Plasmodium falciparum subtilisin-like ookinete protein SOPT plays an important and conserved role during ookinete infection of the Anopheles stephensi midgut
Publication Year 2018-08, Volume 109, Issue #4, Page 458-473
Journal Title
Molecular Microbiology
Publication Type
Journal Article
Transmission of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum involves infection of Anopheles mosquitoes. Here we characterize SOPT, a protein expressed in P. falciparum ookinetes that facilitates infection of the mosquito midgut. SOPT was identified on the basis that it contains a signal peptide, a PEXEL-like sequence and is expressed in asexual, ookinete and sporozoite stages, suggesting it is involved in infecting the human or mosquito host. SOPT is predicted to contain a subtilisin-like fold with a non-canonical catalytic triad and is orthologous to P. berghei PIMMS2. Localization studies reveal that SOPT is not exported to the erythrocyte but is expressed in ookinetes at the parasite periphery. SOPT-deficient parasites develop normally through the asexual and sexual stages and produce equivalent numbers of ookinetes to NF54 controls, however, they form fewer oocysts and sporozoites in mosquitoes. SOPT-deficient parasites were also unable to activate the immune-responsive midgut invasion marker SRPN6 after mosquito uptake, suggesting they are defective for entry into the midgut. Disruption of SOPT in P. berghei (PIMMS2) did not affect other lifecycle stages or ookinete development but again resulted in fewer oocysts and sporozoites in mosquitoes. Collectively, this study shows that SOPT/PIMMS2 plays a conserved role in ookinetes of different Plasmodium species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
WEHI Research Division(s)
Infection And Immunity
PubMed ID
Publisher's Version
NHMRC Grants
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Creation Date: 2018-06-26 12:34:43
Last Modified: 2018-10-22 09:50:31
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