Characterisation of the Plasmodium falciparum Hsp70-Hsp90 organising protein (PfHop)

Cell Stress Chaperones. 2012 Mar;17(2):191-202. doi: 10.1007/s12192-011-0299-x. Epub 2011 Oct 18.


Malaria is caused by Plasmodium species, whose transmission to vertebrate hosts is facilitated by mosquito vectors. The transition from the cold blooded mosquito vector to the host represents physiological stress to the parasite, and additionally malaria blood stage infection is characterised by intense fever periods. In recent years, it has become clear that heat shock proteins play an essential role during the parasite's life cycle. Plasmodium falciparum expresses two prominent heat shock proteins: heat shock protein 70 (PfHsp70) and heat shock protein 90 (PfHsp90). Both of these proteins have been implicated in the development and pathogenesis of malaria. In eukaryotes, Hsp70 and Hsp90 proteins are functionally linked by an essential adaptor protein known as the Hsp70-Hsp90 organising protein (Hop). In this study, recombinant P. falciparum Hop (PfHop) was heterologously produced in E. coli and purified by nickel affinity chromatography. Using specific anti-PfHop antisera, the expression and localisation of PfHop in P. falciparum was investigated. PfHop was shown to co-localise with PfHsp70 and PfHsp90 in parasites at the trophozoite stage. Gel filtration and co-immunoprecipitation experiments suggested that PfHop was present in a complex together with PfHsp70 and PfHsp90. The association of PfHop with both PfHsp70 and PfHsp90 suggests that this protein may mediate the functional interaction between the two chaperones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromatography, Gel
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / chemistry
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism*
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / chemistry
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmids
  • Plasmodium falciparum*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Protozoan Proteins / chemistry
  • Protozoan Proteins / genetics
  • Protozoan Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Stress, Physiological / physiology*


  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins