Protein trafficking in the Plasmodium-falciparum-infected erythrocyte--from models to mechanisms

Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1997 Jul;91(5):543-9. doi: 10.1080/00034989760914.


Plasmodium falciparum is a eukaryotic single cell which invades human erythrocytes. Within the host cell, the parasite is surrounded by the membrane of the parastiophorous vacuole. Parasite proteins are secreted either into the vacuolar space or are exported, by an as yet unknown mechanism, across the vacuolar membrane into erythrocyte cytoplasm. In recent years, several groups have devised experimental approaches to follow the transport pathways of proteins from the parasite into the host cell. The concepts underlying these approaches and the peculiarities of the transport pathways are discussed and compared with protein transport in higher eukaryotes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Erythrocytes / parasitology*
  • Glycophorins / metabolism
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Plasmodium falciparum / metabolism*
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism*
  • Vacuoles


  • Glycophorins
  • Protozoan Proteins