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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1997 Dec 1;90(1):33-41.

Anopheles stephensi salivary glands bear receptors for region I of the circumsporozoite protein of Plasmodium falciparum.

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Department of Medical and Molecular Parasitology, New York University Medical Center, New York 10016, USA.


In the mosquito, Plasmodium sporozoites rupture from oocysts found on the midgut wall, circulate in the hemolymph and invade salivary glands where they wait to be injected into a vertebrate host during a bloodmeal. The mechanisms by which sporozoites specifically attach to and invade salivary glands are not known but evidence suggests that it is a receptor-mediated process. Here we show that the major surface protein of sporozoites, the circumsporozoite protein (CS), binds preferentially to salivary glands when compared to other organs exposed to the circulating hemolymph. In addition, we show that a peptide encompassing region I, a highly conserved sequence found in all rodent and primate Plasmodium CS proteins, inhibits binding of CS to mosquito salivary glands.

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