The epigenetic control of antigenic variation in Plasmodium falciparum
SA Ralph, A Scherf
CURRENT OPINION IN MICROBIOLOGY | CURRENT BIOLOGY LTD | Published : 2005
Much of what is known about antigenic variation in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has been established by the study of phenotypic changes at the surface of parasitized red blood cells. Although this has contributed to our fundamental understanding of immune escape, nothing conclusive has been elucidated about the molecular mechanisms that determine activation and silencing of members of the antigenic variation var gene family. Recent findings indicate that reversible chromatin modifications and perinuclear gene movement are epigenetic factors that define the silent and active states of telomere-adjacent var genes.