- Alfred Cortés
- Funded by
- RETOS (MINECO, Spanish Government)
Many genes of the parasite responsible for the most severe forms of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, are switched on in some individual parasites and switched off in others. The expression of these genes, termed clonally variant genes, is regulated at the epigenetic level. Importantly, clonally variant genes participate in key host-parasite interactions including antigenic variation, sexual conversion, nutrient acquisition or erythrocyte invasion.
In this project we explore the role of epigenetic variation and clonally variant gene expression in relevant P. falciparum biological pathways. We mainly focus on the clag gene family, involved in nutrient acquisition and resistance to toxic compounds, and pfap2-g, which is the master regulator of sexual conversion, a process necessary for malaria transmission. We also investigate how parasites adapt to heat-shock mimicking malaria cyclical fevers. We study both the chromatin-based mechanisms of epigenetic regulation and the function of these clonally variant genes. More generally, using these genes as models we gain insight into how parasites use epigenetic variation as an adaptive strategy to survive under different conditions of their human host.
Other projectsSee Past Projects
The Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance - MESA is dedicated to advancing the science of malaria eradication.
Study of immune correlates of protection against malaria after vaccination with RTS,S/AS01E: a comprehensive immunological arm of a Phase III double-blind, randomized, controlled multi-center trial
Mozambican Alliance Towards Elimination of Malaria
Pregnant women as a sentinel group for malaria surveillance in an era of changing malaria transmission
A path towards new diagnostic and prevention tools for severe infectious pathologies
Exploration of the singularities of the sugar nucleotide metabolism and description of novel glycosylation pathways in the malaria parasite
Mechanistic aspects of anemia and splenomegaly caused by plasmodium vivax, a neglected human parasite
Transforming IPT for optimal pregnancy
Development of nanovectors for the targeted delivery in Anopheles mosquitoes of agents blocking transmission of Plasmodium parasites
Broad One Health Endectocide-based Malaria Intervention in Africa
Unravelling Disease Tolerance and Host Resistance in Afebrile 'P. falciparum' Infections: a Prospective Study in Mozambican Adults