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Ubiquitination tags proteins for different functions within the cell. One of the most abundant and studied ubiquitin modification is the Lys48 polyubiquitin chain that modifies proteins for their destruction by proteasome. In Plasmodium is proposed that post-translational regulation is fundamental for parasite development during its complex life-cycle; thus, the objective of this work was to analyze the ubiquitination during Plasmodium chabaudi intraerythrocytic stages. Ubiquitinated proteins were detected during intraerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium chabaudi by immunofluorescent microscopy, bidimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) combined with immunoblotting and mass spectrometry. All the studied stages presented protein ubiquitination and Lys48 polyubiquitination with more abundance during the schizont stage. Three ubiquitinated proteins were identified for rings, five for trophozoites and twenty for schizonts. Only proteins detected with a specific anti- Lys48 polyubiquitin antibody were selected for Mass Spectrometry analysis and two of these identified proteins were selected in order to detect the specific amino acid residues where ubiquitin is placed. Ubiquitinated proteins during the ring and trophozoite stages were related with the invasion process and in schizont proteins were related with nucleic acid metabolism, glycolysis and protein biosynthesis. Most of the ubiquitin detection was during the schizont stage and the Lys48 polyubiquitination during this stage was related to proteins that are expected to be abundant during the trophozoite stage. The evidence that these Lys48 polyubiquitinated proteins are tagged for destruction by the proteasome complex suggests that this type of post-translational modification is important in the regulation of protein abundance during the life-cycle and may also contribute to the parasite cell-cycle progression.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Alternative Splicing, Animals, Erythrocytes, Gene Expression Regulation, Life Cycle Stages, Lysine, Malaria, Mass Spectrometry, Plasmodium chabaudi, Rodent Diseases, Ubiquitin, Ubiquitination