Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have previously identified a specific malaria parasite protein sub-type (pFEMP1) associated with a form of severe childhood malaria that is responsible for around 0.5 million deaths per year in Africa. This form of pFEMP1 is expressed by parasite-infected erythrocytes and was thought to bind to blood vessel walls in the brain via an intermediary human endothelial cell receptor. The identity of this cell surface receptor was unknown. Associate Professors Louise Turner and Thomas Lavstsen of Copenhagen approached Retrogenix to use its Cell Microarray Technology to identify the receptor for pFEMP1. Endothelial receptors are well represented within Retrogenix’s Cell Microarrays which, at the start of the project, included a total of 2,500 human plasma membrane proteins. This coverage has since increased by around 70% to >4,500 individual plasma membrane proteins – around 70% of all known cell surface proteins.
The Retrogenix technology is accessed as a service, with precise experimental design determined after initial discussions with the client. Regular communication throughout the project ensures that everything progresses smoothly and that results are fed back as quickly as possible.
Materials provided to Retrogenix:
- His-tagged form of the pFEMP1 sub-type (His-IT4var20) – the ‘test protein’
- His-tagged positive control protein (His-IT4var13) whose receptor (ICAM1) is known