Tania F. 2009, Molecular genetics and comparative genomics reveal RNAi is not functional in malaria parasites, Nucleic acids research, vol. 37, no. 11, pp. 3788-3798.

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Title Molecular genetics and comparative genomics reveal RNAi is not functional in malaria parasites
Author(s) Baum, Jake
Papenfuss, Anthony T.
Mair, Gunnar R.
Janse, Chris J.
Vlachou, Dina
Waters, Andrew P.
Cowman, Alan F.
Crabb, Brendan S.
de Koning-Ward, Tania F.
Journal name Nucleic acids research
Volume number 37
Issue number 11
Start page 3788
End page 3798
Total pages 12
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2009-06
ISSN 0305-1048
1362-4962
Keyword(s) malaria
Summary Techniques for targeted genetic disruption in Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, are currently intractable for those genes that are essential for blood stage development. The ability to use RNA interference (RNAi) to silence gene expression
would provide a powerful means to gain valuable insight into the pathogenic blood stages but its functionality in Plasmodium remains controversial. Here we have used various RNA-based gene silencing approaches to test the utility of RNAi in malaria
parasites and have undertaken an extensive comparative genomics search using profile hidden Markov models to clarify whether RNAi machinery
exists in malaria. These investigative approaches revealed that Plasmodium lacks the enzymology required for RNAi-based ablation of gene expression
and indeed no experimental evidence for RNAi was observed. In its absence, the most likely explanations for previously reported RNAi-mediated knockdown are either the general toxicity of introduced RNA (with global down-regulation of gene expression) or a specific antisense effect mechanistically distinct from RNAi, which will need systematic
analysis if it is to be of use as a molecular genetic tool for malaria parasites.
Notes Published online 20 April 2009
Language eng
Field of Research 060407 Genome Structure and Regulation
Socio Economic Objective 920109 Infectious Diseases
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30029776

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Medicine
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