The DEAD-box RNA helicase PfDOZI imposes opposing actions on RNA metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum

Hui Min, Xiaoying Liang, Chengqi Wang, Junling Qin, Rachasak Boonhok, Azhar Muneer, Awtum M. Brashear, Xiaolian Li, Allen M. Minns, Swamy Rakesh Adapa, Rays H.Y. Jiang, Gang Ning, Yaming Cao, Scott E. Lindner, Jun Miao, Liwang Cui

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In malaria parasites, the regulation of mRNA translation, storage and degradation during development and life-stage transitions remains largely unknown. Here, we functionally characterized the DEAD-box RNA helicase PfDOZI in P. falciparum. Disruption of pfdozi enhanced asexual proliferation but reduced sexual commitment and impaired gametocyte development. By quantitative transcriptomics, we show that PfDOZI is involved in the regulation of invasion-related genes and sexual stage-specific genes during different developmental stages. PfDOZI predominantly participates in processing body-like mRNPs in schizonts but germ cell granule-like mRNPs in gametocytes to impose opposing actions of degradation and protection on different mRNA targets. We further show the formation of stress granule-like mRNPs during nutritional deprivation, highlighting an essential role of PfDOZI-associated mRNPs in stress response. We demonstrate that PfDOZI participates in distinct mRNPs to maintain mRNA homeostasis in response to life-stage transition and environmental changes by differentially executing post-transcriptional regulation on the target mRNAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3747
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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