ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0790.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Parasitology Keywords: Plasmodium falciparum, infection, erythrocyte, pyruvate kinase deficiency, enzymopathy, 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate, transcriptome, Nanopore technology
Online: 13 November 2023 (09:02:00 CET)
Innovative strategies to control malaria are urgently needed. Exploring the interplay between the Plasmodium sp. parasites and host red blood cells (RBC) offers opportunities for novel antimalarial interventions. Pyruvate kinase deficiency (PKD), characterized by heightened 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG) concentration, has been associated with protection against malaria. Elevated 2,3-DPG levels, a specific mammalian metabolite, may hinder glycolysis, prompting us to hypothesize its potential contribution to PKD-mediated protection. We investigated the impact of the extracellular supplementation of 2,3-DPG on the Plasmodium falciparum intraerythrocytic developmental cycle in vitro. Results showed an inhibition of parasite growth, resulting from significantly less progeny from 2,3-DPG-treated parasites. We analyzed differential gene expression and the transcriptomic profile of P. falciparum trophozoites, from in vitro cultures submitted or not submitted to the action of 2,3-DPG, using Nanopore Sequencing Technology. The presence of 2,3-DPG in the culture medium was associated to a significant differential expression of 71 genes, mostly associated to GO terms nucleic acid binding, transcription, or monoatomic anion channel. Further, several genes related to the cell cycle control were downregulated in treated parasites. These findings suggest that the presence of this RBC-specific glycolytic metabolite impact the expression of genes transcribed during the parasite trophozoite stage and the number of merozoites released from individual schizonts, which supports the potential role of 2,3-DPG in the mechanism of protection against malaria by PKD.