Features of autophagic cell death in Plasmodium liver-stage parasites

Eickel, Nina; Kaiser, Gesine; Prado, Monica; Burda, Paul-Christian; Roelli, Matthias; Stanway, Rebecca R.; Heussler, Volker (2013). Features of autophagic cell death in Plasmodium liver-stage parasites. Autophagy, 9(4), pp. 568-580. Landes Bioscience 10.4161/auto.23689

[img] Text
eickel_kaiser.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (1MB) | Request a copy

Analyzing molecular determinants of Plasmodium parasite cell death is a promising approach for exploring new avenues in the fight against malaria. Three major forms of cell death (apoptosis, necrosis and autophagic cell death) have been described in multicellular organisms but which cell death processes exist in protozoa is still a matter of debate. Here we suggest that all three types of cell death occur in Plasmodium liver-stage parasites. Whereas typical molecular markers for apoptosis and necrosis have not been found in the genome of Plasmodium parasites, we identified genes coding for putative autophagy-marker proteins and thus concentrated on autophagic cell death. We characterized the Plasmodium berghei homolog of the prominent autophagy marker protein Atg8/LC3 and found that it localized to the apicoplast. A relocalization of PbAtg8 to autophagosome-like vesicles or vacuoles that appear in dying parasites was not, however, observed. This strongly suggests that the function of this protein in liver-stage parasites is restricted to apicoplast biology.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Cell Biology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Cell Biology > Malaria

UniBE Contributor:

Eickel, Nina, Kaiser, Gesine, Burda, Paul-Christian, Rölli, Matthias Andreas, Limenitakis, Rebecca Rachel, Heussler, Volker


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Landes Bioscience




Jacqueline Schmuckli

Date Deposited:

23 Apr 2014 10:07

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:24

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Atg3, Atg7, Atg8, Plasmodium liver-stage apicoplast, autophagy-like cell, death malaria membrane expansion, organelle growth parasite death





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback