As it grows and replicates within the erythrocytes of its host the malaria parasite takes up nutrients from the extracellular medium, exports metabolites and maintains a tight control over its internal ionic composition. These functions are achieved via membrane transport proteins, integral membrane proteins that mediate the passage of solutes across the various membranes that separate the biochemical machinery of the parasite from the extracellular environment. Proteins of this type play a key role in antimalarial drug resistance, as well as being candidate drug targets in their own right. This review provides an overview of recent work on the membrane transport biology of the malaria parasite-infected erythrocyte, encompassing both the parasite-induced changes in the membrane transport properties of the host erythrocyte and the cell physiology of the intracellular parasite itself.
- ion homoeostasis
- nutrient uptake
- Plasmodium falciparum
Abbreviations: ABC transporter, ATP-binding-cassette transporter; AQP, aquaglyceroporin; CPA, cyclopiazonic acid; CQ, chloroquine; ENT, equilibrative nucleoside/nucleobase transporter; GLUT, glucose transporter; iRBC, infected red blood cell; MCT, monocarboxylate transporter; NPP, new permeability pathway(s); PbAQP, P. berghei AQP; PBR, peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor; PfAQP, P. falciparum AQP; PfATP4, P. falciparum ATPase 4; PfATP6, P. falciparum ATPase 6; PfCAX, P. falciparum Ca2+/H+ exchanger; PfCRT, P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter; PfCuP, P. falciparum copper-transporting ATPase; PfENT, P. falciparum ENT; PfHT, P. falciparum hexose transporter; PfKCh, P. falciparum K+ channel; PfMDR, P. falciparum multidrug-resistance protein; PfMRP, P. falciparum multidrug resistance-associated protein; PfNHE, P. falciparum Na+/H+ exchanger; PfPAT, P. falciparum pantothenate transporter; PSAC, plasmodial surface anion channel; PVM, parasitophorous vacuole membrane; SERCA, sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase; TPT, triosephosphate/phosphate transporter; uRBC, uninfected red blood cell; VDAC, voltage-dependent anion channel
- © The Authors Journal compilation © 2014 Biochemical Society