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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1994 Sep;67(1):59-68.

Differential localization of full-length and processed forms of PF83/AMA-1 an apical membrane antigen of Plasmodium falciparum merozoites.

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Laboratory for Parasitology, Biomedical Primate Research Centre, Rijswijk, The Netherlands.


A well conserved 83-kDa apical membrane antigen of Plasmodium falciparum, PF83/AMA-1, is the analogue of PK66/AMA-1, a 66-kDa P. knowlesi protective merozoite protein. PK66/AMA-1 is expressed in late-stage schizonts; is localized within the merozoite apex; and is processed to a 44/42-kDa doublet at, or around, the time of schizont rupture. The processed forms can associate with the merozoite surface. We were interested to further analyze the timing of synthesis and processing, and subcellular localization of PF83/AMA-1, a malaria vaccine candidate, using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) developed against PF83/AMA-1. Using [35S]methionine metabolically labeled asexual blood stage parasites, in combination with indirect single and dual immunofluorescence, we have determined that, in similar fashion to PK66/AMA-1, protein expression of PF83/AMA-1 is restricted to late-stage schizonts with greater than 8 nuclei. PF83/AMA-1 is post-synthetically processed rapidly by cleavage of an N-terminal peptide to a 66-kDa molecule. Both the 83- and the 66-kDa molecules are initially localized at the merozoite apex. In P. falciparum (7G8 strain and CVD-1 clone) the full-length 83-kDa molecule remains apically restricted following merozoite release. However, the processed 66-kDa form can become circumferentially associated with the merozoite surface at or around the time of schizont rupture and merozoite release. After merozoite invasion a processed form of PF83/AMA-1 is present in early ring stage parasites. Comparative analysis of a rhoptry associated protein RAP-1, shows a co-ordinated and compartmentalized release of rhoptry components.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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