Inability to detect transferrin receptors on P. falciparum parasitized red cells

S. Pollack, V. Schnelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The mechanism by which P. falciparum takes up iron from transferrin has been explored. Binding of 125I labelled transferrin to parasitized red cells at 37°C is two-fold greater than to control cells; at 0°C there is no significant difference. The binding is non-specific as judged from the following: it is not saturable; it is not limited to transferrin as lactoferrin (which has iron binding domains) and bovine serum albumin (which does not) also bind in excess to parasitized red cells. A transferrin receptor complex could not be demonstrated when parasitized red cells, to which 125I transferrin was bound, were solubilized in Triton X100. Previous observation showed that uptake of transferrin iron by parasitized red cells is not accompanied by equimolar uptake of transferrin protein. We therefore suggest that non-specifically bound transferrin is endocytosed, that the protein is degraded and the iron selectively retained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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