Home improvements: Malaria and the red blood cell Academic Article uri icon


  • In real-estate agent's terms, the red blood cell is a renovator's dream. The mature human erythrocyte has no internal organelles, no protein synthesis machinery and no infrastructure for protein trafficking. The malaria parasite invades this empty shell and effectively converts the erythrocyte back into a fully functional eukaryotic cell. In this article, Michael Foley and Leann Tilley examine the Plasmodium falciparum proteins that interact with the membrane skeleton at different stages of the infection and speculate on the roles of these proteins in the remodelling process.

publication date

  • November 1995