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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1999 May 15;100(1):19-26.

Theileria parva 104 kDa microneme--rhoptry protein is membrane-anchored by a non-cleaved amino-terminal signal sequence for entry into the endoplasmic reticulum.

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  • 1Vienna International Research Cooperation Center, Department of Vascular Biology and Thrombosis Research, University of Vienna, Austria.


The 104 kDa microneme-rhoptry protein (p104) is the only known apical complex organelle-specific protein of Theileria parva. p104 exhibits striking structural similarities to circumsporozoite protein and sporozoite surface protein 2 of Plasmodium yoelii. Their primary sequences contain two hydrophobic segments, located at the amino-and the carboxy-terminus. The p104 amino-terminal hydrophobic region was suggested to be a signal peptide for entry into the endoplasmic reticulum and the extreme carboxy-terminal region to function as a membrane anchor. We have studied the biogenesis of p104 in a cell-free expression system and found that p104 is co-translationally transported into membranes derived from endoplasmic reticulum. The amino-terminal signal peptide is not cleaved off and anchors the protein in the membrane with the carboxy-terminal portion translocated into the lumen. We suggest that in vivo p104 is co-translationally integrated into the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum, from where it is further transported to the microneme-rhoptry complex. Thus, p104 appears to be a suitable marker to study the development of micronemes and rhoptries in T. parva.

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