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Inhibition of adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes by structurally defined hyaluronic acid dodecasaccharides.

Chai W, Beeson JG, Kogelberg H, Brown GV, Lawson AM

  • Journal Infection and immunity

  • Published 18 Jan 2001

  • Volume 69

  • ISSUE 1

  • Pagination 420-5

  • DOI 10.1128/IAI.69.1.420-425.2001


We recently reported that Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (IRBCs) can adhere to hyaluronic acid (HA), which appears to be a receptor, in addition to chondroitin sulfate A (CSA), for parasite sequestration in the placenta. Further investigations of the nature and specificity of this interaction indicate that HA oligosaccharide fragments competitively inhibit parasite adhesion to immobilized purified HA in a size-dependent manner, with dodecasaccharides being the minimum size for maximum inhibition. Rigorously purified and structurally defined HA dodecasaccharides, free of contamination by CSA or other glycosaminoglycans, effectively inhibited IRBC adhesion to HA but not CSA, providing compelling evidence of a specific interaction between IRBCs and HA.