Several antimalarial drugs exist, but differences between life cycle stages among malaria species pose challenges for developing more effective therapies. To understand the diversity among stages and species, we reconstructed genome-scale metabolic models (GeMMs) of metabolism for five life cycle stages and five species of Plasmodium spanning the blood, transmission, and mosquito stages. The stage-specific models of Plasmodium falciparum uncovered stage-dependent changes in central carbon metabolism and predicted potential targets that could affect several life cycle stages. The species-specific models further highlight differences between experimental animal models and the human-infecting species. Comparisons between human- and rodent-infecting species revealed differences in thiamine (vitamin B1), choline, and pantothenate (vitamin B5) metabolism. Thus, we show that genome-scale analysis of multiple stages and species of Plasmodium can prioritize potential drug targets that could be both anti-malarials and transmission blocking agents, in addition to guiding translation from non-human experimental disease models.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Modeling and Simulation
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Computational Theory and Mathematics