The present investigation was carried out to identify and study the gene expression patterns of two novel Plasmodium falciparum Multidrug Resistance associated Protein (MRP) transporters belonging to the ABC protein family coded by the genes pfmrp1 and pfmrp2 inP. falciparum. Full sequencing resulted in the identification of four SNPs in pfmrp1 and eight SNPs and three insertions/deletions in pfmrp2. Both genes showed different patterns of expression along the intraerythrocytic cycle, pfmrp1 peaks at the late trophozoites/early schizont stage, while pfmrp2 is transcribed, mostly during the ring stage and peaks again towards the end of the cycle, suggesting different parasite physiological functions. Higher levels of pfmrp1 and pfmrp2 gene expression were observed in chloroquine and mefloquine treated cultures, more visible with mefloquine. These results suggest a possible involvement of pfmrp1 and pfmrp2 genes in P. falciparum drug response.
Key words: Efflux pumps, drug resistance, gene expression, MRP, Plasmodium falciparum, polymorphism.
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