Malaria Parasite’s Survival Linked to Two Proteins Associated with Parasite’s Mitochondria; Could Prove to Be Therapeutic Targets

Malaria, a mosquito-borne disease, killed more than 620,000 people worldwide in 2020. Reducing the survival of Plasmodium falciparum, the malaria parasite, is one way to control the spread of this deadly disease. A team led by an infectious disease expert at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), has now identified two proteins that are key to P. falciparum’s survival. The discovery, reported online on March 11, 2022 in Nature Communications, suggests these proteins--RAP01 and RAP21--could be potential targets for novel antimalarial and antiparasitic strategies. The open-access research paper is titled “Functional Genomics of RAP Proteins and Their Role in Mitoribosome Regulation in Plasmodium falciparum.”

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