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Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2012 Oct;16(10):999-1011. doi: 10.1517/14728222.2012.711818. Epub 2012 Aug 11.

Basigin: a multifunctional membrane protein with an emerging role in infections by malaria parasites.

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Aichi Gakuin University, Faculty of Psychological and Physical Science, Department of Health Science, 12 Araike, Iwasaki-cho, Nisshin, Aichi 470-0195, Japan.



Malaria is one of the most serious infectious diseases at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Various membrane proteins are present in Plasmodium falciparum, the principal malaria pathogen. Among them, P. falciparum reticulocyte-binding protein homolog 5 (PfRh5) is indispensable for erythrocyte invasion, and has become a promising vaccine target. Basigin (CD147, EMMPRIN) has been identified as the erythrocyte receptor of PfRh5, and shown to be essential for the invasion of multiple strains of the pathogen.


Fundamental information on basigin is fully described, including structure as a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily and function based on its interactions with external molecules and with proteins within the same membrane. The involvement of basigin in many diseases such as cancer and inflammatory diseases is also described, the implication being that anti-basigin therapy might be helpful to treat certain illnesses. Finally, PfRh5 as a vaccine candidate is covered, and its interaction with basigin is evaluated.


The identification of basigin, a well-characterized membrane protein, as a receptor essential for malaria infection will contribute significantly to prevention and treatment of malaria. As an example, anti-basigin therapy can be considered an alternative approach to the treatment of drug-resistant malaria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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