In vitro selection of RNA aptamers against a conserved region of the Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The var-gene encoding Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) is known to play a major role in the pathogenicity of the P. falciparum parasite. The protein enables the parasite to adhere to the endothelial linings of small blood vessels (cytoadherence) as well as to non-infected erythrocytes (rosetting), thus preventing clearance from the bloodstream. The development and spread of resistance towards most anti-malarial drugs used for treatment and prevention of the most severe form of malaria truly emphasise the importance of a continuous research and development of new drugs. In this study we use Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment (SELEX) methodology to isolate high-affinity ligands (aptamers). To validate the results from the SELEX in vitro selection, different aptamers have been selected against PfEMP1 in a live cell assay of P. falciparum strain FCR3S1.2, a highly rosetting strain. We have been able to show the rosette disrupting capacity of these SELEX-aptamers at concentrations of 33 nM and with 100% disruption at 387 nM. The described results show that RNA aptamers are promising candidates for adjunct therapy in severe malaria.


  • Anders Barfod
  • Tina Persson
  • Carl-Johan Lindholm
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1557-1566
JournalParasitology Reseach
VolumeAug 20
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Cardiology (013230026), Biochemistry and Structural Biology (S) (000006142), Organic chemistry (S/LTH) (011001240)