Biochemical Characterization of Plasmodium falciparum Hemozoin

Peter GoldieNew York University Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York

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Eugene F. Roth Jr.New York University Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York

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Joel OppenheimNew York University Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York

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Jerome P. VanderbergNew York University Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York

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Hemozoin, the pigment granule which develops within the blood stage food vacuole of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, was biochemically characterized. Hemozoin was found to be composed of 65% protein, 16% ferriprotoporphyrin-IX (hematin), 6% carbohydrate, and trace amounts of lipid and nucleic acids. The overwhelming majority of the protein component is a mixture of native and denatured human globin non-covalently associated with the metalloporphyrin. Immunoelectron microscopy, employing anti-human hemoglobin as a probe, identified in situ association of hemoglobin with hemozoin. Hemozoin produced within diabetic blood had a higher proportion of carbohydrate, suggesting that the carbohydrate component comes from non-enzymatic glycosylation of hemoglobin.

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