Analysis of var Gene Transcription Pattern Using DBLalpha Tags

Andisi KC, Abdi AI
Methods Mol Biol. 2022;2470

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The Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) antigens, which are encoded by a multigene family called var genes, are exported and inserted onto the surface of the infected erythrocytes. PfEMP1 plays a key role in the pathogenesis of severe malaria and are major targets of naturally acquired immunity. Studying the expression pattern of var genes in P. falciparum clinical isolates is crucial for understanding disease mechanism and immunity to malaria. However, var genes are highly variable, which makes it difficult to study their expression in clinical isolates obtained directly from malaria patients. In this chapter, we describe an approach for analysis of var gene expression that targets a region referred to as DBLalpha tag, which is relatively conserved in all var genes.