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Multiple essential functions of Plasmodium falciparum actin-1 during malaria blood-stage development

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Biology, August 2017
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Title
Multiple essential functions of Plasmodium falciparum actin-1 during malaria blood-stage development
Published in
BMC Biology, August 2017
DOI 10.1186/s12915-017-0406-2
Pubmed ID
Authors

Sujaan Das, Leandro Lemgruber, Chwen L. Tay, Jake Baum, Markus Meissner

Abstract

The phylum Apicomplexa includes intracellular parasites causing immense global disease burden, the deadliest of them being the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, which invades and replicates within erythrocytes. The cytoskeletal protein actin is well conserved within apicomplexans but divergent from mammalian actins, and was primarily reported to function during host cell invasion. However, novel invasion mechanisms have been described for several apicomplexans, and specific functions of the acto-myosin system are being reinvestigated. Of the two actin genes in P. falciparum, actin-1 (pfact1) is ubiquitously expressed in all life-cycle stages and is thought to be required for erythrocyte invasion, although its functions during parasite development are unknown, and definitive in vivo characterisation during invasion is lacking. Here we have used a conditional Cre-lox system to investigate the functions of PfACT1 during P. falciparum blood-stage development and host cell invasion. We demonstrate that PfACT1 is crucially required for segregation of the plastid-like organelle, the apicoplast, and for efficient daughter cell separation during the final stages of cytokinesis. Surprisingly, we observe that egress from the host cell is not an actin-dependent process. Finally, we show that parasites lacking PfACT1 are capable of microneme secretion, attachment and formation of a junction with the erythrocyte, but are incapable of host cell invasion. This study provides important mechanistic insights into the definitive essential functions of PfACT1 in P. falciparum, which are not only of biological interest, but owing to functional divergence from mammalian actins, could also form the basis for the development of novel therapeutics against apicomplexans.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profile of 1 tweeter who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 61 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 61 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 20 33%
Student > Master 10 16%
Researcher 10 16%
Student > Bachelor 5 8%
Student > Doctoral Student 2 3%
Other 5 8%
Unknown 9 15%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 24 39%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 15 25%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 4 7%
Immunology and Microbiology 3 5%
Engineering 2 3%
Other 2 3%
Unknown 11 18%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 17 August 2017.
All research outputs
#9,295,760
of 11,623,235 outputs
Outputs from BMC Biology
#980
of 1,047 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#194,124
of 264,947 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Biology
#30
of 30 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 11,623,235 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 11th percentile – i.e., 11% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,047 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 17.3. This one is in the 2nd percentile – i.e., 2% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
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We're also able to compare this research output to 30 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 1st percentile – i.e., 1% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.