Depletion of Plasmodium berghei plasmoredoxin reveals a non-essential role for life cycle progression of the malaria parasite

Buchholz K, Rahlfs S, Schirmer RH, Becker K, Matuschewski K
Source: PLoS ONE
Publication Date: (2008)
Issue: 3(6): e2474
Research Area:
Cells used in publication:
Plasmodium berghei
Species: unicellular
Tissue Origin:
Nucleofector® I/II/2b
Proliferation of the pathogenic Plasmodium asexual blood stages in host erythrocytes requires an exquisite capacity to protect the malaria parasite against oxidative stress. This function is achieved by a complex antioxidant defence system composed of redox-active proteins and low MW antioxidants. Here, we disrupted the P. berghei plasmoredoxin gene that encodes a parasite-specific 22 kDa member of the thioredoxin superfamily. The successful generation of plasmoredoxin knockout mutants in the rodent model malaria parasite and phenotypic analysis during life cycle progression revealed a non-vital role in vivo. Our findings suggest that plasmoredoxin fulfils a specialized and dispensable role for Plasmodium and highlights the need for target validation to inform drug development strategies.