A human schwannoma cell line supports the in vitro adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes to chondroitin-4-sulfate
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The paucity of human cell lines expressing defined receptors for the cytoadhesion of erythrocytes infected with the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum has hampered the investigation of this important virulence property. Here, we investigate a permanent cell line derived from a human, malignant schwannoma, termed HMS-97, and show that this cell line expresses chondroitin-4-sulfate as the only surface receptor to which P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes can cytoadhere. Other common receptors for parasite adhesion, including CD36, vascular cellular adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), and E-selectin are absent. Thus, HMS-97 cells are a useful tool for the study of P. falciparum adhesion to chondoitin-4-sulfate, the main receptor for parasite sequestration in the placenta. As chondoitin-4-sulfate can be readily cleaved from the cells, HMS-97 cells are also an ideal system for expressing recombinant adhesion receptors and studying their function in binding assays.