Journal article

Essential role of Plasmodium perforin-like protein 4 in ookinete midgut passage

Elena Deligianni, Natalie C Silmon de Monerri, Paul J McMillan, Lucia Bertuccini, Fabiana Superti, Maria Manola, Lefteris Spanos, Christos Louis, Michael J Blackman, Leann Tilley, Inga Siden-Kiamos



Pore forming proteins such as those belonging to the membrane attack/perforin (MACPF) family have important functions in many organisms. Of the five MACPF proteins found in Plasmodium parasites, three have functions in cell passage and one in host cell egress. Here we report an analysis of the perforin-like protein 4, PPLP4, in the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei. We found that the protein is expressed only in the ookinete, the invasive stage of the parasite formed in the mosquito midgut. Transcriptional analysis revealed that expression of the pplp4 gene commences during ookinete development. The protein was detected in retorts and mature ookinetes. Using two antibodies, the protein was ..

View full abstract


Awarded by BIOSYS research project, Action KRIPIS - General Secretariat for Research and Technology, Ministry of Education, Greece

Awarded by Evimalar

Awarded by Transmalaria bloc

Awarded by UK Medical Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by BIOSYS research project, Action KRIPIS, project No MIS-448301 (2013SE01380036) funded by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology, Ministry of Education, Greece, and the European Regional Development Fund (Sectoral Operational Programme: Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship, NSRF 2007-2013)/European Commission to ISK,; Evimalar (Grant Agreement 242095) to CL,; Transmalaria bloc (contract nr GA223736) to CL,; UK Medical Research Council (U117532063) to MJB,; Medical Research Council, PhD studentship to NCS, The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.ISK is grateful for the hospitality provided by the group of Prof. G. McFadden, the excellent support of Ms Vanessa Mollard and the generous funding from OzMalNet. We acknowledge Prof. Gabriele Pradel and Christine Wirth for stimulating discussions, the exchange of unpublished results and a gift of PPLP4 antiserum. We thank Katerina Kallitsounaki, Katerina Dalakoura-Karagouni, and Ioannis Livadaras for valuable technical assistance and Dr Julian Rayner for kindly providing the GAP50 antibody. Dr Eric Hanssen assisted in interpreting the TEM images.