Protein trafficking in malaria-infected erythrocytes Academic Article uri icon


  • The malaria parasite invades the human erythrocyte and converts this simple "sack of haemoglobin" back into a functional eukaryotic cell. Parasite-encoded proteins are trafficked to the red blood cell membrane where they modify its properties to meet the needs of the intracellular parasite. Trafficking of proteins within the parasite probably occurs via a "classical" vesicle-mediated secretory pathway; however, the transit of proteins from the parasite plasma membrane to the erythrocyte membrane appears to involve both a novel vesicle-mediated pathway and a direct protein-translocation system. The polypeptide signals that direct parasite proteins into these novel export pathways may include an unusual "internal" hydrophobic sequence, as well as a series of basic motifs.

publication date

  • November 1998