A central role for P48/45 in malaria parasite male gamete fertility

M R van Dijk, C J Janse, Joanne Thompson, A P Waters, J A Braks, H J Dodemont, H G Stunnenberg, G J van Gemert, R W Sauerwein, W Eling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Fertilization and zygote development are obligate features of the malaria parasite life cycle and occur during parasite transmission to mosquitoes. The surface protein PFS48/45 is expressed by male and female gametes of Plasmodium falciparum and PFS48/45 antibodies prevent zygote development and transmission. Here, gene disruption was used to show that Pfs48/45 and the ortholog Pbs48/45 from a rodent malaria parasite P. berghei play a conserved and important role in fertilization. p48/45- parasites had a reduced capacity to produce oocysts in mosquitoes due to greatly reduced zygote formation. Unexpectedly, only male gamete fertility of p48/45- parasites was affected, failing to penetrate otherwise fertile female gametes. P48/45 is shown to be a surface protein of malaria parasites with a demonstrable role in fertilization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-64
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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