Loss of pH control in Plasmodium falciparum parasites subjected to oxidative stress.

PloS one

PubMedID: 23536836

van Schalkwyk DA, Saliba KJ, Biagini GA, Bray PG, Kirk K. Loss of pH control in Plasmodium falciparum parasites subjected to oxidative stress. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(3):e58933.
The intraerythrocytic malaria parasite is susceptible to oxidative stress and this may play a role in the mechanism of action of some antimalarial agents. Here we show that exposure of the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite to the oxidising agent hydrogen peroxide results in a fall in the intracellular ATP level and inhibition of the parasite's V-type H(+)-ATPase, causing a loss of pH control in both the parasite cytosol and the internal digestive vacuole. In contrast to the V-type H(+)-ATPase, the parasite's digestive vacuole H(+)-pyrophosphatase is insensitive to hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress. This work provides insights into the effects of oxidative stress on the intraerythrocytic parasite, as well as providing an alternative possible explanation for a previous report that light-induced oxidative stress causes selective lysis of the parasite's digestive vacuole.