Scientists have just identified an Achilles heel in the parasite that causes malaria, by showing that its optimum development is dependent on its ability to expropriate RNA molecules in infected cells – a host-pathogen interaction that had never previously been observed.
Although the precise function of this deviation remains mysterious, these findings open new perspectives for the targeted delivery of therapeutic agents within the parasite. This study, led by Magali Frugier from the Architecture et Réactivité de l’ARN laboratory (CNRS, Strasbourg), in collaboration with Robert Menard from the Malaria Infection and Immunity Unit at Institut Pasteur (Paris), has been published in PNAS the week of 11 April 2016.
Bour T, Mahmoudi N, Kapps D, Thiberge S, Bargieri D, Ménard R, Frugier M. Apicomplexa-specific tRip facilitates import of exogenous tRNAs into malaria parasites, PNAS, April 11, 2016. DOI : 10.1073/pnas.1600476113
Read more on the Institut Pasteur's website.