Using the PfEMP1 head structure binding motif to deal a blow at severe malaria Academic Article


  • Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) malaria causes 200 million cases worldwide, 8 million being severe and complicated leading to ,1 million deaths and ∼100,000 abortions annually. Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (Pf EMP1) has been implicated in cytoadherence and infected erythrocyte rosette formation, associated with cerebral malaria; chondroitin sulphate-A attachment and infected erythrocyte sequestration related to pregnancy-associated malaria and other severe forms of disease. An endothelial cell high activity binding peptide is described in several of this ∼300 kDa hypervariable protein's domains displaying a conserved motif (GACxPxRRxxLC); it established H-bonds with other binding peptides to mediate red blood cell group A and chondroitin sulphate attachment. This motif (when properly modified) induced PfEMP1-specific strain-transcending, fully-protective immunity for the first time in experimental challenge in Aotus monkeys, opening the way forward for a long sought-after vaccine against severe malaria. © 2014 Patarroyo et al.

publication date

  • 2014/2/7


  • Aotus (Cebidae)
  • Blood
  • Blood Group Antigens
  • Cells
  • Cerebral Malaria
  • Chondroitin Sulfates
  • Endothelial Cells
  • Endothelial cells
  • Erythrocytes
  • Falciparum Malaria
  • Haplorhini
  • Head
  • Immunity
  • Malaria
  • Peptides
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1
  • Pregnancy
  • Protein Domains
  • Proteins
  • Rosette Formation
  • Transcend
  • Vaccines
  • abortion (animals)
  • cell adhesion
  • cerebral malaria
  • chondroitin sulfate
  • death
  • endothelial cells
  • erythrocytes
  • immunity
  • malaria
  • membrane proteins
  • monkeys
  • peptides
  • pregnancy
  • proteins
  • vaccines

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1932-6203