Calcium signal regulates temperature-dependent transformation of sporozoites in malaria parasite development

Yuko Doi, Naoaki Shinzawa, Shinya Fukumoto, Hideyuki Okano, Hirotaka Kanuka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The infection by the malaria parasite of its mammalian host is initiated by the asexual reproduction of the parasite within the host hepatocyte. Before the reproduction, the elongated sporozoites undergo a depolarizing morphogenesis to the spherical exo-erythrocytic form (EEF). This change can be induced in vitro by shifting the environmental conditions, in the absence of host hepatocytes. Using rodent malaria parasites expressing a FRET-based calcium sensor, YC3.60, we observed that the intracellular calcium increased at the center of the bulbous structure during sporozoite transformation. Modulators of intracellular calcium signaling (A23187 and W-7) accelerated the sporozoite-rounding process. These data suggest that calcium signaling regulates the morphological development of the malaria parasite sporozoite to the EEF, and support a fundamental role for calcium as a universal transducer of external stimuli in the parasitic life cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-180
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun


  • Calcium
  • Malaria
  • Morphology
  • Plasmodium
  • Sporozoite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Calcium signal regulates temperature-dependent transformation of sporozoites in malaria parasite development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this