Md Thoufic Anam Azad, Tatsuki Sugi, Umme Qulsum, Kentaro Kato

Detection of Developmental Asexual Stage-Specific RNA Editing Events in Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 Malaria Parasite

  • Virology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology

Transcriptional variation has been studied but post-transcriptional modification due to RNA editing has not been investigated in Plasmodium. We investigated developmental stage-specific RNA editing in selected genes in Plasmodium falciparum 3D7. We detected extensive amination- and deamination-type RNA editing at 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, and 46 h in tightly synchronized Plasmodium. Most of the editing events were observed in 8 and 16 h ring-stage parasites. Extensive A-to-G deamination-type editing was detected more during the 16 h ring stage (25%) than the 8 h ring stage (20%). Extensive U-to-C amination-type editing was detected more during the 16 h ring stage (31%) than the 8 h ring stage (22%). In 28S, rRNA editing converted the loop structure to the stem structure. The hemoglobin binding activity of PF3D7_0216900 was also altered due to RNA editing. Among the expressed 28S rRNA genes, PF3D7_0532000 and PF3D7_0726000 expression was higher. Increased amounts of the transcripts of these two genes were found, particularly PF3D7_0726000 in the ring stage and PF3D7_0532000 in the trophozoite and schizont stages. Adenosine deaminase (ADA) expression did not correlate with the editing level. This first experimental report of RNA editing will help to identify the editing machinery that might be useful for antimalarial drug discovery and malaria control.

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