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Scientists at TSRI identify thousands of proteins associated with deadliest form of malaria

h stage of the Plasmodium falciparum life cycle, but which proteins were membrane-associated, and which were inside the cell--important pieces of information for vaccine design.

One unexpected finding was that a lot of the proteins that were expressed in particular stages "co-localized" in chromosomal gene clusters possibly under the control of common regulatory elements.

Promoters are regions of DNA in front of a gene that "turn on" that gene like a switch and cause it to be expressed as protein. Normally, any given gene will have its own promoter. But Florens and Yates found many different clusters of genes that become expressed together and might be under the control of a single promoter. Florens and Yates believe that this is one of the ways that the pathogen is able to thrive in two different organisms (mosquitoes and humans).

"The switching between stages is something that happens very fast," says Florens, "and [the pathogen] needs a mechanism to express many genes quickly."


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Contact: Keith McKeown
kmckeown@scripps.edu
858-784-8134
Scripps Research Institute
3-Oct-2002


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