Implication of a Plasmodium falciparum gene in the switch between asexual reproduction and gametocytogenesis

Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2005 Apr;140(2):153-60. doi: 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2004.12.010. Epub 2005 Jan 19.


Gametocytogenesis is fundamental for transmission of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum from the human host to the mosquito vector, yet very little is understood about what triggers the switch between asexual reproduction and gametocytogenesis. Arresting the progression through the sexual cycle would block transmission of this disease. Here we identify a novel gene in P. falciparum that when genetically silenced reduces gametocyte production by a factor of 6, and when complemented up-regulates gametocyte-specific gene transcription.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Protozoan / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, Protozoan / metabolism
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Gametogenesis / genetics
  • Genes, Protozoan*
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Membrane Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Plasmodium falciparum / genetics
  • Plasmodium falciparum / physiology*
  • Reproduction, Asexual / genetics


  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Pfs16 protein, Plasmodium falciparum