A6: Targeting the highly divergent actin superfamily in malaria parasite transmission
Dr. Ross Douglas
Biomedical Research Center Seltersberg (BFS)
Molecular Infections Biology
Justus Liebig Universität Giessen
Tel.: +49 (0)641-99 39145
Fax: +49 (0)641-99 39129
Malaria remains one of the most devastating diseases and is caused by single celled parasites called Plasmodium. These parasites are transmitted between people by Anopheles mosquitoes. The parasite needs a set of diverse proteins that enable it to transmit to the mosquito vector, including members of the highly divergent actin cytoskeleton and its regulators. The parasite cytoskeleton has unique properties in order to transmit and, given its essential nature in various parasite processes at different life cycle stages, contains promising targets for novel malaria therapies. We make use of target validation approaches to identify and characterize novel transmission blocking targets that could be used to control disease spread.
We aim to characterize identified proteins of interest using a variety of in vitro and in vivo methods with a view to identify novel compounds that selectively target these proteins and thus serve as transmission blocking drug candidates.
DRUID Collaboration partners:
A7 Przyborski, B1 Diederich/Kolb, B7 P Falcone, E3 Rahlfs/Przyborski
References A6:  Douglas et al. (2018) PLOS Bio e2005345;  Douglas et al. (2018) Malaria J 17:3191898-905;  Douglas et al. (2015) Trends Parasitol 31(8):357-362.