Erythrocyte detergent-resistant membrane proteins: Their characterization and selective uptake during malarial infection

Sean C. Murphy, Benjamin U. Samuel, Travis Harrison, Kaye D. Speicher, David W. Speicher, Marion E. Reid, Rainer Prohaska, Philip S. Low, Michael J. Tanner, Narla Mohandas, Kasturi Haldar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Infection of human erythrocytes by the apicomplexan malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum results in endovacuolar uptake of 4 host proteins that reside in erythrocyte detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs). Whether this vacuolar transport reflects selective uptake of host DRM proteins remains unknown. A further complication is that DRMs of vastly different protein and cholesterol contents have been isolated from erythrocytes. Here we show that isolated DRMs containing the highest cholesterol-to-protein ratio have low protein mass. Liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, and antibody-based studies reveal that the major DRM proteins are band 3, flotillin-1 and -2, peroxiredoxin-2, and stomatin. Band 3 and stomatin, which reflect the bulk mass of erythrocyte DRM proteins, and all tested non-DRM proteins are excluded from the vacuolar parasite. In contrast, flotillin-1 and -2 and 8 minor DRM proteins are recruited to the vacuole. These data suggest that DRM association is necessary but not sufficient for vacuolar recruitment and there is active, vacuolar uptake of a subset of host DRM proteins. Finally, the 10 internalized DRM proteins show varied lipid and peptidic anchors indicating that, contrary to the prevailing model of apicomplexan vacuole formation, DRM association, rather than lipid anchors, provides the preferred criteria for protein recruitment to the malarial vacuole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1920-1928
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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