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Pharmacological activation of PIEZO1 in human red blood cells prevents Plasmodium falciparum invasion

Authors
  • Lohia, Rakhee
  • Allegrini, Benoit
  • Berry, Laurence
  • Guizouarn, Hélène
  • Cerdan, Rachel
  • Abkarian, Manouk
  • Douguet, Dominique
  • Honoré, Eric
  • Wengelnik, Kai
Type
Published Article
Journal
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Apr 18, 2023
Volume
80
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00018-023-04773-0
PMID: 37071200
PMCID: PMC10113305
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Original Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

An inherited gain-of-function variant (E756del) in the mechanosensitive cationic channel PIEZO1 was shown to confer a significant protection against severe malaria. Here, we demonstrate in vitro that human red blood cell (RBC) infection by Plasmodium falciparum is prevented by the pharmacological activation of PIEZO1. Yoda1 causes an increase in intracellular calcium associated with rapid echinocytosis that inhibits RBC invasion, without affecting parasite intraerythrocytic growth, division or egress. Notably, Yoda1 treatment significantly decreases merozoite attachment and subsequent RBC deformation. Intracellular Na+/K+ imbalance is unrelated to the mechanism of protection, although delayed RBC dehydration observed in the standard parasite culture medium RPMI/albumax further enhances the resistance to malaria conferred by Yoda1. The chemically unrelated Jedi2 PIEZO1 activator similarly causes echinocytosis and RBC dehydration associated with resistance to malaria invasion. Spiky outward membrane projections are anticipated to reduce the effective surface area required for both merozoite attachment and internalization upon pharmacological activation of PIEZO1. Globally, our findings indicate that the loss of the typical biconcave discoid shape of RBCs, together with an altered optimal surface to volume ratio, induced by PIEZO1 pharmacological activation prevent efficient P. falciparum invasion. Supplementary Information The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s00018-023-04773-0.

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