Indication

Target/marker/pathway

Summary

Licensing status

Publication and contact information

Infectious disease

Malaria

Endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR)

In vitro and cell culture studies suggest disrupting the interaction between Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) and EPCR could help prevent severe malaria. In an in vitro screen, EPCR was found to interact with a form of PfEMP1 containing a domain cassette 8 (DC8) variant, which is associated with severe malaria. In vitro, parasites expressing DC8-PfEMP1 bound EPCR with higher affinity than wild-type parasites. In coculture, an antibody that blocked interaction with EPCR or a soluble isoform of EPCR prevented parasite binding to epithelial cells.
Next steps include better defining the PfEMP1-EPCR interaction to inform vaccine development.

SciBX 6(26); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.660
Published online July 11, 2013

Unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Turner, L. et al. Nature; published online June 5, 2013;
doi:10.1038/nature12216
Contact: Thomas Lavstsen, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
e-mail:
thomasl@sund.ku.dk

Contact: Louise Turner, same affiliation as above
e-mail:
lturner@sund.ku.dk