The intraerythrocytic malaria parasite uses homoglobin as a major nutrient source. Digestion of hemoglobin releases heme, which the parasite converts into an insoluble ocrystalline material called hemozoin or malaria pigment. We have purified hemozoin from the human malaria organism falciparum and have used infrared spectroscopy, absorption spectroscopy, and chemical synthesis to determine its structure. The molecule consists of an unusual of hemes linked between the central ferric ion of one and a carboxylate side-group oxygen of another. The are sequestered via this linkage into an insoluble product, providing a unique way for the malaria parasite to avoid the toxicity associated with soluble heme.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - 1991|
- Extended x-ray absorption fine structure