A team of scientists have just pinpointed a protein molecule that fuels malaria growth.
A team of scientists may have just made a big discovery with regards to the deadly mosquito-borne disease of malaria.
A research team from the University of Nottingham have figured out the role of cyclin, which is a protein molecule that promotes growth of malaria in mosquitoes, according to a statement from the university.
Researchers Magali Roques, Rita Tewari and Bill Wickstead made the discovery, which could help scientists understand how the malaria parasite lives within the mosquito and later in humans, and it could help them discover new treatments. That would be a huge development, as malaria kills a half million people every year, primarily in developing countries.
There are three different types of cyclin in the parasite, which their research identifies. The “P-type” cyclin gets a lot of attention in the research due to how closely related it is to cyclins found in plants.
Malaria is an interesting disease that requires both a mosquito and a mammal host in order to complete its life cycle.
“This first functional study of cyclin in the malaria parasite and its consequences in parasite development within pathogen-carrying mosquitoes will definitely further our understanding of parasite cell division, which I hope will lead to the elimination of this disease in the future,” Roques said in the statement.
Describing the cyclins in more detail, Wickstead said: “Cyclins are a really diverse class of proteins comprising many different types in different organisms. What’s interesting is that Plasmodium contains a really small set of unusual composition. It was clear that this was likely to be related to their unusual cell and life-cycles and Professor Tewari’s group was in a great position to be able to test this.”