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Spectroscopic Investigations of Malaria Pigment

Volume 47, Number 11 (Nov. 1993) Page 1837-1842

Brémard, C.; Girerd, J.J.; Kowalewski, P.; Merlin, J.C.; Moreau, S.


Malaria pigment is generated during the growth of the intraerythrocytic parasite plasmodium. This compound is postulated as a product of haemoglobin degradation and consists of an unknown iron porphyrin compound and an apoprotein. We report here a new spectroscopic investigation on the porphyrin component of intact malaria pigment obtained from in vitro cultures of Plasmodium falciparum without any previous chemical or biochemical treatment of the sample. We demonstrate the use of resonance Raman microspectrometry, electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometry, and magnetic susceptibility measurements that show the iron porphyrin moiety of the malaria pigment to be a high-spin monomeric iron(III) protoporphyrin hydroxide.