Cell-cell communication between malaria-infected red blood cells via exosome-like vesicles

Neta Regev-Rudzki, Danny W Wilson, Teresa G Carvalho, Xavier Sisquella, Bradley M Coleman, Melanie Rug, Dejan Bursac, Fiona Angrisano, Michelle Gee, Andrew Francis Hill, Jake Baum, Alan Frederick Cowman

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433 Citations (Scopus)


Cell-cell communication is an important mechanism for information exchange promoting cell survival for the control of features such as population density and differentiation. We determined that Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells directly communicate between parasites within a population using exosome-like vesicles that are capable of delivering genes. Importantly, communication via exosome-like vesicles promotes differentiation to sexual forms at a rate that suggests that signaling is involved. Furthermore, we have identified a P. falciparum protein, PfPTP2, that plays a key role in efficient communication. This study reveals a previously unidentified pathway of P. falciparum biology critical for survival in the host and transmission to mosquitoes. This identifies a pathway for the development of agents to block parasite transmission from the human host to the mosquito.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1120 - 1133
Number of pages14
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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