Navigation Links
Research exposes new target for malaria drugs
Date:8/4/2008

The malaria parasite has waged a successful guerrilla war against the human immune system for eons, but a study in this week's Journal of Biological Chemistry has exposed one of the tricks malaria uses to hide from the immune proteins, which may aid in future drug development.

Malaria parasites (plasmodia) are transmitted to people via infected mosquitoes. Once inside their human hosts the parasites first set up shop in liver cells, then move into red blood cells (RBCs) to replicate and wait for the next mosquito to help continue the cycle.

After plasmodia infect a blood cell, they send out clusters of sticky proteins to the cell surface, enabling them to attach to blood vessels and escape destruction by the host's spleen while they replicate. This tactic can be especially problematic during pregnancy as malaria-infected RBCs congregate in the vessel-rich placenta (the source of food and oxygen for the growing fetus), creating health problems such as anemia, low birth-weight, fever and more.

Targeting these sticky proteins with drugs is difficult, however, as plasmodia contain many different varieties, which they use to evade the human immune system. However, certain parts of the protein have to remain constant for proper function, and in this study, Matthew Higgins generated high-resolution 3-D structures of a malarial sticky protein that binds to placenta, PfEMP1, to detail how plasmodia protect these conserved areas.

Higgins found that a variable region of PfEMP1 covers a section that is important for docking up with the placental wall. When the infected RBC gets close to chondroitin sulphate, a structural molecule on blood vessels, the variable region moves aside and ever so briefly exposes the binding region, just enough to allow anchoring to take place. Higgins notes that women in regions where malaria is endemic do gain some immunity to the build-up of RBCs at the placenta after multiple pregnancies by developing an immune response for PfEMP1. Targeting this conserved binding domain of the protein with pharmaceuticals that mimic chondroitin sulphate and expose this region might be an approach to hasten this immunity.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nick Zagorski
nzagorski@asbmb.org
301-634-7366
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Broad Institute researchers introduce next generation tool for visualizing genomic data
2. Spanish researchers discover significant leatherback turtle nesting beaches in the Caribbean
3. DOE and USDA announce more than $10 million in bioenergy plant feedstock research
4. EPA funds ground-breaking Lyme disease research
5. ORNL researchers analyze material with colossal ionic conductivity
6. UNH researchers tag first-ever free-swimming leatherback turtles in New England
7. Small research at MSU leads to advances in energy, electronics
8. FSU, Magnet Lab researchers license critical petroleum data
9. Caltech researchers find dual-use sexual attraction and population-control chemicals in nematodes
10. Rosella research could rewrite ring theory
11. Tel Aviv University researchers root out new and efficient crop plants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/3/2016)... , February 4, 2016 --> ... SEK 1,351.5 M (105.0), up 1,187% compared with fourth quarter of 2014. ... to SEK 517.6 M (loss: 30.0). Earnings per share increased ... was SEK 537.4 M (neg: 74.7). , ... Revenues amounted to SEK 2,900.5 M (233.6), up 1,142% compared with 2014. ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... , Feb. 2, 2016 This BCC ... bioinformatic market by reviewing the recent advances in ... that drive the field forward. Includes forecast through ... Identify the challenges and opportunities that exist in ... software solution developers, as well as IT and ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... -- Rising sales of consumer electronics coupled ... gesture control market size through ... electronics coupled with new technological advancements to drive global ... through 2020   --> Rising ... to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture control market ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... -- The Maryland House of Delegates and House Speaker ... Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece ... System President and CEO Robert Chrencik , MBA, ... given to the public by the leader of the ... and Mr. Chrencik for their contributions to our statewide ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... New York (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) today announced that it has joined the Human Vaccines ... immunotherapies for infectious diseases and cancer. , The Human Vaccines Project ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  Matchbook, Inc., a ... fast growing biotech companies, announced today the appointment ... Strategic Advisor. Jim brings nearly 25 years of ... procurement, having spent nearly two decades in executive ... and Procurement at Genzyme and, most recently headed ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... LATHAM, NEW YORK... Marktech Optoelectronics ... West conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Center from February 16-18, 2016, and at ... , These latest InGaAs PIN diode standard packages feature a TO-46 metal can with ...
Breaking Biology Technology: