Imperial College London

Professor George K. Christophides

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Professor of Infectious Diseases & Immunity



+44 (0)20 7594 5342g.christophides




6167Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Ukegbu, CV and Akinosoglou, KA and Christophides, GKC and Vlachou, D},
doi = {10.1128/IAI.00139-17},
journal = {Infection and Immunity},
title = {Plasmodium berghei PIMMS2 promotes ookinete invasion of the Anopheles gambiae mosquito midgut},
url = {},
volume = {85},
year = {2017}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Mosquito midgut stages of the malaria parasite present an attractive biological system to study host-parasite interactions and develop interventions to block disease transmission. Mosquito infection ensues upon oocyst development that follows ookinete invasion and traversal of the mosquito midgut epithelium. Here, we report the characterization of PIMMS2 (Plasmodium Invasion of Mosquito Midgut Screen candidate 2), a Plasmodium berghei protein with structural similarities to subtilisin-like proteins. PIMMS2 orthologs are present in the genomes of all plasmodia and are mapped between the subtilisin-encoding genes SUB1 and SUB3. P. berghei PIMMS2 is specifically expressed in zygotes and ookinetes and is localized on the ookinete surface. Loss of PIMMS2 function through gene disruption by homologous recombination leads to normal development of motile ookinetes that exhibit severely impaired capacity to traverse the mosquito midgut and transform to oocysts. Genetic complementation of the disrupted locus with a mutated PIMMS2 allele reveals that amino acid residues corresponding to the putative subtilisin-like catalytic triad are important but not essential for the protein function. Our data demonstrate that PIMMS2 is a novel ookinete-specific protein that promotes parasite traversal of the mosquito midgut epithelium and establishment of mosquito infection.
AU - Ukegbu,CV
AU - Akinosoglou,KA
AU - Christophides,GKC
AU - Vlachou,D
DO - 10.1128/IAI.00139-17
PY - 2017///
SN - 1098-5522
TI - Plasmodium berghei PIMMS2 promotes ookinete invasion of the Anopheles gambiae mosquito midgut
T2 - Infection and Immunity
UR -
UR -
VL - 85
ER -