Reports

Transbilayer phospholipid asymmetry in Plasmodium knowlesi-infected host cell membrane

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 May 1981:
Vol. 212, Issue 4498, pp. 1047-1049
DOI: 10.1126/science.7233198

Abstract

The membranes from normal and Plasmodium knowlesi-infected rhesus monkey erythrocytes (90 to 95 percent infected with early ring stage) were analyzed for transbilayer distribution of phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), and phosphatidylserine (PS), by means of chemical and enzymatic probes. The external monolayer of the normal red cell membrane contained at least 68 to 72 percent of the total phosphatidylcholine and 15 to 20 percent of the total phosphatidylethanolamine. In the infected cell, the transmembrane phosphatidylcholine distribution appeared to be reversed, with only 20 to 30 percent of it being externally localized, whereas roughly equal amounts of phosphatidylethanolamine were present in the outer and inner surfaces. However, total phosphatidylethanolamine were present in the outer and inner surfaces. However, total phosphatidylserine in both the infected and normal red cells was exclusively internal. Unlike that in the normal intact cell, external phosphatidylethanolamine in the parasitized cell was readily accessible to phospholipase A2. These results indicate that significant changes in molecular architecture of the host cell membrane are the result of parasitization.