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Abstract

Resealed ghosts of human RBCs, containing diluted cytosol, are susceptible to invasion by Plasmodium falciparum. If ATP is present, a dilution of up to about 30-fold, corresponding to an intracellular hemoglobin concentration of approximately 10 mg/mL, can be tolerated without total loss of susceptibility to invasion. Up to a dilution of about one-half this, the parasites also develop normally. When the cytosol is diluted by more than the critical amount, invasion of the resulting resealed ghosts falls off abruptly. If the diluent buffer is replaced by extraneous concentrated hemolysate, an indefinite dilution is possible without loss of invasion. There is thus an intracellular constituent, which must be present at a concentration above some critical level if the parasite is to enter the cell. The factor in question is not dialyzable. It is largely inactivated when the hemolysate is kept for approximately 1 day in the cold or for approximately 20 minutes at 45 degrees C. The inability of a heat- treated hemolysate to support invasion is not due to the generation of inhibitory products, because such a solution can be used as a diluent of a fresh hemolysate without inhibition of invasion. When the inactivated hemolysate is present as a major component, however, the parasites fail to develop to the trophozoite stage. The invasion-linked factor remains in the strongly adsorbed nonheme fraction when a batchwise separation from hemoglobin on an anion exchanger is made and is thus probably acidic in character; the adsorbed fraction, recovered from the ion-exchanger, substantially restores capacity for invasion when sealed into ghosts. Its activity is destroyed by treatment with trypsin. The adsorbed fraction contains many proteins. When fractionated on a gel filtration column by fast liquid chromatography, active material eluted at a volume corresponding to a mol wt for a globular protein in the region of 10,000. A component of apparent subunit mol wt of 13,000 was observed in sodium dodecyl sulfate- polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) of this eluate fraction.