Two new articles published by the Frischknecht group (project 1):
The team discovered a new protein they named concavin and investigated a well known protein called myosin. They found that concavin is important to keep the form of Plasmodium sporozoites, the forms of the malaria parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. Without concavin, the parasites round up in the mosquito and cannot be transmitted efficiently. When migrating in the skin of the host, the parasites lacking concavin disintegrate and die. They also found that adding a phosphate group to myosin is important for generating force by parasites and if this is inhibited by a genetic mutation, the parasites cannot enter salivary glands of the mosquitoes and hence fail to be transmitted.
Kehrer J, Formaglio P, Muthinja JM, Weber S, Baltissen D, Lance C, Ripp J, Grech J, Meissner M, Funaya C, Amino R, Frischknecht F. Plasmodium sporozoite disintegration during skin passage limits malaria parasite transmission. EMBO Rep. 2022 Apr 11:e54719. doi: 10.15252/embr.202254719.
Ripp J, Smyrnakou X, Neuhoff M-T, Hentzschel F, Frischknecht F.
Phosphorylation of myosin A regulates gliding motility and is essential for Plasmodium transmission. EMBO Rep. 2022 May 04:e54857. doi.org/10.15252/embr.202254857.