A Role for Apical Membrane Antigen 1 During Invasion of Hepatocytes by Plasmodium falciparum Sporozoites
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA SANTE ET DE LA RECHERCHE MEDICALE (INSERM) PARIS (FRANCE
Pagination or Media Count:
Plasmodium sporozoites are transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes and invade hepatocytes as a first and obligatory step of the parasite life cycle in man. Hepatocyte invasion involves proteins secreted from parasite vesicles called micronemes, the most characterized being the thrombospondin-related adhesive protein TRAP. Here we investigated the expression and function of another microneme protein recently identified in Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites, apical membrane antigen 1 AMA-1. P. falciparum AMA-1 is expressed in sporozoites and is lost after invasion of hepatocytes, and anti-AMA-1 antibodies inhibit sporozoite invasion, suggesting that the protein is involved during invasion of hepatocytes. As observed with TRAP, AMA-1 is initially mostly sequestered within the sporozoite. Upon microneme exocytosis, AMA-1 and TRAP relocate to the sporozoite surface, where they are proteolytically cleaved, resulting in the shedding of soluble fragments. A subset of serine protease inhibitors blocks the processing and shedding of both AMA-1 and TRAP and inhibits sporozoite infectivity, suggesting that interfering with sporozoite proteolytic processing may constitute a valuable strategy to prevent hepatocyte infection.
- Medicine and Medical Research