Spontaneous mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum sarcoplasmic/ endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (PfATP6) gene among geographically widespread parasite populations unexposed to artemisinin-based combination therapies.

Abstract : Recent reports on the decline of the efficacy of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) indicate a serious threat to malaria control. The endoplasmic/sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase ortholog of Plasmodium falciparum (PfSERCA) has been suggested to be the target of artemisinin and its derivatives. It is assumed that continuous artemisinin pressure will affect polymorphism of the PfSERCA gene (serca) if the protein is the target. Here, we investigated the polymorphism of serca in parasite populations unexposed to ACTs to obtain baseline information for the study of potential artemisinin-driven selection of resistant parasites. Analysis of 656 full-length sequences from 13 parasite populations in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and South America revealed 64 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), of which 43 were newly identified and 38 resulted in amino acid substitutions. No isolates showed L263E and S769N substitutions, which were reportedly associated with artemisinin resistance. Among the four continents, the number of SNPs was highest in Africa. In Africa, Asia, and Oceania, common SNPs, or those with a minor allele frequency of ≥0.05, were less prevalent, with most SNPs noted to be continent specific, whereas in South America, common SNPs were highly prevalent and often shared with those in Africa. Of 50 amino acid haplotypes observed, only one haplotype (3D7 sequence) was seen in all four continents (64%). Forty-eight haplotypes had frequencies of less than 5%, and 40 haplotypes were continent specific. The geographical difference in the diversity and distribution of serca SNPs and haplotypes lays the groundwork for assessing whether some artemisinin resistance-associated mutations and haplotypes are selected by ACTs.
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Kazuyuki Tanabe, Sedigheh Zakeri, Nirianne Marie Q Palacpac, Manada Afsharpad, Milijaona Randrianarivelojosia, et al.. Spontaneous mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum sarcoplasmic/ endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (PfATP6) gene among geographically widespread parasite populations unexposed to artemisinin-based combination therapies.. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, American Society for Microbiology, 2011, 55 (1), pp.94-100. ⟨10.1128/AAC.01156-10⟩. ⟨pasteur-00836499⟩

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