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Blood. 2005 Mar 15;105(6):2557-63. Epub 2004 Sep 2.

Receptor-binding residues lie in central regions of Duffy-binding-like domains involved in red cell invasion and cytoadherence by malaria parasites.

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Malaria Group, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), PO Box 10504, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067, India.


Erythrocyte invasion by malaria parasites and cytoadherence of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to host capillaries are 2 key pathogenic mechanisms in malaria. The receptor-binding domains of erythrocyte-binding proteins (EBPs) such as Plasmodium falciparum EBA-175, which mediate invasion, and P falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP-1) family members, which are encoded by var genes and mediate cytoadherence, have been mapped to conserved cysteine-rich domains referred to as Duffy-binding-like (DBL) domains. Here, we have mapped regions within DBL domains from EBPs and PfEMP-1 that contain receptor-binding residues. Using biochemical and molecular methods we demonstrate that the receptor-binding residues of parasite ligands that bind sialic acid on glycophorin A for invasion as well as complement receptor-1 and chondroitin sulfate A for cytoadherence map to central regions of DBL domains. In contrast, binding to intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) requires both the central and terminal regions of DBLbetaC2 domains. Determination of functional regions within DBL domains is the first step toward understanding the structure-function bases for their interaction with diverse host receptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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