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Invited Review


ScienceAsia 11 (1985): 053-065 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.1985.11.053

 

ALTERATIONS OF THE ERYTHROCYTE MEMBRANE IN MALARIA INFECTI0N*

 

YONGYUTH YUTHAVONG

ABSTRACT: The membrane of malaria-infected erythrocytes undergoes various alterations, with important implications on parasite survival and multiplication. We have found alterations in the membrane proteins of infected erythrocytes, in membrane transport of ions, and in bulk properties of the membrane including its capacity to undergo fusion. and its mechanical properties. Degradation of spectrin, an important component of the membrane skeleton. was found in infection by many species. A structural alteration, namely membrane protein phosphorylation, is highly correlated with alterations in mechanical properties. Enhanced Ca2+ uptake by infected erythrocytes was observed, and is probably linked with regulation of membrane alterations. An understanding pf the nature of these alterations should contribute to the explanation of some aspects of malaria pathophysiology, and of the mechanism of action of some antimalarials.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Rama 6 Road, Bangkok 10400. Thailand

Received 27 May 1985