Journal article

An exported protein-interacting complex involved in the trafficking of virulence determinants in Plasmodium-infected erythrocytes

Steven Batinovic, Emma McHugh, Scott A Chisholm, Kathryn Matthews, Boiyin Liu, Laure Dumont, Sarah C Charnaud, Molly Parkyn Schneider, Paul R Gilson, Tania F de Koning-Ward, MatthewW A Dixon, Leann Tilley



The malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, displays the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) on the surface of infected red blood cells (RBCs). We here examine the physical organization of PfEMP1 trafficking intermediates in infected RBCs and determine interacting partners using an epitope-tagged minimal construct (PfEMP1B). We show that parasitophorous vacuole (PV)-located PfEMP1B interacts with components of the PTEX (Plasmodium Translocon of EXported proteins) as well as a novel protein complex, EPIC (Exported Protein-Interacting Complex). Within the RBC cytoplasm PfEMP1B interacts with components of the Maurer's clefts and the RBC chaperonin complex. We define the EPIC..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We thank the Red Cross Blood Service (Melbourne, Australia) for blood products. We thank A/Prof. E. Hanssen (Advanced Microscopy Facility, The University of Melbourne), Dr P. McMillan (Biological Optical Microscopy Platform, The University of Melbourne) for assistance with microscopy and Dr N. Williamson and Dr C.-S. Anh (Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Facility, The University of Melbourne) for assistance with mass spectrometry. We thank Dr S. Hermann, Dr N. Spillman, Ms S. Kenny and Mr D. Andrews (The University of Melbourne) for technical assistance, Dr J. Przyborski (Philipps University of Marburg) for reagents and Dr J. Smith (Center for Infectious Diseases Research) for reagents and useful discussions. This work was supported by the National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia and the Australia Research Council (to L.T., P.R.G., and M.W.A.D.). S.B. was supported by Australian Post Graduate Award. M.W.A.D. was supported by a NHMRC Early Career Fellowship. L.T. is an ARC Laureate Professor.