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© Research
Publication : Scientific reports

Structure of the DBL3X-DBL4ε region of the VAR2CSA placental malaria vaccine candidate: insight into DBL domain interactions

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Scientific reports - 09 Oct 2015

Gangnard S, Lewit-Bentley A, Dechavanne S, Srivastava A, Amirat F, Bentley GA, Gamain B

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26450557

Sci Rep 2015;5:14868

The human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, is able to evade spleen-mediated clearing from blood stream by sequestering in peripheral organs. This is due to the adhesive properties conferred by the P. falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) family exported by the parasite to the surface of infected erythrocytes. Expression of the VAR2CSA variant of PfEMP1 leads to pregnancy-associated malaria, which occurs when infected erythrocytes massively sequester in the placenta by binding to low-sulfated Chondroitin Sulfate A (CSA) present in the intervillous spaces. VAR2CSA is a 350 kDa protein that carries six Duffy-Binding Like (DBL) domains, one Cysteine-rich Inter-Domain Regions (CIDR) and several inter-domain regions. In the present paper, we report for the first time the crystal structure at 2.9 Å of a VAR2CSA double domain, DBL3X-DBL4ε, from the FCR3 strain. DBL3X and DBL4ε share a large contact interface formed by residues that are invariant or highly conserved in VAR2CSA variants, which suggests that these two central DBL domains (DBL3X-DBL4ε) contribute significantly to the structuring of the functional VAR2CSA extracellular region. We have also examined the antigenicity of peptides corresponding to exposed loop regions of the DBL4ε structure.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26450557