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Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognize malaria parasites or their metabolites; however, their physiological roles in malaria infection in vivo are not fully understood. Here, we show that myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88)-dependent TLR signaling mediates brain pathogenesis of severe malaria infection, namely cerebral malaria (CM). A(More)
The Plasmodium falciparum serine repeat antigen (SERA) is one of the blood stage malaria vaccine candidates. The malaria genome project has revealed that SERA is a member of the SERA multigene family consisting of eight SERA homologues clustered on chromosome 2 and one SERA homologue on chromosome 9. Northern blotting and real time quantitative reverse(More)
The serine repeat antigen (SERA) of Plasmodium falciparum is a blood stage malaria vaccine candidate. It has been shown that 120 kDa SERA was proteolytically processed into N-terminal 47 kDa fragment (P47), central 56 kDa fragment (P56) that was further converted to 50 kDa (P50), and C-terminal 18 kDa fragment (P18). Here, we have examined the processing of(More)
The Plasmodium falciparum serine repeat antigen (SERA), a malaria vaccine candidate, is processed into several fragments (P73, P47, P56, P50, and P18) at the late schizont stage prior to schizont rupture in the erythrocytic cycle of the parasite. We have established an in vitro cell-free system using a baculovirus-expressed recombinant SERA (bvSERA) that(More)
Malaria parasites within red blood cells digest host hemoglobin into a hydrophobic heme polymer, known as hemozoin (HZ), which is subsequently released into the blood stream and then captured by and concentrated in the reticulo-endothelial system. Accumulating evidence suggests that HZ is immunologically active, but the molecular mechanism(s) through which(More)
Apicomplexan parasites of the genus Plasmodium, pathogens causing malaria, and the genera Babesia and Theileria, aetiological agents of piroplasmosis, are closely related. However, their mitochondrial (mt) genome structures are highly divergent: Plasmodium has a concatemer of 6-kb unit and Babesia/Theileria a monomer of 6.6- to 8.2-kb with terminal inverted(More)
Sphingomyelinase (SMase) is one of the principal enzymes in sphingomyelin (SM) metabolism. Here, we identified a Plasmodium falciparum gene (PfNSM) encoding a 46-kD protein, the amino acid sequence of which is approximately 25% identical to that of bacteria SMases. Biochemical analyses of the recombinant protein GST-PfNSM, a fusion protein of the PfNSM(More)
Malaria parasites (genus Plasmodium) infect all classes of terrestrial vertebrates and display host specificity in their infections. It is therefore assumed that malaria parasites coevolved intimately with their hosts. Here, we propose a novel scenario of malaria parasite-host coevolution. A phylogenetic tree constructed using the malaria parasite(More)
Although whole-parasite vaccine strategies for malaria infection have regained attention, their immunological mechanisms of action remain unclear. We find that immunization of mice with a crude blood stage extract of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum elicits parasite antigen-specific immune responses via Toll-like receptor (TLR) 9 and that the(More)
Mitochondrial (mt) genomes from diverse phylogenetic groups vary considerably in size, structure, and organization. The genus Plasmodium, causative agent of malaria, of the phylum Apicomplexa, has the smallest mt genome in the form of a circular and/or tandemly repeated linear element of 6 kb, encoding only three protein genes (cox1, cox3, and cob). The(More)