The structure of Plasmodium falciparum glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs) determined by Dr. Gowda’s laboratory (R. S. Naik, et al. J. Exp. Med. 192, 1563-1575.). The parasite GPIs activate macrophages through TLR2-mediated signaling to induce the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Excessive pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to infection leads to severe malaria and the parasite GPIs are suggested as malaria pathogenicity factors.
Images provided by Gowda Lab.