Editors' ChoiceHost-Pathogen Interactions

How malaria parasites infect the liver

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Sci. Signal.  01 Dec 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 405, pp. ec361
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aad9389

Early in infection, malaria parasites establish themselves within hepatocytes in the liver. Inside these cells, the parasites occupy a so-called parasitophorous vacuole. Kaushansky et al. show that malaria parasites prefer to create vacuoles within hepatocytes that express the EphA2 receptor. Hepatocytes with low levels of this receptor were less conducive to malaria infection.

A. Kaushansky, A. N. Douglass, N. Arang, V. Vigdorovich, N. Dambrauskas, H. S. Kain, L. S. Austin, D. N. Sather, S. H. I. Kappe, Malaria parasites target the hepatocyte receptor EphA2 for successful host infection. Science 350, 1089–1092 (2015). [Abstract] [Full Text]