Eliminación de la malaria

Epigenetic variation in malaria parasites II

Investigating new aspects of the mechanisms and biological functions of epigenetic variation in malaria parasites

Alfred Cortés
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.

Nuestro equipo


  • Alfred Cortés Closas
    Alfred Cortés Closas

ISGlobal Team

Otros proyectos

Ver proyectos pasados


La Alianza Científica para la Erradicación de la Malaria (MESA) tiene como objetivo avanzar en la ciencia de la erradicación de la malaria.

Estudio inmunológico de la vacuna RTS,S

Estudio de correlatos de protección frente a la malaria después de la vacunación con RTS,S/AS01E: Una evaluación inmunológica exhaustiva en el ensayo clínico de Fase III, doble ciego, aleatorizado, multicéntrico con un grupo control


Pregnant women as a sentinel group for malaria surveillance in an era of changing malaria transmission


Exploration of the singularities of the sugar nucleotide metabolism and description of novel glycosylation pathways in the malaria parasite


Transforming IPT for optimal pregnancy


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


P. falciparum genomic intelligence in Mozambique


Administración masiva y focal de fármacos antimaláricos para avanzar hacia la eliminación de la malaria en Mozambique: acelerando la implementación de programas y políticas


MULTIple doses of IPTi Proposal: a Lifesaving high Yield intervention


Equidad y Optimización del Acceso al Diagnóstico y Tratamiento de la COVID-19 en Bolivia y Paraguay


Citizens engagement digital platform for collective intelligence in pandemics


Novel organ-on-a-chip technology to study extracellular vesicles-mediated cryptic infections in Plasmodium vivax malaria