Copper-transporting ATPase is important for malaria parasite fertility.
Bottom Line: We show that male and female gametocytes are abundant in cutp(-) parasites, but activation of male microgametes and exflagellation were strongly impaired.A cross-fertilization assay demonstrated that female fertility was also severely abrogated.In conclusion, we provide experimental genetic and pharmacological evidence that a healthy copper homeostasis is critical to malaria parasite fertility of both genders of gametocyte and, hence, to transmission to the mosquito vector.
Affiliation: Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Parasitology Unit, 10117, Berlin, Germany.Show MeSH
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Mentions: To further substantiate the link between male fertility and copper, we investigated the effects of copper ion addition and chelation on exflagellation in an in vitro assay. Chelation of intracellular Cu+ with neocuproine in WT parasites resulted in a substantial reduction of male exflagellation, mimicking the defect observed in cutpâˆ’ parasites (Fig.â€‰6). In contrast, we were not able to restore the exflagellation deficit of the cutpâˆ’ parasites or neocuproine-treated WT parasites by addition of extracellular Cu+ or Cu2+ (data not shown).
Affiliation: Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Parasitology Unit, 10117, Berlin, Germany.