Interview met Dr. Andy Waters in Mediator Plus Ultra
December 2003, jaargang 1, nr 4:
Prize for a poster from Taco Kooij (LUMC, Leiden)
'Synteny between rodent and human malaria parasite genomes' presented at the "Molecular Parasitology Meeting"(MPMXIV) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts
New information is added to the LUMC website:
Genome and Post-Genome Research in P.berghei
Malaria researchers from Leiden contributed to the publication of the genome and partial proteome of two malaria parasites
In the Journal Nature, 5 papers were published on the sequencing of the genome of the human malaria parasite and a model rodent malaria parasite (with over 100 authors). Two additional papers reported the initial exploitation of whole genome data and presented significant attempts to report the protein complement (the proteome) of a number of life cycle stages of the two parasites.
Malaria researchers from contributed to to the publication of two of these papers (one proteome and one genome).
Lasonder E, Ishihama Y, Andersen JS, Vermunt AM, Pain A, Sauerwein RW, Eling WM, Hall N, Waters AP, Stunnenberg HG, Mann M (2002) Analysis of the Plasmodium falciparum proteome by high-accuracy mass spectrometry. Nature 2002 Oct 3; 419(6906): 537-42.
Carlton JM, Angiuoli SV, Suh BB, Kooij TW, Pertea M, Silva JC, Ermolaeva MD, Allen JE, Selengut JD, Koo HL, Peterson JD, Pop M, Kosack DS, Shumway MF, Bidwell SL, Shallom SJ, Van Aken SE, Riedmuller SB, Feldblyum TV, Cho JK, Quackenbush J, Sedegah M, Shoaibi A, Cummings LM, Florens L, Yates JR, Raine JD, Sinden RE, Harris MA, Cunningham DA, Preiser PR, Bergman LW, Vaidya AB, Van Lin LH, Janse CJ, Waters AP, Smith HO, White OR, Salzberg SL, Venter JC, Fraser CM, Hoffman SL, Gardner MJ, Carucci DJ. (2002). Genome sequence and comparative analysis of the model rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii yoelii.
Nature 2002 Oct 3; 419(6906): 512-9.
The largest part of the sequencing effort has been conducted at TIGR in the US and at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the UK.
PhD thesis: Resie van Spaendonk (LUMC, Leiden)
Dr. M. van Dijk (LUMC) received the 'Merial Award 2001 for Parasitology' for her research on malaria
(from: Trends in Parasitology (2002) 18, 203)
The Merial Award for Parasitology is granted under the auspices of The Netherlands Society for Parasitology to a post-doc researcher from the Benelux countries, who has conducted important and innovative research in parasitology. The 2001 Merial Award went to a medical parasitologist, Milly van Dijk (University of Leiden, The Netherlands). van Dijk was the first to report stable genetic modification of the blood-stage malaria parasite, which was carried out in Andy Waters and Chris Janse's group (Leiden University Medical Centre, The Netherlands). The development of this technique has opened up new possibilities for malaria researchers and has been adopted to investigate the structure and function of proteins of malaria parasites, in addition to defining new targets for drug and vaccine development.
P. berghei Genome Sequencing Project
P. berghei has an estimated genome size of 25-27Mb organised into 14 chromosomes in the size range of 0.6 Mb to 3.8 Mb, numbered in ascending order of size (based on the size of chromosomes of the reference clones 8417 and cl15cy1 of the ANKA strain). A project funded by the Wellcome Trust has been initiated by the Sanger Centre in the U.K. to sequence the genome of P. berghei to 3x coverage. DNA for this sequencing project was obtained in our laboratory from asynchronous bloodstages of clone 15cy1 of the ANKA strain of P. berghei which had been filtered repeatedly through Plasmodipur filters prior to DNA isolation. Here is the link to the to the project web page at The Sanger Centre and associated Blast server: www.sanger.ac.uk/Projects/P_berghei/
Researchers from the Leiden Malaria Research Group contributed to a paper published in Cell
Melissa R. van Dijk, Chris J. Janse, Joanne Thompson, Andrew P. Waters, Joanna A.M. Braks, Huub J. Dodemont, Henk G. Stunnenberg, Geert-Jan van Gemert, Robert W. Sauerwein and Wijnand Eling (2001)
A Central Role for P48/45 in Malaria Parasite Male Gamete Fertility. Cell 104: 153-64
Summary: Fertilisation and zygote development are obligate features of the malaria parasite life cycle and occur during parasite transmission to mosquitoes. The surface protein PFS48/45 is expressed by male and female gametes of Plasmodium falciparum and PFS48/45 antibodies prevent zygote development and transmission. Here, gene disruption was used to show that Pfs48/45 and the orthologue Pbs48/45 from a rodent malaria parasite P. berghei play a conserved and important role in fertilisation. p48/45 - parasites had a reduced capacity to produce oocysts in mosquitoes due to greatly reduced zygote formation. Unexpectedly only male gamete fertility of p48/45 - parasites was affected, failing to penetrate otherwise fertile female gametes. P48/45 is the first surface protein of malaria parasites with a demonstrable role in fertilisation.
For more information see Cicero, 9 february 2001, #2.