Role of protein glycosylation in malaria virulence

Role of protein glycosylation in malaria virulence

Project details

Malaria is an infectious disease spread by mosquitoes. To infect humans and mosquitoes, the malaria parasite shapeshifts into different forms specific for each host. These different parasite forms expresses unique virulence proteins that allow infection to occur. Recently, we identified that glycosylation of malaria parasite surface proteins is very important for infection of humans and also mosquitoes (Lopaticki, Nature Communications 2017). Glycosylation preserves the native structure of parasite virulence proteins so they can function correctly and helps them traffic to the parasite surface, where they interact with the host during infection.

This project will study how glycosylation affects different parasite proteins during infection of host cells. It will involve molecular genetics, propagation of parasites through mosquitoes in the Institute’s insectary, cell culture, microscopy and proteomics

About our research group

We are interested in understanding how malaria parasites infect humans and mosquitoes. A deeper understanding of these processes should allow us to develop antimalarial strategies or a vaccine. Our laboratory recapitulates the complete malaria lifecycle using mosquitoes in the Institute’s insectary, allowing the study of all lifecycle stages of the malaria parasite.


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