Characterization of the expression pattern of the Caf1 regulator of gene expression in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum
Manivannen, Veronica Lavanya
Date of Issue2016-05-26
School of Biological Sciences
Project title: Characterization of the expression pattern of the Caf1 regulator of gene expression in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Submitted by: Veronica Lavanya Manivannen Background: CCR4 and CCR4-associated factor 1 (Caf1) repress gene expression through mRNA deadenylation activity with CCR4, and are important in Plasmodium falciparum for correct, timely expression of mRNA during the intraerythrocytic cycle (IDC), and survival of the parasite in the human host. Heat and oxidative stress are inevitable during the IDC. Little is known about how Caf1 is implicated in the stress response of the parasite. This project thus aims to characterize the expression pattern of Caf1 and it’s products in P. falciparum upon exposure to heat shock and artemisinin perturbation, by means of Caf1 localization, and mRNA and protein levels. Results: Caf1 remains localized to the cytoplasm across IDC regardless of the environmental conditions. Discordance between the change in Caf1 mRNA and Caf1 protein levels upon stress induction was observed. Heat shock and artemisinin exposure caused a global decrease in Caf1 mRNA levels for all stages of the IDC, however, no change in protein levels was observed in parasites exposed to heat shock. Change in protein expression following artemisinin exposure was inconclusive as too little Caf1 protein could be detected to make any deductions. Conclusion: Discordance of change in Caf1 mRNA and protein levels could be attributed to technical errors resulting in inaccurate qRT-PCR results. Unchanged localization and Caf1 protein levels suggest that Caf1 expression is not affected by environmental stress stimuli, but is possibly regulated by post-translational mechanisms.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University