Plasmodium falciparum infection during pregnancy results in the accumulation of infected red blood cells (IRBCs) in the placenta, leading to poor pregnancy outcome. In the preceding paper (Achur, R.N., Valiyaveettil, M., Alkhalil, A., Ockenhouse, C. F., and Gowda, D.C. (2000) J. Biol. Chem. 275, 40344-40356), we reported that unusually low sulfated chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) in the intervillous spaces of the placenta mediate the IRBC adherence. In this study, we report the structural requirements for the adherence and the minimum chondroitin 4-sulfate (C4S) structural motif that supports IRBC adherence. Partially sulfated C4Ss with varying sulfate contents were prepared by solvolytic desulfation of a fully sulfated C4S. These and other nonmodified C4Ss, with different proportions of 4-, 6-, and nonsulfated disaccharide repeats, were analyzed for inhibition of IRBC adherence to the placental CSPG. C4Ss containing 30-50% 4-sulfated and 50-70% nonsulfated disaccharide repeats efficiently inhibited IRBC adherence; C6S had no inhibitory activity. Oligosaccharides of varying sizes were prepared by the partial depolymerization of C4Ss containing varying levels of 4-sulfation, and their ability to inhibit the IRBC adherence was studied. Oligosaccharides with six or more disaccharide repeats inhibited IRBC adherence to the same level as that of the intact C4Ss, indicating that a dodecasaccharide is the minimum structural motif required for optimal IRBC adherence. Of the C4S dodecasaccharides, only those with two or three sulfate groups per molecule showed maximum IRBC inhibition. These data define the structural requirements for the IRBC adherence to placental CSPGs with implications for the development of therapeutics for maternal malaria.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology