Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 25874388
Link to DOI – 10.1371/journal.pone.0123473
PLoS One 2015 ; 10(4): e0123473
Little is known about stage-specific gene regulation in Plasmodium parasites, in particular the liver stage of development. We have previously described in the Plasmodium berghei rodent model, a liver stage-specific (lisp2) gene promoter region, in vitro. Using a dual luminescence system, we now confirm the stage specificity of this promoter region also in vivo. Furthermore, by substitution and deletion analyses we have extended our in vitro characterization of important elements within the promoter region. Importantly, the dual luminescence system allows analyzing promoter constructs avoiding mouse-consuming cloning procedures of transgenic parasites. This makes extensive mutation and deletion studies a reasonable approach also in the malaria mouse model. Stage-specific expression constructs and parasite lines are extremely valuable tools for research on Plasmodium liver stage biology. Such reporter lines offer a promising opportunity for assessment of liver stage drugs, characterization of genetically attenuated parasites and liver stage-specific vaccines both in vivo and in vitro, and may be key for the generation of inducible systems.