Identification of a family of Rab G-proteins in Plasmodium falciparum and a detailed characterisation of pfrab6.
As a first step towards developing a set of compartment-specific probes for studying protein trafficking in the malaria-infected erythrocyte, we describe here a family of Plasmodium falciparum Rab proteins. We characterise in detail P. falciparum Rab6 (PfRab6) a marker which in other cells is specific for the Golgi/trans Golgi network. Although PfRab6 mRNA is expressed throughout the intraerythrocytic cycle, maximal expression occurs at the trophozoite stage. Immunofluorescence microscopy shows that the distribution of PfRab6 changes during the final stages of parasite maturation, coalescing into multiple foci, each of which is associated with the nucleus of a forming daughter parasite.