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Parasitology. 1994 Jul;109 ( Pt 1):1-9.

Characterization of membrane proteins exported from Plasmodium falciparum into the host erythrocyte.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh, UK.


Plasmodium falciparum is an intracellular parasite of the red blood cell. During development it exports proteins which are transported to specific locations within the host erythrocyte. We have begun to identify and characterize exported membrane proteins of P. falciparum in order to obtain specific marker molecules for the study of the mechanisms involved in the distribution of parasite-derived proteins within the host cell. In this report we describe the characterization of a 35 kDa protein which is recognized by a monoclonal antibody. The protein is tightly associated with membranes isolated from infected erythrocytes; it is resistant to extraction with alkali and soluble after treatment with detergents. It is located at the membrane of the parasitophorous vacuole and in membrane-bound compartments which appear in the cytoplasm of the infected erythrocyte. The protein co-localizes with the previously described exported protein-1 (exp-1). Considering its localization and physical similarities to exp-1, we name the 35 kDa protein the exported protein-2 (exp-2).

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