Journal article

Activation and clustering of a Plasmodium falciparum var gene are affected by subtelomeric sequences

Michael F Duffy, Jingyi Tang, Fransisca Sumardy, Hanh HT Nguyen, Shamista A Selvarajah, Gabrielle A Josling, Karen P Day, Michaela Petter, Graham V Brown

FEBS JOURNAL | WILEY | Published : 2017


The Plasmodium falciparum var multigene family encodes the cytoadhesive, variant antigen PfEMP1. P. falciparum antigenic variation and cytoadhesion specificity are controlled by epigenetic switching between the single, or few, simultaneously expressed var genes. Most var genes are maintained in perinuclear clusters of heterochromatic telomeres. The active var gene(s) occupy a single, perinuclear var expression site. It is unresolved whether the var expression site forms in situ at a telomeric cluster or whether it is an extant compartment to which single chromosomes travel, thus controlling var switching. Here we show that transcription of a var gene did not require decreased colocalisation ..

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