An alternative secretory pathway in Plasmodium: More questions than answers

Mark F. Wiser, Dennis J. Grab, H. Norbert Lanners

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations


The malaria parasite extensively modifies the host erythrocyte. Many of these modifications are mediated by proteins exported from the parasite and targeted to specific locations within the infected erythrocyte. However, little is known about how the parasite targets proteins to specific locations beyond its own plasma membrane. Treatment of infected erythrocytes with brefeldin A results in the accumulation of many exported Plasmodium proteins into a compartment distinct from the ER. Proteins destined for the host erythrocyte membrane, the parasitophorous vacuole or inclusions within the erythrocyte cytoplasm accumulate in this novel compartment, and co-localization studies indicate that there is a single compartment per parasite. Exported proteins only accumulate in this novel compartment if brefeldin A treatment is concurrent with their synthesis. This novel compartment is probably a membrane-bound organelle located at the parasite periphery, and may be the first step in an alternative secretory pathway that specializes in the export of proteins into the host cell. Such an alternative secretory pathway raises questions about how exported proteins are differentially targeted to this novel organelle versus the ER and the fate of exported proteins after this novel organelle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNovartis Foundation Symposium
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameNovartis Foundation Symposium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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