Journal article

Telomeric heterochromatin propagation and histone acetylation control mutually exclusive expression of antigenic variation genes in malaria parasites

LH Freitas-Junior, R Hernandez-Rivas, SA Ralph, D Montiel-Condado, OK Ruvalcaba-Salazar, AP Rojas-Meza, L Mancio-Silva, RJ Leal-Silvestre, AM Gontijo, S Shorte, A Scherf

CELL | CELL PRESS | Published : 2005


Malaria parasites use antigenic variation to avoid immune clearance and increase the duration of infection in the human host. Variation at the surface of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes is mediated by the differential control of a family of surface antigens encoded by var genes. Switching of var gene expression occurs in situ, mostly from telomere-associated loci, without detectable DNA alterations, suggesting that it is controlled by chromatin structure. We have identified chromatin modifications at telomeres that spread far into telomere-proximal regions, including var gene loci (>50 kb). One type of modification is mediated by a protein homologous to yeast Sir2 called PfSir2, which fo..

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University of Melbourne Researchers