Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology, and Nature have independently and simultaneously published two new manuscripts unveiling an important insight into the pathogenesis of severe malaria.
Last week, two separate manuscripts based on separate methodology were published in Blood and Nature identifying endothelial protein C (EPCR) receptor, a protein in the blood vessel wall typically involved with regulation blood coagulation and inflammatory response, as the novel binding receptor for malaria parasite protein PfEMP1. In Blood, Moxon and colleagues examined tissue samples from Malawian children to identify a key role for the protein C pathway and EPCR receptor in cerebral malaria. In Nature,Turner and colleagues produced full-length PfEMP1 proteins and screened for binding to 2,500 endothelial receptors in order to identify EPCR as a novel binding receptor for the parasite protein.
The identification of this novel binding receptor places scientists one step closer toward effective vaccine and drug development for this fatal disease. Read more in the Blood manuscript.