The Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte-membrane-protein-1 (PF3D7_1150400/PF11_0521) contains both domain cassette DC13 and DBLβ3 domain binding to EPCR and ICAM-1 receptors, respectively. This type of PfEMP1 proteins with dual binding specificity mediate specific interactions with brain micro-vessels endothelium leading to the development of cerebral malaria (CM).
Plasmodium parasites' invasion of their target cells is a complex, multi-step process involving many protein-protein interactions. Little is known about how complex the interaction with target cells is in Plasmodium vivax and few surface molecules related to reticulocytes' adhesion have been described to date. Natural selection, functional and structural analysis were carried out on the previously described vaccine candidate P. vivax merozoite surface protein 10 (PvMSP10) for evaluating its role during initial contact with target cells.
This work describes a methodology for developing a minimal, subunit-based, multi-epitope, multi-stage, chemically-synthesised, anti-Plasmodium falciparum malaria vaccine. Some modified high activity binding peptides (mHABPs) derived from functionally relevant P. falciparum MSP, RH5 and AMA-1 conserved amino acid regions (cHABPs) for parasite binding to and invasion of red blood cells (RBC) were selected.