A programmed cell death pathway in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has general features of mammalian apoptosis but is mediated by clan CA cysteine proteases

Ch'ng, J.-H. and Kotturi, S. R. and Chong, A. G.-L. and Lear, Martin J. and Tan, K. S.-W. (2010) A programmed cell death pathway in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has general features of mammalian apoptosis but is mediated by clan CA cysteine proteases. Cell Death and Disease, 1 (2). e26. ISSN 2041-4889

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/cddis.2010.2

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A programmed cell death pathway in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has general features of mammalian apoptosis but is mediated by clan CA cysteine proteases
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Abstract

Several recent discoveries of the hallmark features of programmed cell death (PCD) in Plasmodium falciparum have presented the possibility of revealing novel targets for antimalarial therapy. Using a combination of cell-based assays, flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy, we detected features including mitochondrial dysregulation, activation of cysteine proteases and in situ DNA fragmentation in parasites induced with chloroquine (CQ) and staurosporine (ST). The use of the pan-caspase inhibitor, z-Val-Ala-Asp-fmk (zVAD), and the mitochondria outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) inhibitor, 4-hydroxytamoxifen, enabled the characterization of a novel CQ-induced pathway linking cysteine protease activation to downstream mitochondrial dysregulation, amplified protease activity and DNA fragmentation. The PCD features were observed only at high (lM) concentrations of CQ. The use of a new synthetic coumarin-labeled chloroquine (CM-CQ) showed that these features may be associated with concentration-dependent differences in drug localization. By further using cysteine protease inhibitors z-Asp-Glu-Val-Asp-fmk (zDEVD), z-Phe-Ala-fmk (zFA), z-Phe-Phe-fmk (zFF), z-Leu-Leu-Leu-fmk (zLLL), E64d and CA-074, we were able to implicate clan CA cysteine proteases in CQ-mediated PCD. Finally, CQ induction of two CQ-resistant parasite strains, 7G8 and K1, reveals the existence of PCD features in these parasites, the extent of which was less than 3D7. The use of the chemoreversal agent verapamil implicates the parasite digestive vacuole in mediating CQ-induced PCD.

Keywords:malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, programmed cell death, fluorescent-labelled chloroquine, Verapamil
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F165 Biomolecular Chemistry
C Biological Sciences > C111 Parasitology
C Biological Sciences > C500 Microbiology
F Physical Sciences > F163 Bio-organic Chemistry
Divisions:College of Science > School of Chemistry
ID Code:17107
Deposited On:17 Apr 2015 09:43

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