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Identification of transporters of the MGC-basic proteins

During its intraerythrocytic growth, the parasite secretes a group of proteins that do not contain the common PEXEL export motif but instead have a membrane binding motif in common, the so-called MGC-basic motif, which is responsible for their translocation into the parasitophorous vacuole and the erythrocyte cytoplasm. Many of these proteins are signaling proteins (a picture with two of differently fluorescently labeled MGC-basic proteins within the parasite is shown below) and most likely involved in signaling events that occur outside of the constraints of the parasite plasma membrane. Up to now, it is not known how the MGC-basic proteins are translocated over the parasite membrane into the parasitophorous vacuole (Möskes et al., 2004). However, blocking the function of the supposed transporter will most likely result in a deregulation of signaling events required to build up and maintain the parasite`s highly dynamic tubovesicular network within in the erythrocyte and thus will finally result in the death of the parasite.