Repeat structures in a Plasmodium falciparum protein (MESA) that binds human erythrocyte protein 4.1

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The mature-parasite-infected erythrocyte surface antigen (MESA, also known as PfEMP-2 and pp300) of Plasmodium falciparum is a phosphoprotein of approx. 250 300 kDa that is exported from the parasite to the erythrocyte membrane skeleton where it binds to protein 4.1. Determination of the primary sequence of MESA reveals that it is encoded by 2 exons, a structure common to other exported proteins of P. falciparum. The MESA protein is heavily charged and contains 7 distinct repeat regions that compose over 60% of the protein. The predicted secondary structure suggests that MESA is a fibrillar protein and it shows similarity to a number of cytoskeletal and neurofilament proteins, including myosin, a protein that itself binds to protein 4.1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-347
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Alpha-helix
  • Erythrocyte membrane skeleton
  • MESA
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Repeats
  • Variability

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