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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1997 Jan;84(1):13-24.

Cloning and cross-species comparison of the thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP) gene from Plasmodium knowlesi, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium gallinaceum.

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Malaria Vaccines Section, NIAID/NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-0425, USA.


To examine the structure of the Plasmodium sporozoite micronemal protein, thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP) we have isolated TRAP genes from three species of Plasmodium: P. gallinaceum (PgTRAP), P. knowlesi (PkTRAP) and P. vivax (PvTRAP). Thus it is now possible to compare the TRAP gene from a total of six species of Plasmodium. The overall structure of TRAP is conserved in all species; specifically, an amino-terminal A-domain similar to magnesium-binding domains of mammalian integrins; a thrombospondin-like sulfatide-binding domain similar to region II in Plasmodium circumsporozoite protein; an acidic asparagine/proline-rich repeat region; a trans-membrane domain and a short acidic cytoplasmic region with a highly conserved carboxy terminus. The overall structure of TRAP from P. gallinaceum and P. falciparum (PfTRAP) is conserved and phylogenetic analysis suggests a monophyletic relationship of avian P. gallinaceum and human P. falciparum. Comparison of the amino acid sequences of the A-domain of PgTRAP and PfTRAP indicates a more rapid divergence of this domain with respect to the rest of the protein in these two species. The structural differences of PgTRAP and PfTRAP may relate to the distinct invasion pathways, macrophage and endothelial cell invasion of P. gallinaceum sporozoites versus hepatocyte invasion of P. falciparum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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