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About this Database
Malaria Full-Length cDNA project
1-1. Malaria Genome Project
Plasmodium falciparum is the causative agent of the lethal form of malaria in humans. This protozoa transmitted by mosquitoes is responsible for over two million deaths per year. Since most victims are infants under 5 years old, the development of vaccine is of an urgent priority. Therefore, the genome sequencing has been started and completed (Nature 3 Oct. 2002). In addition, genome sequencing of murine malaria parasite, Plasmodium yoelii was performed and the 5 times draft genome sequences are available for comparative studies.
1-2. Malaria cDNA Project
The malaria genome project has revealed many new genes that encode hypothetical proteins, but such predictions are not always correct. Furthermore, contrary to the previous presumption that introns are exceptional in plasmodium, nearly half of the genes have at least one intron. Because of the high AT content (80 %) of the genome, prediction of introns can be problematic. Thus, comparisons with cDNA sequences are mandatory.
Apart from this, knowing how the parasite utilizes its genes during its complicated life cycle is essential to a thorough understanding of its parasitism. It is believed that the adaptation to two hosts has involved duplication of the genome, and that control of gene expression is critical during the process of parasitism.
1-3. Full-Length cDNA Project
GST and EST studies of malaria parasites have been performed at Florida University. Our "Full-length cDNA" project is unique because we are analyzing a cDNA library in which full-length cDNAs are enriched by oligo-capping. This library is useful not only for characterization of the genes but also for analysis of the promoter regions. However, we believe the most important applications are screening of new drugs and development of an effective vaccine.
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