An Exported Protein-Interacting Complex involved in the trafficking of virulence determinants in Plasmodium-infected erythrocytes

The particular virulence of P. falciparum is associated with binding of parasite-infected red blood cells (RBCs) to sites in the brain and the placenta. Despite its importance, the mode of trafficking and display of the parasite-encoded adhesin, PfEMP1 at the RBC surface is poorly understood. Here we define the PfEMP1 binding partners en route to the RBC membrane and show that export involves a novel protein complex, which we refer to as the Exported Protein-Interacting Complex (EPIC).