Quinn J, Jeninga M, Limm K, Pareek K, Meißgeier T, Bachmann A, Duffy MF, Petter M (2022)
Publication Type: Journal article
Publication year: 2022
Book Volume: 10
Article Number: 816558
Epigenetic regulation is a critical mechanism in controlling virulence, differentiation, and survival of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium (P.) falciparum. Bromodomain proteins contribute to this process by binding to acetylated lysine residues of histones and thereby targeting the gene regulatory machinery to gene promoters. A protein complex containing the P. falciparum bromodomain proteins (PfBDP) 1 and PfBDP2 (BDP1/BDP2 core complex) was previously shown to play an essential role for the correct transcription of invasion related genes. Here, we performed a functional characterization of a third component of this complex, which we dubbed PfBDP7, because structural modelling predicted a typical bromodomain fold. We confirmed that PfBDP7 is a nuclear protein that interacts with PfBDP1 at invasion gene promoters in mature schizont stage parasites and contributes to their transcription. Although partial depletion of PfBDP7 showed no significant effect on parasite viability, conditional knock down of either PfBDP7 or PfBDP1 resulted in the de-repression of variant surface antigens (VSA), which are important pathogenicity factors. This de-repression was evident both on mRNA and protein level. To understand the underlying mechanism, we mapped the genome wide binding sites of PfBDP7 by ChIPseq and showed that in early schizonts, PfBDP7 and PfBDP1 are commonly enriched in heterochromatic regions across the gene body of all VSA families, including genes coding for PfEMP1, RIFIN, STEVOR, and PfMC-2TM. This suggests that PfBDP7 and PfBDP1 contribute to the silencing of VSAs by associating with heterochromatin. In conclusion, we identified PfBDP7 as a chromatin binding protein that is a constitutive part of the P. falciparum BDP1/BDP2 core complex and established PfBDP1 and PfBDP7 as novel players in the silencing of heterochromatin regulated virulence gene families of the malaria parasite P. falciparum.
Quinn, J., Jeninga, M., Limm, K., Pareek, K., Meißgeier, T., Bachmann, A.,... Petter, M. (2022). The Putative Bromodomain Protein PfBDP7 of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium Falciparum Cooperates With PfBDP1 in the Silencing of Variant Surface Antigen Expression. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 10. https://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2022.816558
Quinn, Jennifer, et al. "The Putative Bromodomain Protein PfBDP7 of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium Falciparum Cooperates With PfBDP1 in the Silencing of Variant Surface Antigen Expression." Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology 10 (2022).