The Role of Chromatin Structure in Gene Regulation of the Human Malaria Parasite

Gayani Batugedara, Xueqing M. Lu, Evelien M. Bunnik, Karine G. Le Roch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, depends on a coordinated regulation of gene expression for development and propagation within the human host. Recent developments suggest that gene regulation in the parasite is largely controlled by epigenetic mechanisms. Here, we discuss recent advancements contributing to our understanding of the mechanisms controlling gene regulation in the parasite, including nucleosome landscape, histone modifications, and nuclear architecture. In addition, various processes involved in regulation of parasite-specific genes and gene families are examined. Finally, we address the use of epigenetic processes as targets for novel antimalarial therapies. Collectively, these topics highlight the unique biology of P. falciparum, and contribute to our understanding of mechanisms regulating gene expression in this deadly parasite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-377
Number of pages14
JournalTrends in Parasitology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017


  • Plasmodium
  • chromatin
  • epigenetics
  • gene regulation
  • malaria
  • nucleosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology


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