Function and evolution of the Fam A protein family of malaria parasites in pathogenesis

Christiaan van Ooij (primary)
Infection Biology
Prof Nicholas Keep (secondary)
Biological Sciences


The malaria parasite protein PF14_0604, which is produced in the stage of the parasite lifecycle that is transferred to the mosquito, is a putative phospholipid-transfer protein that may be very important for the transmission of the parasite to the mosquito. This project will investigate phospholipid transfer of PF14_0604 through biochemical assays and the function of the protein through genetic modification of the parasite. The function of the protein will be further investigated through determination of the structure of the protein through crystallography, which will additionally provide insight into the expansion and divergence of the protein family in rodent malaria parasites.


1. Variant Exported Blood-Stage Proteins Encoded by Plasmodium Multigene Families Are Expressed in Liver Stages Where They Are Exported into the Parasitophorous Vacuole. Fougère A, Jackson AP, Bechtsi DP, Braks JA, Annoura T, Fonager J, Spaccapelo R, Ramesar J, Chevalley-Maurel S, Klop O, van der Laan AM, Tanke HJ, Kocken CH, Pasini EM, Khan SM, Böhme U, van Ooij C, Otto TD, Janse CJ, Franke-Fayard B. PLoS Pathog. 12:e1005917, 2016
2. Integrated transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of P. falciparum gametocytes: molecular insight into sex-specific processes and translational repression. Lasonder E, Rijpma SR, van Schaijk BC, Hoeijmakers WA, Kensche PR, Gresnigt MS, Italiaander A, Vos MW, Woestenenk R, Bousema T, Mair GR, Khan SM, Janse CJ, Bártfai R, Sauerwein RW. Nucleic Acids Res. 44:6087-101, 2016
3. Variant surface antigens of malaria parasites: functional and evolutionary insights from comparative gene family classification and analysis. Frech C, Chen N. BMC Genomics 14:427, 2013

Plants, microbes, food and sustainability
Area of Biology
Cell BiologyStructural Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BiochemistryGeneticsMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologyMolecular Biology