High resolution 3D perspective of Plasmodium biology: Advancing into a new era

Shiri Eshar, Noa Dahan-Pasternak, Allon Weiner, Ron Dzikowski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Apicomplexan parasites exhibit a great variety of complex life cycles that require adaptation to different niches of parasitism. They invade different host cells and highjack their biological functions. Plasmodium falciparum, responsible for the deadliest form of human malaria, causes disease while completely remodeling the erythrocytes of its human host through mechanisms that are only partly understood. Recent developments in ultrastructural technologies offer new opportunities to investigate fundamental aspects in the biology of the parasite in a three-dimensional (3D) perspective. Here we bring together recent work on host cell invasion, hemoglobin uptake, protein export and nuclear dynamics. A comprehensive 3D view of the ultrastructural biology of the parasite may shed new light on cellular mechanisms that underlie the pathogenicity of P. falciparum.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)548-554
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Parasitology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Professor Michael Elbaum and Professor Kirk Deitsch for critically reading this manuscript. This work was supported by a grant from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation [2007350]. R.D. is a Gaia Luoni Scholar and supported by the Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant (IRG) [203675], the German Israel Foundation [997/2008] and the Israel Science Foundation [660/09]. R.D. is also supported by the Jacob and Lena Joels Memorial Foundation Senior Lectureship for Excellence in the Life and Medical Sciences.


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