Host targeting of virulence determinants and phosphoinositides in blood stage malaria parasites

Souvik Bhattacharjee, Robert V. Stahelin, Kasturi Haldar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Scopus citations


Blood stage malaria parasites target a 'secretome' of hundreds of proteins including virulence determinants containing a host (cell) targeting (HT) signal, to human erythrocytes. Recent studies reveal that the export mechanism is due to the HT signal binding to the lipid phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate [PI(3)P] in the parasite endoplasmic reticulum (ER). An aspartic protease plasmepsin V which cleaves a specialized form of the HT signal was previously thought to be the export mechanism, but is now recognized as a dedicated peptidase that cleaves the signal anchor subsequent to PI(3)P binding. We discuss a model of PI(3)P-dependent targeting and PI(3)P biology of a major human pathogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-562
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Parasitology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012



  • Blood cells
  • Endoplasmic reticulum
  • Export
  • Host targeting
  • Malaria
  • Pathogenic secretion
  • Phosphoinositides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology

Cite this