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Title: Plasmodium falciparum and P. knowlesi: Initial identification and characterization of malaria synthesized glycolipids.
Authors: Sherwood, J.A.
Spitalnik, S.L.
Aley, S.B.
Quakyi, I.A.
Howard, R.J.
Keywords: Plasmodium falciparum; Plasmodium knowlesi; Protozoa, parasitic; Malaria, human; Glycolipids; Chromatography; Differentiation
Issue Date: 1986
Publisher: Experimental Parasitology
Citation: Sherwood, J. A., Spitalnik, S. L., Aley, S. B., Quakyi, I. A., & Howard, R. J. (1986). Plasmodium falciparum and P. knowlesi: Initial identification and characterization of malaria synthesized glycolipids. Experimental Parasitology, 62(1), 127-141
Abstract: This is the first report establishing the existence of glycolipids synthesized by plasmodia, in particular Plasmodium falciparum. Trophozoites, schizonts, gametocytes, and gametes were metabolically labeled in vitro with [3H]glucosamine, [3H]galactose, [3H]glucose, [3H]mannose, [3H]fucose, [32P]inorganic phosphate, or [35S]sulfate, and total lipid extracts analyzed by high-performance thin-layer chromatography and autoradiography or fluorography. Parasites incorporated [3H]monosaccharides into distinctly different series of molecules previously undescribed. Three properties of [3H]glucosamine labeled molecules indicate they are glycolipids. First, labeled molecules have lipid solubility properties. Second, mobility on thin-layer chromatography was characteristic of glycolipids. Third, following acid hydrolysis, [3H]glucosamine was recovered from a total lipid extract of labeled parasites demonstrating that glucosamine is a constituent of some of these lipid molecules. Most of these glycolipids are neutral and alkali labile. The majority of these glycolipids differs from several synthesized phospholipids. None of these glycolipids was sulfated. Plasmodial glycolipid synthesis occurs concomitantly with glycoprotein synthesis, and both increase during schizogony. Many of these glycolipids appear to be identical among three strains of P. falciparum and between two species, P. falciparum and P. knowlesi. In contrast, there are stage specific differences in glycolipid synthesis among rings, schizonts, gametocytes, and a mixture of gametes plus zygotes of P. falciparum, examples of both erythrocytic and vector forms of the parasite.
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