Host-pathogen interactions during malaria infection
Ubiquitin is implicated in virtually all aspects of cell homeostasis. The mechanisms which control the dynamic addition and removal of ubiquitin from target proteins have been conserved throughout evolution and are important to organisms ranging from parasites to humans. The possibility of interfering with such a central mechanism in infectious pathogens presents an interesting and understudied source of new therapeutic strategies. Plasmodium parasites, the causative agents of malaria, are notorious for their ability to mutate and evade host immunity. As a result, vaccine and drug development have fallen short in reducing this disease’s debilitating morbidity and mortality. A better understanding of the intricacies involved in host-pathogen interactions during malaria infection is necessary to uncover alternative therapeutic strategies. By using ubiquitin as a marker, our goal is to better understand the immunological changes induced in the host during infection as well as the role of ubiquitin in Plasmodium biology.
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