, Volume 110, Issue 2, pp 545-556
Date: 09 Jul 2011

Plasmodium falciparum infection-induced changes in erythrocyte membrane proteins

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Abstract

Over the past decade, advances in proteomic and mass spectrometry techniques and the sequencing of the Plasmodium falciparum genome have led to an increasing number of studies regarding the parasite proteome. However, these studies have focused principally on parasite protein expression, neglecting parasite-induced variations in the host proteome. Here, we investigated P. falciparum-induced modifications of the infected red blood cell (iRBC) membrane proteome, taking into account both host and parasite proteome alterations. Furthermore, we also determined if some protein changes were associated with genotypically distinct P. falciparum strains. Comparison of host membrane proteomes between iRBCs and uninfected red blood cells using fluorescence-based proteomic approaches, such as 2D difference gel electrophoresis revealed that more than 100 protein spots were highly up-represented (fold change increase greater than five) following P. falciparum infection for both strains (i.e. RP8 and Institut Pasteur Pregnancy Associated Malaria). The majority of spots identified by mass spectrometry corresponded to Homo sapiens proteins. However, infection-induced changes in host proteins did not appear to affect molecules located at the outer surface of the plasma membrane. The under-representation of parasite proteins could not be attributed to deficient parasite protein expression. Thus, this study describes for the first time that considerable host protein modifications were detected following P. falciparum infection at the erythrocyte membrane level. Further analysis of infection-induced host protein modifications will improve our knowledge of malaria pathogenesis.