Extracellular vesicles from malaria-infected red blood cells: not all are secreted equal

Frances Blow, Amy H. Buck*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) mediate the transfer of molecules between cells and play diverse roles in host–pathogen interactions. Malaria is an important disease caused by intracellular Plasmodium species that invade red blood cells and these red blood cells release EVs. The EVs from infected cells have diverse functions in the disease and an obstacle in understanding how they exert their functions is that multiple EV types exist. In this issue of EMBO reports, Abou Karam and colleagues use sophisticated biophysical techniques to isolate and characterize two EV subpopulations produced by red blood cells infected with Plasmodium falciparum (Abou Karam et al, 2022). The authors show that these EV subpopulations have distinct sizes, protein content, membrane packing, and fusion capabilities, suggesting that EV subpopulations from infected cells could target different cell types and subcellular locations. This work underscores the concept that understanding EV heterogeneity will go hand in hand with understanding EV functions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere55499
Number of pages3
JournalEMBO Reports
Issue number7
Early online date27 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2022


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