Journal article

Targeting and function of proteins mediating translation initiation in organelles of Plasmodium falciparum

Afreen Haider, Stacey M Allen, Katherine E Jackson, Stuart A Ralph, Saman Habib



The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has two translationally active organelles - the apicoplast and mitochondrion, which import nuclear-encoded translation factors to mediate protein synthesis. Initiation of translation is a complex step wherein initiation factors (IFs) act in a regulated manner to form an initiation complex. We identified putative organellar IFs and investigated the targeting, structure and function of IF1, IF2 and IF3 homologues encoded by the parasite nuclear genome. A single PfIF1 is targeted to the apicoplast. Apart from its critical ribosomal interactions, PfIF1 also exhibited nucleic-acid binding and melting activities and mediated transcription anti-termination..

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by CSIR's Network project Splendid

Awarded by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Awarded by NHMRC RD Wright Biomedical Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Prof. Robert Landick for the E. coli RL211 strain, Prof. Alan Cowman for the pGlux. 1, Dr. Lluis Ribas de Pouplana for pET28a-EcMRS and pET30-TbKRS1, Dr. Uttam RajBhandary for pQE16-FMTp, Prof. G.J.W. Hol for the RIG plasmid and Prof. G.I. McFadden for anti-ACP antibodies. R.K. Srivastava is acknowledged for technical assistance and Rima Ray Sarkar and Kavita Singh for help with confocal microscopy. AH received scholarship from the University Grants Commission, India. This work was supported by the DST/INT/Spain/P-33/11 and the CSIR's Network project Splendid (BSC0104i) grants to SH and by an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grant to SAR (628704). SAR is supported by a NHMRC RD Wright Biomedical Fellowship (1062504). The authors declare no conflict of interest. This is CDRI communication number 8921.