An asparagines - rich protein from blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum shares determinants with sporozoites

H. D. Stahl, A. E. Bianco, P. E. Crewther, T. Burkot, R. L. Coppel, G. V. Brown, R. F. Anders, D. J. Kemp

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We describe a cDNA clone derived from mRNA of asexual blood-stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. This clone, designated Ag319, expresses a P.falciparum antigen fused to β-galactosidase in Escherichia coli. Human antibodies from Papua New Guinea were affinity-purified by adsorption to extracts of Ag319 immobilized on CNBr-Sepharose. The antibodies reacted predominantly with P.falciparum polypeptides of Mr 220,000 and 160,000, and a number of ill-defined lower molecular weight species. Antibodies reacted in indirect immunofluorescence with all asexual blood-stages although the antigen appeared to be most abundance in the schizont. Surprizingly the antibodies also reacted with sporozoites. The amino acid sequence predicted from the complete nucleotide sequence of this clone is remarkable because 40% of the residues are Asn, and so the antigen has been termed the Asparagine-Rich Protein (ARP). Like other P.falciparum antigens, ARP contains tandemly repetitive sequences, based on the tetrapeptide Asn-Asn-Asn-Met and we have confirmed that these represent natural epitopes by reaction of the corresponding synthetic peptides with human antibodies. Surprisingly, ARP is also rich in Asn outside the tandem repeats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3089-3102
Number of pages14
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 1986
Externally publishedYes

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