Levitskaia, Elena

Public Health - Molecular Microbiology & Immunology

Inhibition of plasmepsin activity in the liver stage of malaria infection.

Though expression of parasites-specific aspartic proteases, plasmepsins, was documented in the liver stage of malaria infection several years ago, the function of these enzymes produced by the parasite in hepatocytes remains elusive. At the same time, well established function of plasmepsins in the erythrocytic stage malaria infection, namely, their haemoglobin-degrading activity, prompted development of plasmepsin inhibitors as a novel class of anti-malarial drugs. We have recently found that MHC class I antigen presentation is altered in human hepatocytes infected with malaria. It is also known that the activity and composition of proteolytic machinery in the infected host cell can modify presentation of pathogen-derived antigens. We intend to test a hypothesis that activity of malarial plasmepsins may interfere with the MHC class processing pathway in the infected hepatocyte. Using novel inhibitors of plasmepsins, we intend to investigate the role of these proteases in the interaction of sporozoites with human liver cells with focus on the antigen presentation in the liver stage of malaria infection.

Ernesto Freire, PhD; Arts & Sciences, Biology Yuko Kawasaki, PhD; Arts & Sciences, Biology

People

Joanne Katz, ScD MS,BSc

Associate Chair, Director of Academic Programs

Yukari C. Manabe, MD

Associate Director of Global Health Research and Innovation

Stefan Baral, MD MPH,MBA,MSc

Director, Key Populations Program

Robert Bollinger Jr., MD MPH

Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education (CCGHE); Associate Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Global...

Noreen Hynes, MD MPH

Director, Geographic Medicine Center of the Division of Infectious Diseases

Caitlin Kennedy, PhD MPH,BA

Co-Director, MPH concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health; Associate Director, Center for Qualitative...
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July 2017

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