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Title: Comparative metabolomics of erythroid lineage and Plasmodium life stages reveal novel host and parasite metabolism
Author: Srivastava, Anubhav
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 1586
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2014
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Malaria, caused by the Apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium is a deadly disease which poses a huge health and economic burden over many populations in the world, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. To design new intervention strategies and to improve upon existing drugs against malaria, it is important to understand the biochemistry of the Plasmodium parasite and its interaction with the host. We used metabolomics to dissect the biology of the reticulocyte preferring rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei and showed that metabolic reserves in the reticulocytes can aid in survival of malaria parasites when their metabolism is genetically or chemically disrupted, pointing towards a direct role of host cell metabolism in parasite survival. These results have implications for currently used ways of intermediation in malaria infections which target only parasite metabolism against the human malaria parasites, Plasmodium vivax which prefers to infect reticulocytes and Plasmodium falciparum which is capable of infecting all erythrocytes. We also used metabolomics to show the biochemical differences between the asexual and sexual stages of P. berghei parasites and our data gave additional insights into the preparatory phase of the gametocyte stage at the metabolic level with the discovery of a phosphagen system which plays a role in gametogenesis. Targeted metabolomics of P. berghei life stages using isotopic labelling showed that TCA cycle metabolism is predominant in the mosquito stages. Discovery of a reductive arm of TCA metabolism in reticulocytes pointed towards the existence of rudimentary mitochondria in young erythrocytes. Another surprising discovery was the presence of up regulated γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) metabolism in the ookinete stage in P. berghei which may act as an energy source during the ookinete to oocyst transition in the mosquito. This pathway presented novel candidates for transmission blocking.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QH301 Biology ; QH345 Biochemistry