Organisms with identical genome sequences can show substantial differences in their phenotypes owing to epigenetic changes that result in different use of their genes. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression plays a key role in the control of several fundamental processes in the biology of malaria parasites, including antigenic variation and sexual differentiation. Some of the histone modifications and chromatin-modifying enzymes that control the epigenetic states of malaria genes have been characterized, and their functions are beginning to be unraveled. The fundamental principles of epigenetic regulation of gene expression appear to be conserved between malaria parasites and model eukaryotes, but important peculiarities exist. Here, we review the current knowledge of malaria epigenetics and discuss how it can be exploited for the development of new molecular markers and new types of drugs that may contribute to malaria eradication efforts.
Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Additional Document Info
has global citation frequency