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Short-term metabolic adjustments in Plasmodium falciparum counter hypoxanthine deprivation at the expense of long-term viability

Overview of attention for article published in Malaria Journal, March 2019
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  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (51st percentile)

Mentioned by

5 tweeters

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15 Mendeley
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Short-term metabolic adjustments in Plasmodium falciparum counter hypoxanthine deprivation at the expense of long-term viability
Published in
Malaria Journal, March 2019
DOI 10.1186/s12936-019-2720-3
Pubmed ID

Shivendra G. Tewari, Krithika Rajaram, Patric Schyman, Russell Swift, Jaques Reifman, Sean T. Prigge, Anders Wallqvist


The malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum is an auxotroph for purines, which are required for nucleic acid synthesis during the intra-erythrocytic developmental cycle (IDC) of the parasite. The capabilities of the parasite and extent to which it can use compensatory mechanisms to adapt to purine deprivation were studied by examining changes in its metabolism under sub-optimal concentrations of hypoxanthine, the primary precursor utilized by the parasite for purine-based nucleic acid synthesis. The concentration of hypoxanthine that caused a moderate growth defect over the course of one IDC was determined. At this concentration of hypoxanthine (0.5 μM), transcriptomic and metabolomic data were collected during one IDC at multiple time points. These data were integrated with a metabolic network model of the parasite embedded in a red blood cell (RBC) to interpret the metabolic adaptation of P. falciparum to hypoxanthine deprivation. At a hypoxanthine concentration of 0.5 μM, vacuole-like structures in the cytosol of many P. falciparum parasites were observed after the 24-h midpoint of the IDC. Parasites grown under these conditions experienced a slowdown in the progression of the IDC. After 72 h of deprivation, the parasite growth could not be recovered despite supplementation with 90 µM hypoxanthine. Simulations of P. falciparum metabolism suggested that alterations in ubiquinone, isoprenoid, shikimate, and mitochondrial metabolism occurred before the appearance of these vacuole-like structures. Alterations were found in metabolic reactions associated with fatty acid synthesis, the pentose phosphate pathway, methionine metabolism, and coenzyme A synthesis in the latter half of the IDC. Furthermore, gene set enrichment analysis revealed that P. falciparum activated genes associated with rosette formation, Maurer's cleft and protein export under two different nutrient-deprivation conditions (hypoxanthine and isoleucine). The metabolic network analysis presented here suggests that P. falciparum invokes specific purine-recycling pathways to compensate for hypoxanthine deprivation and maintains a hypoxanthine pool for purine-based nucleic acid synthesis. However, this compensatory mechanism is not sufficient to maintain long-term viability of the parasite. Although P. falciparum can complete a full IDC in low hypoxanthine conditions, subsequent cycles are disrupted.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 15 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 15 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 9 60%
Student > Master 3 20%
Student > Doctoral Student 1 7%
Student > Bachelor 1 7%
Unknown 1 7%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 4 27%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 3 20%
Computer Science 1 7%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 1 7%
Immunology and Microbiology 1 7%
Other 3 20%
Unknown 2 13%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2. 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 21 March 2019.
All research outputs
of 14,533,262 outputs
Outputs from Malaria Journal
of 4,169 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 265,396 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Malaria Journal
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 14,533,262 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 44th percentile – i.e., 44% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 4,169 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 5.6. This one is in the 38th percentile – i.e., 38% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 265,396 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 51% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them