In pregnant women infected with Plasmodium falciparum, the infected red blood cells (IRBCs) sequester in placenta by binding to the chondroitin 4-sulfate (C4S) chains of low sulfated chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG). Placental CSPG, the natural receptor for IRBC adherence in the placenta, is the ideal molecule for studying structural interactions in IRBC adhesion to C4S, adhesion inhibitory antibody responses, and identification of parasite adhesive protein(s). However, because of difficulty involved in purifying placental CSPG, the commercially available bovine tracheal chondroitin sulfate A (bCSA), a copolymer having structural features of both C4S and C6S, has been widely used. To determine the validity of bCSA for C4S-IRBC interaction studies, we comparatively evaluated the characteristics of IRBC binding to placental CSPG and bCSA using three commonly used parasite strains. The results indicate that, in all three parasites studied, the characteristics of IRBC binding to placental CSPG and bCSA are qualitatively similar, but the binding capacity with respect to both the number of IRBCs bound per unit area of coated surface and binding strength is significantly higher for CSPG than bCSA regardless of whether parasites were selected on CSPG or bCSA. These results demonstrate that placental CSPG is best suited for studying interactions between parasite adhesive protein(s) and C4S, and have implications in understanding C4S-IRBC structural interactions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases