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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1995 Nov;74(2):129-41.

Molecular cloning of a gene from Plasmodium falciparum that codes for a protein sharing motifs found in adhesive molecules from mammals and plasmodia.

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Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Adhesion of Plasmodium to host cells is an important phenomenon in parasite invasion and in malaria-associated pathology. We report here the molecular cloning of a putative adhesive molecule from P. falciparum that shares both sequence and structural similarities with a sporozoite surface molecule from Plasmodium termed the thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP) and, to a lesser extent, with the circumsporozoite (CS) protein. The gene, which is present on chromosome 3 as a single copy, was termed CTRP for CS protein-TRAP-related protein. The full-length CTRP encodes a protein containing a putative signal sequence followed by a long extracellular region of 1990 amino acids, a transmembrane domain, and a short cytoplasmic segment. The putative extracellular region of CTRP is defined by two separated adhesive domains. The first domain contains six 210-amino acid-long homologous repeats, the sequence of which is related to the A-type domain found in adhesive molecules including the alpha subunits of several integrins and a number of extracellular matrix glycoproteins. The second domain contains seven repeats of 87-60 amino acids in length, which share similarities with the thrombospondin type 1 domain found in a variety of adhesive molecules. Finally, CTRP also contains consensus motifs found in the superfamily of haematopoietin receptors. Interstrain analysis of eight different parasite isolates revealed that CTRP does not show size polymorphism except in repetitive regions flanking potential adhesive domains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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