Proteolytic breakdown of cytoskeleton induces neurodegeneration during pathology of murine cerebral malaria

Prabhakar Eeka, Ganta Vijay Chaitanya, Phanithi Prakash Babu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Fatal murine cerebral malaria is known to induce cellular degeneration by altering cellular morphology and integrity of cell. The morphology and integrity of the cell mainly depends on the cytoskeletal network of the cell. Increased proteolysis of cytoskeletal proteins accompanied by aggravated suicidal proteases activation leads to cellular degeneration. In the present study, we investigated the roles of apoptotic and necrotic cell death proteases, caspase-3, calpain-1 and cathepsin-b in the proteolysis of neuronal cytoskeletal proteins in mouse model of fatal cerebral malaria. We found increased levels of calpain-1, cathepsin-b and caspase-3, with extensive cross talks between these suicidal proteases. Increased levels of these proteases correlated with the enhanced proteolysis of several cytoskeletal proteins including neuronal cytoskeleton proteolytic signature fragments. Further, we also observed that increased levels of these proteases correlated with the appearance of neuronal death that exhibited apo-necrotic continuum. Our results confirm that activation of multiple suicidal proteases, their cross talks and breakdown of the cytoskeletal proteins increase neuronal degeneration and lead to exacerbation of cerebral malaria pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-114
Number of pages12
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - Oct 12 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Calpain
  • Caspase
  • Cathepsin-b
  • Cerebral malaria
  • Neurofilament
  • Post-synaptic density protein-95
  • Synaptophysin
  • Vimentin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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