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Functional analysis of proteins involved in Plasmodium falciparum merozoite invasion of red blood cells.

Cowman AF, Baldi DL, Healer J, Mills KE, O'Donnell RA, Reed MB, Triglia T, Wickham ME, Crabb BS

  • Journal FEBS letters

  • Published 02 Aug 2000

  • Volume 476

  • ISSUE 1-2

  • Pagination 84-8

  • DOI 10.1016/s0014-5793(00)01703-8


Plasmodium falciparum causes the most lethal form of malaria in humans and is responsible for over two million deaths per year. The development of a vaccine against this parasite is an urgent priority and potential protein targets include those on the surface of the asexual merozoite stage, the form that invades the host erythrocyte. The development of methods to transfect P. falciparum has enabled the construction of gain-of-function and loss-of-function mutants and provided new strategies to analyse the role of parasite proteins. In this review, we describe the use of this technology to examine the role of merozoite antigens in erythrocyte invasion and to address their potential as vaccine candidates.