Journal article

Membrane-Wrapping Contributions to Malaria Parasite Invasion of the Human Erythrocyte

Sabyasachi Dasgupta, Thorsten Auth, Nir S Gov, Timothy J Satchwell, Eric Hanssen, Elizabeth S Zuccala, David T Riglar, Ashley M Toye, Timo Betz, Jake Baum, Gerhard Gompper



The blood stage malaria parasite, the merozoite, has a small window of opportunity during which it must successfully target and invade a human erythrocyte. The process of invasion is nonetheless remarkably rapid. To date, mechanistic models of invasion have focused predominantly on the parasite actomyosin motor contribution to the energetics of entry. Here, we have conducted a numerical analysis using dimensions for an archetypal merozoite to predict the respective contributions of the host-parasite interactions to invasion, in particular the role of membrane wrapping. Our theoretical modeling demonstrates that erythrocyte membrane wrapping alone, as a function of merozoite adhesive and shap..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by National Center for Research Resources

Awarded by National Institute of General Medical Sciences from the National Institutes of Health

Awarded by NHMRC

Awarded by EU

Awarded by Wellcome Trust

Awarded by Agence Nationale de Recherche

Awarded by Australian Research Council, ARC

Awarded by National Institute for Health Research

Funding Acknowledgements

X-ray tomography work was supported by grants from the National Center for Research Resources (5P41RR019664-08) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (8 P41 GM103445-08) from the National Institutes of Health. Direct funding to support parasitological work was from the NHMRC (Project Grant APP1047085, TB) and, for theoretical work, from the EU FP7 NMP collaborative project PreNanoTox (Project Grant 309666, GG). S.D. acknowledges support by the International Helmholtz Research School of Biophysics and Soft Matter (IHRS BioSoft). E.S.Z. is supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA); N.S.G. thanks the Mayent-Rothschild Visiting Professor Grant at the Institut Curie for funding; T.J.S. is supported by a Wellcome Trust project grant (No. 094277). A.M.T. is supported by an NHSBT R&D grant and the Wellcome Trust; TB. acknowledges support from the Agence Nationale de Recherche (JCJC SVSE 5-2011);J.B. was supported by a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council, ARC (FT100100112) and is currently supported by a New Investigator Award from the Wellcome Trust (100993/Z/13/Z). Author contributions: S.D., T.A., N.G., T.J.S., E.H., E.S.Z., D.T.R., A.M.T., T.B., TB., and G.G. worked closely together to design, perform, and interpret experiments; S.D., T.A., N.G., T.B., J.B., and G.G. wrote the paper.