Malaria Stage Specificity

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Science  11 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5553, pp. 229
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5553.229m

The Plasmodium parasites that cause malaria invade host cells with the assistance of proteins secreted from their rhoptry organelles. Some of these proteins are members of a multigene family (>35 genes) called Py235. Preiser et al. (p. 342) have discovered that different subsets of the Py235 family are transcribed at each of three invasive Plasmodium life-cycle stages. The expression of each subset of Py235 is apparently reset by conditions in the host-cell as the parasite transits from one stage to another and from one host-cell type to another, and may be a component in life-cycle changes in the parasite's preference for host cell type.

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