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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2001 Sep 28;117(1):1-10.

The 235 kDa rhoptry protein of Plasmodium (yoelii) yoelii: function at the junction.

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Division of Parasitology, The National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, NW7 1AA, London, UK.


All malaria parasites are obligate intracellular organisms that must clearly recognise and discriminate between different cells during their life cycle. Invasion into a cell is a multi-step event that is marked by initial attachment proceeding to irreversible junction formation and penetration. A 235 kDa rhoptry protein (Py235) in the rodent malaria, Plasmodium yoelii yoelii has been shown to be involved in red blood cell (rbc) binding and is involved in a new mechanism of clonal phenotypic variation that may be important in adaptation and immune evasion. Immunisation studies using Py235 have also revealed a role for this protein in the virulence phenotype seen with P. y. yoelii in laboratory mice. Interestingly, the genes that encode this protein are present as a multi-gene family. In this paper, we examine Py235 at the level of DNA, transcription and expression, discussing the role of this protein during invasion, in virulence and in immune evasion.

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