TRAP is necessary for gliding motility and infectivity of Plasmodium sporozoites

Ali Sultan, Vandana Thathy, Ute Frevert, Kathryn J H Robson, Andrea Crisanti, Victor Nussenzweig, Ruth S. Nussenzweig, Robert Ménard

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Many protozoans of the phylum Apicomplexa are invasive parasites that exhibit a substrate-dependent gliding motility. Plasmodium (malaria) sporozoites, the stage of the parasite that invades the salivary glands of the mosquito vector and the liver of the vertebrate host, express a surface protein called thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP) that has homologs in other Apicomplexa. By gene targeting in a rodent Plasmodium, we demonstrate that TRAP is critical for sporozoite infection of the mosquito salivary glands and the rat liver, and is essential for sporozoite gliding motility in vitro. This suggests that in Plasmodium sporozoites, and likely in other Apicomplexa, gliding locomotion and cell invasion have a common molecular basis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-522
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 1997
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

Sultan, A., Thathy, V., Frevert, U., Robson, K. J. H., Crisanti, A., Nussenzweig, V., Nussenzweig, R. S., & Ménard, R. (1997). TRAP is necessary for gliding motility and infectivity of Plasmodium sporozoites. Cell, 90(3), 511-522.