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PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e26960. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026960. Epub 2011 Nov 17.

Computational prediction of host-parasite protein interactions between P. falciparum and H. sapiens.

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National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.


To obtain candidates of interactions between proteins of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and the human host, homologous and conserved interactions were inferred from various sources of interaction data. Such candidate interactions were assessed by applying a machine learning approach and further filtered according to expression and molecular characteristics, enabling involved proteins to indeed interact. The analysis of predicted interactions indicated that parasite proteins predominantly target central proteins to take control of a human host cell. Furthermore, parasite proteins utilized their protein repertoire in a combinatorial manner, providing a broad connection to host cellular processes. In particular, several prominent pathways of signaling and regulation proteins were predicted to interact with parasite chaperones. Such a result suggests an important role of remodeling proteins in the interaction interface between the human host and the parasite. Identification of such molecular strategies that allow the parasite to take control of the host has the potential to deepen our understanding of the parasite specific remodeling processes of the host cell and illuminate new avenues of disease intervention.

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