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A Host-Targeting Signal in Virulence Proteins Reveals a

Summary: A Host-Targeting Signal in
Virulence Proteins Reveals a
Secretome in Malarial Infection
N. Luisa Hiller, Souvik Bhattacharjee, Christiaan van Ooij,
Konstantinos Liolios, Travis Harrison, Carlos Lopez-Estran~o,*
Kasturi Haldar.
Malaria parasites secrete proteins across the vacuolar membrane into the
erythrocyte, inducing modifications linked to disease and parasite survival. We
identified an 11­amino acid signal required for the secretion of proteins from
the Plasmodium falciparum vacuole to the human erythrocyte. Bioinformatics
predicted a secretome of 9320 proteins and conservation of the signal across
parasite species. Functional studies indicated the predictive value of the signal
and its role in targeting virulence proteins to the erythrocyte and implicated
its recognition by a receptor/transporter. Erythrocyte modification by the
parasite may involve plasmodial heat shock proteins and be vastly more
complex than hitherto realized.
P. falciparum causes the most virulent form
of human malaria. Blood stage parasites that
infect mature erythrocytes are responsible
for all the symptoms and pathologies of the


Source: Arnold, Jonathan - Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center & Department of Genetics, University of Georgia


Collections: Biotechnology