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.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2008|
- Gene knockout
- Merozoite surface proteins
- Plasmodium berghei