Identification and characterisation of a phospholipid scramblase in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum
Journal Title
Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Recent studies highlight the emerging role of lipids as important messengers in malaria parasite biology. In an attempt to identify interacting proteins and regulators of these dynamic and versatile molecules, we hypothesised the involvement of phospholipid translocases and their substrates in the infection of the host erythrocyte by the malaria parasite Plasmodium spp. Here, using a data base searching approach of the Plasmodium Genomics Resources (, we have identified a putative phospholipid (PL) scramblase in P. falciparum (PfPLSCR) that is conserved across the genus and in closely related unicellular algae. By reconstituting recombinant PfPLSCR into liposomes, we demonstrate metal ion dependent PL translocase activity and substrate preference, confirming PfPLSCR as a bona fide scramblase. We show that PfPLSCR is expressed during asexual and sexual parasite development, localising to different membranous compartments of the parasite throughout the intra-erythrocytic life cycle. Two different gene knockout approaches, however, suggest that PfPLSCR is not essential for erythrocyte invasion and asexual parasite development, pointing towards a possible role in other stages of the parasite life cycle.
Malaria; Plasmodium falciparum; gametocytes; invasion; liposomes; phospholipid scramblase
WEHI Research Division(s)
Structural Biology
PubMed ID
Open Access at Publisher's Site
Rights Notice
Refer to copyright notice on published article.

Creation Date: 2021-05-17 11:04:07
Last Modified: 2021-07-07 11:32:28
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