||Background. Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for severe malaria, including pregnancy-associated malaria
(PAM). During intra-erythrocytic maturation, the infected erythrocyte (iE) membrane is modified by insertion of
parasite-derived proteins, primarily consisting of variant surface antigens such as P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane
Methods. To identify new PAM-specific parasite membrane proteins, we conducted a mass spectrometry-based
proteomic study and compared the protein expression profiles of 10 PAM and 10 uncomplicated malaria (UM)
Results. We focused on the 454/1139 membrane-associated and hypothetical proteins for comparative analysis.
Using filter-based feature-selection methods combined with supervised data analysis, we identified a subset of 53
proteins that distinguished PAM and UM samples. Up to 19/20 samples were correctly assigned to their respective
clinical group. A hierarchical clustering analysis of these 53 proteins based on the similarity of their expression profiles
revealed 2 main clusters of 40 and 13 proteins that were under- or over-expressed, respectively, in PAM.
Conclusions. VAR2CSA is identified and associated with PAM, validating our experimental approach. Other
PAM-predictive proteins included PFI1785w, PF14_0018, PFB0115w, PFF0325c, and PFA_0410w. These proteomics
data demonstrate the involvement of selected proteins in the pathophysiology of PAM, providing new insights
for the definition of potential new targets for a vaccine against PAM.