Publications & Reports

Male-Specific Protein Disulphide Isomerase Function is Essential for Plasmodium Transmission and a Vulnerable Target for Intervention.

Fiona Angrisano, Katarzyna A Sala, Sofia Tapanelli, George K Christophides, Andrew M Blagborough
Division of Microbiology and Parasitology, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, CB2 1QP, United Kingdom.


Inhibiting transmission of Plasmodium is an essential strategy in malaria eradication, and the biological process of gamete fusion during fertilization is a proven target for this approach. Lack of knowledge of the mechanisms underlying fertilization have been a hindrance in the development of transmission-blocking interventions. Here we describe a protein disulphide isomerase essential for malarial transmission (PDI-Trans/PBANKA_0820300) to the mosquito. We show that PDI-Trans activity is male-specific, surface-expressed, essential for fertilization/transmission, and exhibits disulphide isomerase activity which is up-regulated post-gamete activation. We demonstrate that PDI-Trans is a viable anti-malarial drug and vaccine target blocking malarial transmission with the use of PDI inhibitor bacitracin (98.21%/92.48% reduction in intensity/prevalence), and anti-PDI-Trans antibodies (66.22%/33.16% reduction in intensity/prevalence). To our knowledge, these results provide the first evidence that PDI function is essential for malarial transmission, and emphasize the potential of anti-PDI agents to act as anti-malarials, facilitating the future development of novel transmission-blocking interventions.

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  • Journal: Scientific Reports
  • Published: 04/12/2019
  • Volume: 9
  • Issue: 1
  • Pagination: 18300