PF3D7_0903700 alpha tubulin 1

Immunofluorescence of parasites undergoing the first mitotic division. Each set of 3 photographs has the tubulin fluorescence on the left the nuclear stain in the middle and the phase contrast on the right. The panels a to n derive from chronologically ordered samples. The first structure comprising polymerized microtubules visible by immuno-fluorescence is that associated with the centriolar plaque (panel a). Panel b shows a double infection, the left-hand parasite showing the centriolar plaque, while in the parasite on the right, half spindles (hemispindles) are developing from the centriolar plaque (cleared in c and d). Note the close alignment of the nuclear (DAPI-stained) material to the shape of the microtubular structure in panel c. The hemispindles then migrate into opposition, by movement of the centriolar plaques in the nuclear membrane (e, upper parasite of the double infection). When in opposition the hemispindles combine to produce the complete spindle. Nuclear material is now in the process of division and is located towards the spindle poles (f, g and h). The next stage is spindle elongation. Sister 'chromatids' are further separated by the physical elongation of the spindle (i). Panel j shows that the opposition of the hemispindles does not have to be at 1800 for successful karyokinesis. The spindle is then partly disassembled into its component hemispindles (m). Panel n shows a telophase analogue (the left-hand parasite of the double infection). A centriolar plaque is now associated with each daughter nuclear body. Diffuse tubulin staining returns, suggesting the export of tubulin molecules from the nucleus to the cytoplasm on the disassembly of the hemispindles.

Read M, Sherwin T, Holloway SP, Gull K, Hyde JE. Microtubular organization visualized by immunofluorescence microscopy during erythrocytic schizogony in Plasmodium falciparum and investigation of post-translational modifications of parasite tubulin. Parasitology. 1993 106:223-32. Copyright Cambridge University Press Journals 2011