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Comparative Genomics of Transcriptional Control in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

Summary: Comparative Genomics of Transcriptional Control
in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum
Richard M.R. Coulson,1,3
Neil Hall,2
and Christos A. Ouzounis1
Computational Genomics Group, The European Bioinformatics Institute, European Molecular Biology Laboratory Cambridge
Outstation, Cambridge CB10 1SD, United Kingdom; 2
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, The Wellcome Trust Genome Campus,
Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SA, United Kingdom
The life cycle of the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, responsible for the most deadly form of human malaria, requires
specialized protein expression for survival in the mammalian host and insect vector. To identify components of
processes controlling gene expression during its life cycle, the malarial genome--along with seven crown eukaryote
group genomes--was queried with a reference set of transcription-associated proteins (TAPs). Following clustering on
the basis of sequence similarity of the TAPs with their homologs, and together with hidden Markov model profile
searches, 156 P. falciparum TAPs were identified. This represents about a third of the number of TAPs usually found in
the genome of a free-living eukaryote. Furthermore, the P. falciparum genome appears to contain a low number of
sequences, which are highly conserved and abundant within the kingdoms of free-living eukaryotes, that contribute
to gene-specific transcriptional regulation. However, in comparison with these other eukaryotic genomes, the
CCCH-type zinc finger (common in proteins modulating mRNA decay and translation rates) was found to be the


Source: Arnold, Jonathan - Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center & Department of Genetics, University of Georgia


Collections: Biotechnology