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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1990 Apr;40(1):1-12.

Plasmodium falciparum aldolase: gene structure and localization.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Behringwerke AG, Marburg, F.R.G.


A genomic clone was isolated which codes for the fructose bisphosphate aldolase of Plasmodium falciparum. The aldolase gene is interrupted by one intron which divides the coding region into two exons. The first one codes for one amino acid only, the initiation methionine, while the second one encodes the residual 368 amino acids of the protein. The gene, which is represented only once in the genome, is transcribed at high rates as a 2.4-kb mRNA in the P. falciparum blood stage. The aldolase gene encodes a protein of 40,105 Da, which is 61-68% homologous to known eukaryotic aldolases. The protein was expressed in Escherichia coli cells in an unfused and enzymatically active form. Antisera raised against amino acids 9-96 recognize a 41-kDa protein band previously shown to protect monkeys against a P. falciparum infection. These antisera cross-react with aldolases of different species, which confirms the strong conservation of this enzyme during evolution. The aldolase could be localized in the cytoplasm of the parasite as an active and soluble form. An inactive form was found to be associated with the membrane fraction. Digestion data with phospholipase C suggest a membrane association of this polypeptide via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor.

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