In infectious diseases, extracellular vesicles (EVs) released from a pathogen or pathogen-infected cells can transfer pathogen-derived biomolecules, especially proteins, to target cells and consequently regulate these target cells. For example, malaria is an important tropical infectious disease caused by Plasmodium spp. Previous studies have identified the roles of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cell-derived EVs (Pf-EVs) in the pathogenesis, activation, and modulation of host immune responses. This study investigated the proteomic profiles of Pf-EVs isolated from four P. falciparum strains. We also compared the proteomes of EVs from (i) different EV types (microvesicles and exosomes) and (ii) different parasite growth stages (early- and late-stage). The proteomic analyses revealed that the human proteins carried in the Pf-EVs were specific to the type of Pf-EVs. By contrast, most of the P. falciparum proteins carried in Pf-EVs were common across all types of Pf-EVs. As the proteomics results revealed that Pf-EVs contained invasion-associated proteins, the effect of Pf-EVs on parasite invasion was also investigated. Surprisingly, the attenuation of parasite invasion efficiency was found with the addition of Pf-MVs. Moreover, this effect was markedly increased in culture-adapted isolates compared with laboratory reference strains. Our evidence supports the concept that Pf-EVs play a role in quorum sensing, which leads to parasite growth-density regulation.
Journal of clinical medicine
Graduate Program in Immunology, Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10700, Thailand.