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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1991 Dec;49(2):277-88.

Sequence of the gene encoding an immunodominant microneme protein of Eimeria tenella.

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Institute for Animal Health, Houghton Laboratory, Huntingdon, U.K.


A heterodisperse family of antigens, previously detected on sporozoites and merozoites of Eimeria tenella, has been localised to the microneme organelles within the sporozoite. Sequencing of genomic and cDNA clones shows that the gene for this antigen family contains 4 exons separated by 3 short (519, 226 and 156 nucleotides) intervening sequences and that the predicted polypeptide from the longest open reading frame has 4 structural domains. One of these contains 5 copies of the thrombospondin-like motif, previously identified in the partial sequence of the gene, which is conserved in a variety of molecules which have been demonstrated to have adhesive properties. A second domain of the polypeptide has strong similarity to a conserved region that occurs in another group of molecules which have adhesive properties, including the alpha subunits of several integrins, complement factor Bb and a number of extracellular matrix glycoproteins. Overall the antigen resembles the thrombospondin-related anonymous protein identified in the erythrocytic stage of Plasmodium falciparum. The structure of the gene supports a role for this microneme antigen in cell-cell or cell-matrix interactions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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