The adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to chondroitin sulfate A is mediated by P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1

John C. Reeder, Alan Frederick Cowman, Kathleen M. Davern, James G. Beeson, Jennifer K. Thompson, Stephen J. Rogerson, Graham V. Brown

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203 Citations (Scopus)


Chondroitin sulfate A (CSA) is an important receptor for the sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum in the placenta, but the parasite ligand involved in adhesion has not previously been identified. Here we report the identification of a var gene transcribed in association with binding to CSA and present evidence that the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein i product of the gene is the parasite ligand mediating CSA binding. Description of this gene and the implication of P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 as the parasite ligand paves the way to a more detailed understanding of the pathogenesis of placental infection and potential therapeutic strategies targeting the interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5198-5202
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 1999
Externally publishedYes

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