Identification of Plasmodium falciparum proteoforms from liver stage models

Benjamin Winer, Kimberly A. Edgel, Xiaoyan Zou, Julie Sellau, Sri Hadiwidjojo, Lindsey S. Garver, Christin E. McDonough, Neil L. Kelleher, Paul M. Thomas, Eileen Villasante, Alexander Ploss, Vincent R. Gerbasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background : Immunization with attenuated malaria sporozoites protects humans from experimental malaria challenge by mosquito bite. Protection in humans is strongly correlated with the production of T cells targeting a heterogeneous population of pre-erythrocyte antigen proteoforms, including liver stage antigens. Currently, few T cell epitopes derived from Plasmodium falciparum, the major aetiologic agent of malaria in humans are known. Methods: In this study both in vitro and in vivo malaria liver stage models were used to sequence host and pathogen proteoforms. Proteoforms from these diverse models were subjected to mild acid elution (of soluble forms), multi-dimensional fractionation, tandem mass spectrometry, and top-down bioinformatics analysis to identify proteoforms in their intact state. Results: These results identify a group of host and malaria liver stage proteoforms that meet a 5% false discovery rate threshold. Conclusions: This work provides proof-of-concept for the validity of this mass spectrometry/bioinformatic approach for future studies seeking to reveal malaria liver stage antigens towards vaccine development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10
JournalMalaria Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology


  • Antigen
  • Cell-mediated immunity
  • Liver stage
  • Proteomics
  • Top-down
  • Vaccine


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