Efficient site-specific integration in Plasmodium falciparum chromosomes mediated by mycobacteriophage Bxb1 integrase

Louis J. Nkrumah, Rebecca A. Muhle, Pedro A. Moura, Pallavi Ghosh, Graham F. Hatfull, William R. Jacobs, David A. Fidock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

150 Scopus citations

Abstract

Here we report an efficient, site-specific system of genetic integration into Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite chromosomes. This is mediated by mycobacteriophage Bxb1 integrase, which catalyzes recombination between an incoming attP and a chromosomal attB site. We developed P. falciparum lines with the attB site integrated into the glutaredoxin-like cg6 gene. Transfection of these attB+ lines with a dual-plasmid system, expressing a transgene on an attP-containing plasmid together with a drug resistance gene and the integrase on a separate plasmid, produced recombinant parasites within 2 to 4 weeks that were genetically uniform for single-copy plasmid integration. Integrase-mediated recombination resulted in proper targeting of parasite proteins to intra-erythrocytic compartments, including the apicoplast, a plastid-like organelle. Recombinant attB × attP parasites were genetically stable in the absence of drug and were phenotypically homogeneous. This system can be exploited for rapid genetic integration and complementation analyses at any stage of the P. falciparum life cycle, and it illustrates the utility of Bxb1-based integrative recombination for genetic studies of intracellular eukaryotic organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-621
Number of pages7
JournalNature Methods
Volume3
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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