Representative Pfs16 IFA images and quantification of the percentage of Pfs16-positive parasites determined 3 days after rapamycin induction, in cultures treated or not with ML10 (a PKG inhibitor). In some experiments, cultures were treated with the cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) inhibitor ML10 to block schizont rupture and reinvasion, thus preventing amplification of nonconverting parasites. In all cases, ~90% of parasites were Pfs16 positive in rapamycin-induced E5ind cultures, whereas no Pfs16-positive parasites were observed in DMSO-treated control cultures. The majority of Pfs16-negative parasites in ML10-treated induced cultures were mononucleated, suggesting that parasites that failed to convert upon induction were predominantly dead or growth arrested. Only ~2% of parasites in these cultures were at the multinucleated schizont stage, the stage expected for healthy replicating parasites 3 days after induction.
Llorà-Batlle O, Michel-Todó L, Witmer K, Toda H, Fernández-Becerra C, Baum J, Cortés A. Conditional expression of PfAP2-G for controlled massive sexual conversion in Plasmodium falciparum. Sci Adv. 2020 6(24):eaaz5057