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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2004 May;135(1):1-11.

Proteomics approach reveals novel proteins on the surface of malaria-infected erythrocytes.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 N. Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Proteins on the surface of parasite-infected erythrocytes (PIESPs) have been one of the major focuses of malaria research due to their role in pathogenesis and their potential as targets for immunity and drug intervention. Despite intense scrutiny, only a few surface proteins have been identified and characterized. We report the identification of two novel surface proteins from Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes. Surface proteins were fractionated through biotin-streptavidin interaction and analyzed by shotgun proteomics. From a list of 36 candidates, two were selected for further characterization. The surface location of both proteins was confirmed by confocal microscopy using specific antibodies. PIESP1 and PIESP2 are unlikely to be associated with knobs, the protrusions on the parasite-infected erythrocyte (PIE) surface. In contrast to other known PIESPs, such as PfEMP1 and Rifin, these novel proteins are encoded by single copy genes, highly conserved across Plasmodium ssp., making them good targets for interventions with a broad specificity to various P. falciparum isolates.

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