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Auxotrophs of Plasmodium falciparum Dependent on p-Aminobenzoic Acid for Growth
Glenn A. McConkey, Isra Ittarat, Steven R. Meshnick and Thomas F. McCutchan
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 91, No. 10 (May 10, 1994), pp. 4244-4248
Published by: National Academy of Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2364632
Page Count: 5
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The isolation of auxotrophic strains of a parasite offers new opportunities for studying parasitology. We have isolated cloned lines of Plasmodium falciparum that, unlike the parent line from which they were derived, rely on exogenous p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) for growth. Isolation involved random mutagenesis of a cloned line of P. falciparum and subsequent selection of PABA-dependent parasites. Both parent and PABA-dependent clones were analyzed for PABA uptake and synthesis. Each clone takes up comparable amounts of PABA from the medium. The parent line, clone 3D7, can synthesize PABA de novo, whereas the PABA-dependent clones cannot. The requirement of exogenous PABA for growth by the auxotrophic strains coupled with their inability to synthesize PABA indicates that normal parasite growth can be completely supported by either synthesis or salvage. This work further clarifies the relationship between the availability of PABA and success of the parasite, an issue of debate from classic studies showing reduced parasite load in individuals on milk-fed diets.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America © 1994 National Academy of Sciences