Comparative proteomics of vesicles essential for the egress of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes from red blood cells

Juliane Sassmannshausen, Sandra Bennink, Ute Distler, Juliane Küchenhoff, Allen M. Minns, Scott E. Lindner, Paul Christian Burda, Stefan Tenzer, Tim W. Gilberger, Gabriele Pradel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Transmission of malaria parasites to the mosquito is mediated by sexual precursor cells, the gametocytes. Upon entering the mosquito midgut, the gametocytes egress from the enveloping erythrocyte while passing through gametogenesis. Egress follows an inside-out mode during which the membrane of the parasitophorous vacuole (PV) ruptures prior to the erythrocyte membrane. Membrane rupture requires exocytosis of specialized egress vesicles of the parasites; that is, osmiophilic bodies (OBs) involved in rupturing the PV membrane, and vesicles that harbor the perforin-like protein PPLP2 (here termed P-EVs) required for erythrocyte lysis. While some OB proteins have been identified, like G377 and MDV1/Peg3, the majority of egress vesicle-resident proteins is yet unknown. Here, we used high-resolution imaging and BioID methods to study the two egress vesicle types in Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes. We show that OB exocytosis precedes discharge of the P-EVs and that exocytosis of the P-EVs, but not of the OBs, is calcium sensitive. Both vesicle types exhibit distinct proteomes with the majority of proteins located in the OBs. In addition to known egress-related proteins, we identified novel components of OBs and P-EVs, including vesicle-trafficking proteins. Our data provide insight into the immense molecular machinery required for the inside-out egress of P. falciparum gametocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-452
Number of pages22
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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