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© Artur Scherf
Scanning Electron Microscopy of Red Blood Cell infected by Plasmodium falciparum.
Publication : Cell host & microbe

Genome-wide analysis of heterochromatin associates clonally variant gene regulation with perinuclear repressive centers in malaria parasites

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Cell host & microbe - 19 Feb 2009

Lopez-Rubio JJ, Mancio-Silva L, Scherf A

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 19218088

Cell Host Microbe 2009 Feb;5(2):179-90

Clonally variant gene families underlie phenotypic plasticity in Plasmodium falciparum, a process indispensable for survival of the pathogen in its human host. Differential transcription of one of these gene families in clonal parasite lineages has been associated with chromatin modifications. Here, we determine the genome-wide distribution in P. falciparum of a histone mark of heterochromatin, trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9me3), using high-resolution ChIP-chip analysis. We show that H3K9me3 is specifically associated with clonally variant gene families, which are clustered on subtelomeric and some chromosome internal regions. High levels of H3K9me3 correlate with genes localized to the nuclear periphery, implying chromosome loop formation. Disruption of the histone deacetylase PfSir2 causes changes in H3K9me3 that are discontinuous along chromosomes and associated with disrupted monoallelic transcription. Our data point to the existence of perinuclear repressive centers associated with control of expression of malaria parasite genes involved in phenotypic variation and pathogenesis.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19218088