Truncation of Plasmodium berghei merozoite surface protein 8 does not affect in vivo blood-stage development

Tania F. de Koning-Ward, Damien R. Drew, Joanne M. Chesson, James G. Beeson, Brendan S. Crabb

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Merozoite surface protein 8 (MSP8) has shown promise as a vaccine candidate in the Plasmodium yoelii rodent malaria model and has a proposed role in merozoite invasion of erythrocytes. However, the temporal expression and localisation of MSP8 are unusual for a merozoite antigen. Moreover, in Plasmodium falciparum the MSP8 gene could be disrupted with no apparent effect on in vitro growth. To address the in vivo function of full-length MSP8, we truncated MSP8 in the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei. PbΔMSP8 disruptant parasites displayed a normal blood-stage growth rate but no increase in reticulocyte preference, a phenomenon observed in P. yoelii MSP8 vaccinated mice. Expression levels of erythrocyte surface antigens were similar in P. berghei wild-type and PbΔMSP8-infected erythrocytes, suggesting that a parasitophorous vacuole function for MSP8 does not involve global trafficking of such antigens. These data demonstrate that a full-length membrane-associated form of PbMSP8 is not essential for blood-stage growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-72
Number of pages4
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Gene knockout
  • Malaria
  • Merozoite surface proteins
  • MSP8
  • Plasmodium berghei

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