Shared molecular strategies of the malaria parasite P. falciparum and the human virus HIV-1

Stefan Wuchty, Geoffrey H. Siwos, Michael T. Ferdigs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We augmented existing computationally predicted and experimentally determined interactions with evolutionarily conserved interactions between proteins of the malaria parasite, P. falciparum, and the human host. In a validation step, we found that conserved interacting host-parasite protein pairs were specifically expressed in host tissues where both the parasite and host proteins are known to be active. We compared host-parasite interactions with experimentally verified interactions between human host proteins and a very different pathogen, HIV-1. Both pathogens were found to use their protein repertoire in a combinatorial manner, providing a broad connection to host cellular processes. Specifically, the two biologically distinct pathogens predominately target central proteins to take control of a human host cell, effectively reaching into diversified cellular host cellular functions. Interacting signaling pathways and a small set of regulatory and signaling proteins were prime targets of both pathogens, suggesting remarkably similar patterns of host-pathogen interactions despite the vast biological differences of both pathogens. Such an identification of shared molecular strategies by the virus HIV-1 and the eukaryotic intracellular pathogen P. falciparum may allow us to illuminate new avenues of disease intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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