Site-directed mutagenesis of the telomerase RNA from Tetrahymena thermophila was used previously to demonstrate the templating function of a sequence within this RNA; this sequence specifies the sequence of telomeric DNA in vivo. The possible functional importance of a phylogenetically conserved nucleotide outside the telomerase RNA template region was investigated by a similar experimental approach.
Telomerase is a reverse transcriptase minimally composed of a reverse transcriptase protein subunit and an internal RNA component that contains the templating region. Point mutations of template RNA bases can cause loss of enzymatic activity, reduced processivity and misincorporation in vitro. Here we report the first complete replacement of the nine base TETRAHYMENA: thermophila telomerase templating region in vivo with non-telomeric sequences. Rather than ablating telomerase activity, three such replaced telomerases (U9, AUN and AU4) were effective in polymerization in vitro.
Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance is a major cause of worldwide increases in malaria mortality and morbidity. Recent laboratory and clinical studies have associated chloroquine resistance with point mutations in the gene pfcrt. However, direct proof of a causal relationship has remained elusive and most models have posited a multigenic basis of resistance.
Drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum is a serious problem in most endemic areas. Recent studies have suggested the potential involvement of genes in the MDR gene family in resistance to quinoline-containing compounds in P. falciparum. In our present studies, a molecular analysis of pfmdr 1 in isolate strain of P. falciparum, 523a R, from Japanese mefloquine-resistant patient was done to determine the reported association of pfmdr 1 intragenic alleles and mefloquine resistance, and to examine the antimalarial activities of several antimalarial agents against the P. falciparum strain.
Mu et al. (Mu, J., M. T. Ferdig, X. Feng, D. A. Joy, J. Duan, T. Furuya, G. Subramanian, L. Aravind, R. A. Cooper, J. C. Wootton, M. Xiong, and X. Z. Su, Mol. Microbiol. 49:977-989, 2003) recently reported exciting associations between nine new candidate transporter genes and in vitro resistance to chloroquine (CQ) and quinine (QN), with six of these loci showing association with CQ or QN in a southeast Asian population sample.
Resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to drugs such as chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine is a major problem in malaria control. Artemisinin (ART) derivatives, particularly in combination with other drugs, are thus increasingly used to treat malaria, reducing the probability that parasites resistant to the components will emerge. Although stable resistance to artemisinin has yet to be reported from laboratory or field studies, its emergence would be disastrous because of the lack of alternative treatments.
There are more than half a billion cases of malaria every year. Combinations of an artemisinin with other antimalarial drugs are now recommended treatments for Plasmodium falciparum malaria in most endemic areas. These treatment regimens act rapidly to relieve symptoms and effect cure. There is considerable controversy on how artemisinins work and over emerging indications of resistance to this class of antimalarial drugs. Several individual molecules have been proposed as targets for artemisinins, in addition to the idea that artemisinins might have many targets at the same time.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) genotyping of malaria parasites in drug efficacy trials helps differentiate reinfections from recrudescences. A combination therapy trial of one (n = 115) or three (n = 117) days artesunate (1AS, 3AS 4 mg/kg/day) plus sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) vs. SP alone (n = 153) was conducted in Mbarara, a mesoendemic area of western Uganda.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the basal in vitro responses of Plasmodium falciparum isolates collected in The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe to artemether (ATH), artesunate (ATN) and amodiaquine (AMQ). METHODS: The prevalence of given single nucleotide polymorphisms in the pfmdr1, pfcrt, pftctp and pfATPase6 genes was assessed by PCR-RFLP or DNA sequencing, and gene copy numbers were estimated by real-time PCR. RESULTS: Mean IC50s to ATH and ATN were relatively low (1.12 nm and 0.58 nm, respectively).
BACKGROUND: In the last five years, countries have been faced with changing their malaria treatment policy to an artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), many with no national data on which to base their decision. This is particularly true for a number of West African countries, including Guinea, where these studies were performed. Two studies were conducted in 2004/2005 in programmes supported by Medecins Sans Frontieres, when chloroquine was still national policy, but artesunate (AS)/sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) had been used in refugee camps for two years.