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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jul 18, 1995; 92(15): 7100–7104.

Isolation of multiple sequences from the Plasmodium falciparum genome that encode conserved domains homologous to those in erythrocyte-binding proteins.


Open reading frames in the Plasmodium falciparum genome encode domains homologous to the adhesive domains of the P. falciparum EBA-175 erythrocyte-binding protein (eba-175 gene product) and those of the Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi Duffy antigen-binding proteins. These domains are referred to as Duffy binding-like (DBL), after the receptor that determines P. vivax invasion of Duffy blood group-positive human erythrocytes. Using oligonucleotide primers derived from short regions of conserved sequence, we have developed a reverse transcription-PCR method that amplifies sequences encoding the DBL domains of expressed genes. Products of these reverse transcription-PCR amplifications include sequences of single-copy genes (including eba-175) and variably transcribed genes that cross-hybridize to multiple regions of the genome. Restriction patterns of the multicopy genes show a high degree of polymorphism among different parasite lines, whereas single-copy genes are generally conserved. Characterization of the single-copy genes has identified a gene (ebl-1) that is related to eba-175 and is likely to be involved in erythrocyte invasion.

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