Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tracking Membranes Of Rupturing Blood Cells Sheds Light On Malaria Infection

Date:
September 27, 2005
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
By specially tagging the outer and inner membranes of red blood cells infected with the malaria parasite and tracking the cellular changes that precede the cell bursting event that disperses parasites to other blood cells, a group of researchers has deepened our understanding of how the malaria pathogen destroys the cells in which it resides. The work is reported in Current Biology by Joshua Zimmerberg and colleagues at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

By specially tagging the outer and inner membranes of red blood cellsinfected with the malaria parasite and tracking the cellular changesthat precede the cell bursting event that disperses parasites to otherblood cells, a group of researchers has deepened our understanding ofhow the malaria pathogen destroys the cells in which it resides. Thework is reported in Current Biology by Joshua Zimmerberg and colleaguesat the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Malaria devastates humanity: Approximately every 10 seconds, anotherchild dies as a result of a malarial infection. Globally, it is thethird biggest killer, and it mostly kills children. The emergence ofall-drug-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum, the parasiteresponsible for most human malarial disease, is a frightening newreality that mandates aggressive research to develop new vaccines anddrugs, particularly to uncover new targets for therapeutic agents. Amajor area of current ignorance is the mechanism by which parasites arereleased from the infected red blood cells within which they multiply.

To learn more about this release process, in their new work theresearchers used high-quality microscopy and a "Nan crystal"fluorescent tag that allowed them to follow the behavior of membranesof infected cells during an extended period of time. The authorsdiscovered that many minutes before release, infected cells lookirregular, resembling a fried egg, with the parasites bunched togetherin the center. They found that just prior to release, cells round upand become very symmetric, resembling a flower, with the parasites(present beneath the cell-membrane surface) appearing like the petals.

The researchers showed that at the seemingly explosive event ofrelease itself, cellular membranes fold upon themselves and bubble intosmall vesicles, allowing the newly born parasites (in this stage theyare called merozoites) to infect neighboring red blood cells. Furtherexperiments involving labeled membrane components showed that there isno membrane fusion during release, but that instead it is likely that abuild-up of pressure occurs inside the cell, causing cell-membranerupture and subsequent merozoite release. This idea was substantiatedby experiments showing that shrinking cells to prevent their burstingstopped the release stage and thus stopped the infection from furtherdevelopment.

###

The researchers include Svetlana Glushakova, Dan Yin, Tao Li, andJoshua Zimmerberg of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda,Maryland. This research was supported by the Intramural ResearchProgram of the NIH, NICHD, and NASA/NIH Center for Three-DimensionalTissue Cultures.

Glushakova et al.: "Membrane transformation during malariaparasite release from human red blood cells." Publishing in CurrentBiology, Vol. 15, pages 1645-1650, September 20, 2005. DOI10.1016/j.cub.2005.07.067 www.current-biology.com


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Tracking Membranes Of Rupturing Blood Cells Sheds Light On Malaria Infection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050926084602.htm>.
Cell Press. (2005, September 27). Tracking Membranes Of Rupturing Blood Cells Sheds Light On Malaria Infection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050926084602.htm
Cell Press. "Tracking Membranes Of Rupturing Blood Cells Sheds Light On Malaria Infection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050926084602.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins