Plasmodium falciparum: Histidine-rich protein II is expressed during gametocyte development

Rhian E. Hayward, David J. Sullivan, Karen P. Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Both early gametocytes (I-II) and asexual trophozoite stages of Plasmodium falciparum digest hemoglobin and detoxify haem by polymerizing it into parasite pigment called hemozoin. The mechanism of polymerization is unclear but it has been proposed that histidine-rich protein II may facilitate transport of hemoglobin to the food vacuole and catalyze the polymerization in asexual stages. We describe the transcription of histidine-rich protein II in gametocytes by Northern blot analysis and the expression of the protein in these stages by immunoprecipitation and Western blotting. Localization of histidine-rich protein II within the gametocyte by immunofluorescence assay and immunoelectron microscopy clearly illustrated the presence of this molecule in the infected red cell cytosol in the early stages of gametocyte development and internalization in the later gametocyte as it matures. There is a strong correlation between the stage-specific trafficking of histidinerich protein II in gametocytes and the susceptibility of early but not late gametocytes to the antimalarial drug chloroquine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Gametocytes
  • HRP
  • Histidine-rich protein
  • IFA, indirect immunofluorescence assay
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • RBC, red blood cell
  • TEM, transmission electron microscopy
  • UTR, untranslated regions
  • mAb, monoclonal antibody

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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