ADF2 is required for transformation of the ookinete and sporozoite in malaria parasite development

Yuko Doi, Naoaki Shinzawa, Shinya Fukumoto, Hideyuki Okano, Hirotaka Kanuka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Malaria parasites undergo two rounding-up transformations in their life cycle: the ookinete-to-oocyst transformation in the mosquito midgut, and the sporozoite-to-EEF (exo-erythrocytic form) differentiation in the host hepatocyte. Both events are characterized by the loss of polarity, implying that cytoskeletal reorganization is involved. In other eukaryotes, regulation of the actin skeleton is fundamental to subcellular remodeling. Although filamentous actin is well known to be involved in the motility of apicomplexan parasites, its participation in their morphological regulation is still largely unexplored. Here we describe the fundamental role of Actin depolymerization factor 2 (ADF2), a vector-stage-specific ADF isoform, in morphological changes accompanying the parasite life cycle. Among protozoan parasites, Plasmodium is unique in having two a. ctin and two ADF genes. Disruption of the ADF2 gene in the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei had no effect on ookinete development or its subsequent invasion of the midgut. However, both the ookinete-to-oocyst and sporozoite-to-EEF transformations showed significant defects. These results indicated that Plasmodium ADF2 plays a pivotal role in transformation in the malaria parasite life cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-672
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jul


  • Actin
  • Development
  • Infection
  • Morphology
  • Parasite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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