Check out our latest work on actin II
Andrea's work together with collaborators from IMBB-FORTH (Heraklion, Crete) and Francis Crick Institute (London, UK) on malaria parasite actin II is out in preprint form.
Malaria parasites have two actin isoforms. While actin I is part of the glideosome complex, essential for locomotion, actin II is present in the sequal stages within the mosquito. The exact function of actin II is still unclear, and information at the molecular level is limited. In this paper, we show that actin II is associated with the nucleus in gametocytes and zygotes and performs specific functions requiring both long filaments and fine-tuning by methylation of histidine 73. Andrea determined the structures of the filamentous form of actin II at near-atomic resolution and characterized its polymerization properties in vitro. The study provides a molecular basis for the differences between actins of the malaria parasite and humans, as well as between the two parasite actin isoforms.