Full text loading...
Chapter 18 : Plasmodium Ribosomes and Opportunities for Drug Intervention
The translation of mRNA, a fundamental property of all organisms, is carried out by the ribosome. Although the ribosomes of Plasmodium sp. are typically eukaryotic in their sedimentation properties, they do differ from the host by the rRNA having a low G+C base composition. Indeed, antibiotics that selectively disable protein synthesis over defined periods of the developmental cycle or organellar function could play an important role in a better understanding of the molecular events during the developmental cycle of the malaria parasite. Our most detailed knowledge of ribosomal chemistry comes from the study of prokaryotic ribosomes. Within the ribosomal complex lies the machinery that decodes information from the messenger RNA and catalyzes the ordered assembly of amino acids into proteins. Regulation of ribosome production is essential to all cells. The number of ribosomes present in a cell is directly related to the protein synthesizing activity and to the size of the cell. The crystal structure of Thermus thermophilus and Escherichia coli 70S ribosome, along with biochemical data, suggests that ~80% of intersubunit bridges are contributed by RNA-RNA interactions. The functional role of the pseudoknot varies considerably depending on its source. The development and spread of drug resistance are unquestionably tied to the population dynamics of parasite, host, and vector.