Overexpression and altered nucleocytoplasmic distribution of Anopheles ovalbumin-like SRPN10 serpins in Plasmodium-infected midgut cells.Cell Microbiol. 2005 Feb; 7(2):181-90.CM
The design of effective, vector-based malaria transmission blocking strategies relies on a thorough understanding of the molecular and cellular interactions that occur during the parasite sporogonic cycle in the mosquito. During Plasmodium berghei invasion, transcription from the SRPN10 locus, encoding four serine protease inhibitors of the ovalbumin family, is strongly induced in the mosquito midgut. Herein we demonstrate that intense induction as well as redistribution of SRPN10 occurs specifically in the parasite-invaded midgut epithelial cells. Quantitative analysis establishes that in response to epithelial invasion, SRPN10 translocates from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and this is followed by strong SRPN10 overexpression. The invaded cells exhibit signs of apoptosis, suggesting a link between this type of intracellular serpin and epithelial damage. The SRPN10 gene products constitute a novel, robust and cell-autonomous marker of midgut invasion by ookinetes. The SRPN10 dynamics at the subcellular level confirm and further elaborate the 'time bomb' model of P. berghei invasion in both Anopheles stephensi and Anopheles gambiae. In contrast, this syndrome of responses is not elicited by mutant P. berghei ookinetes lacking the major ookinete surface proteins, P28 and P25. Molecular markers with defined expression patterns, in combination with mutant parasite strains, will facilitate dissection of the molecular mechanisms underlying vector competence and development of effective transmission blocking strategies.