Heat Shock Proteins of Malaria: What Do We Not Know, and What Should the Future Focus Be?
As obligate parasites, malaria parasites have developed mechanisms for survival under unfavourable conditions in host cells. The chapters in this book have extensively discussed the evidence that heat shock proteins of malaria play a key role in parasite survival in host cells. The role of the heat shock protein arsenal of the parasite is not limited to the protection of the parasite cell, as some of these proteins also promote the pathological development of malaria. This is largely due to the export of a large number of these proteins to the infected erythrocyte cytosol. Although PfEMP1 is the main virulent factor for the malaria parasite, some of the exported malarial heat shock proteins appear to augment parasite virulence (Maier et al. 2008). While this book largely delves into experimentally validated information on the role of heat shock proteins in the development and pathogenicity of malaria, some of the information is is based on hypotheses yet to be fully tested. Therefore, it is important to highlight what we know to be definite roles of malarial heat shock proteins. This will help us distill information that could provide practical insights on the options available for future research directions, including interventions against malaria that may target the role of heat shock proteins in the development of the disease.
KeywordsHeat Shock Protein Plasmodium Falciparum Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria Parasitophorous Vacuole Protein Quality Control
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