A Time Point Proteomic Analysis Reveals Protein Dynamics of Plasmodium Oocysts

Mol Cell Proteomics. 2024 Mar;23(3):100736. doi: 10.1016/j.mcpro.2024.100736. Epub 2024 Feb 10.


The oocyst is a sporogonic stage of Plasmodium development that takes place in the mosquito midgut in about 2 weeks. The cyst is protected by a capsule of unknown composition, and little is known about oocyst biology. We carried out a proteomic analysis of oocyst samples isolated at early, mid, and late time points of development. Four biological replicates for each time point were analyzed, and almost 600 oocyst-specific candidates were identified. The analysis revealed that, in young oocysts, there is a strong activity of protein and DNA synthesis, whereas in mature oocysts, proteins involved in oocyst and sporozoite development, gliding motility, and invasion are mostly abundant. Among the proteins identified at early stages, 17 candidates are specific to young oocysts. Thirty-four candidates are common to oocyst and the merosome stages (sporozoite proteins excluded), sharing common features as replication and egress. Western blot and immunofluorescence analyses of selected candidates confirm the expression profile obtained by proteomic analysis.

Keywords: Anopheles; Plasmodium; malaria; mosquito; oocyst.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anopheles*
  • Oocysts / metabolism
  • Plasmodium*
  • Proteomics
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism
  • Sporozoites / metabolism


  • Protozoan Proteins