Export of PlasmodiumFalciparum Proteins to the Host Erythrocyte Membrane: Special Problems of Protein Trafficking and Topogenesis

  • Russell J. Howard
  • Shigehiko Uni
  • Jeffrey A. Lyon
  • Diane W. Taylor
  • Wendell Daniel
  • Masamichi Aikawa
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 11)


Asexual blood-stage malaria parasites induce several morphological, antigenic and functional changes of the infected erythrocytes membrane. In the human malaria Plasmodium falciparum these changes include the following: 1. expression of knob-like protrusions of the host cell membrane and underlying electron dense material (EDM), together called a ‘knob’. 2. expression of the capacity of infected erythrocytes to cytoadhere specifically to capillary endothelial cells. Knobs bear the ligand(s) responsible for cytoadherence. 3. expression on the cell surface of a very large (Mr~300,000) malarial protein called the cytoadherence protein, or, PfEMP1 (P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1). A body of indirect evidence, summarized below, suggests that PfEMP1 either bears the ligand(s) responsible for recognition of endothelial cells, or, is located in close physical proximity to the cytoadherence ligand(s). 4. insertion of another very large malarial protein (Mr~300,000) under the surface membrane at the EDM of knobs. This protein can be distinguished from PfEMP1 not only by its submembrane location, but by specific reaction with monoclonal antibodies. We designate this molecule PfEMP2. 5. insertion of a histidine-rich protein, called the knob-protein or PfHRP1 (P. falciparum histidine-rich-protein 1), into the EDM at knobs.


Plasmodium Falciparum Infected Erythrocyte Parasitophorous Vacuole Host Cell Membrane Parasitophorous Vacuole Membrane 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell J. Howard
    • 1
  • Shigehiko Uni
    • 2
  • Jeffrey A. Lyon
    • 3
  • Diane W. Taylor
    • 4
  • Wendell Daniel
    • 1
  • Masamichi Aikawa
    • 2
  1. 1.Malaria Section, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, NIAIDNIHBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Institute of PathologyCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  3. 3.Department of ImmunologyWalter Reed Army Institute of ResearchUSA
  4. 4.Department of BiologyGeorgetown UniversityGeorgetownUSA

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