Stacey Lapp

Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States

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Publications (9)67.25 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A novel uncatalyzed reaction between TpMo(CO)2(5-trifluoroacetoxy-η3-5,6-dihydropyranyl/dihydropyridinyl) complexes and electron-rich arenes/olefins is reported. The reaction proceeds under mild reaction conditions so that a variety of functional groups are tolerated. Combined with a stereospecific annulative demetalation, the new reaction provides a rapid access to polycyclic alkaloid structures. The sequential protocol was used to prepare analogues of the antimalarial agent isofebrifugine.
    Organometallics 12/2013; 32(24):7594–7611. · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Antigenic variation by malaria parasites was first described in Plasmodium knowlesi, which infects humans and macaque monkeys, and subsequently in P. falciparum, the most virulent human parasite. The schizont-infected cell agglutination (SICA) variant proteins encoded by the SICAvar multigene family in P. knowlesi, and Erythrocyte Membrane Protein-1 (EMP-1) antigens encoded by the var multigene family in P. falciparum, are expressed at the surface of infected erythrocytes, are associated with virulence, and serve as determinants of naturally acquired immunity. A parental P. knowlesi clone, Pk1(A+), and a related progeny clone, Pk1(B+)1+, derived by an in vivo induced variant antigen switch, were defined by the expression of distinct SICA variant protein doublets of 210/190 and 205/200 kDa, respectively. Passage of SICA[+] infected erythrocytes through splenectomized rhesus monkeys results in the SICA[-] phenotype, defined by the lack of surface expression and agglutination with variant specific antisera. We have investigated SICAvar RNA and protein expression in Pk1(A+), Pk1(B+)1+, and SICA[-] parasites. The Pk1(A+) and Pk1(B+)1+ parasites express different distinct SICAvar transcript and protein repertoires. By comparison, SICA[-] parasites are characterized by a vast reduction in SICAvar RNA expression, the lack of full-length SICAvar transcript signals on northern blots, and correspondingly, the absence of any SICA protein detected by mass spectrometry. SICA protein expression may be under transcriptional as well as post-transcriptional control, and we show for the first time that the spleen, an organ central to blood-stage immunity in malaria, exerts an influence on these processes. Furthermore, proteomics has enabled the first in-depth characterization of SICA[+] protein phenotypes and we show that the in vivo switch from Pk1(A+) to Pk1(B+)1+ parasites resulted in a complete change in SICA profiles. These results emphasize the importance of studying antigenic variation in the context of the host environment.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(10):e78014. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plasmodium vivax and P. cynomolgi produce numerous caveola-vesicle complex (CVC) structures within the surface of the infected erythrocyte membrane. These contrast with the electron-dense knob protrusions expressed at the surface of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes. Here we investigate the three-dimensional (3-D) structure of the CVCs and the identity of a predominantly expressed 95 kDa CVC protein. Liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry analysis of immunoprecipitates by monoclonal antibodies from P. cynomolgi extracts identified this protein as a member of the Plasmodium helical interspersed subtelomeric (PHIST) superfamily with a calculated mass of 81 kDa. We named the orthologous proteins PvPHIST/CVC-81(95) and PcyPHIST/CVC-81(95) , analysed their structural features, including a PEXEL motif, repeated sequences and a C-terminal PHIST domain, and show that PHIST/CVC-81(95) is most highly expressed in trophozoites. We generated images of CVCs in 3-D using electron tomography (ET), and used immuno-ET to show PHIST/CVC-81(95) localizes to the cytoplasmic side of the CVC tubular extensions. Targeted gene disruptions were attempted in vivo. The pcyphist/cvc-81(95) gene was not disrupted, but parasites containing episomes with the tgdhfr selection cassette were retrieved by selection with pyrimethamine. This suggests that PHIST/CVC-81(95) is essential for survival of these malaria parasites.
    Molecular Microbiology 04/2012; 84(5):816-31. · 5.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plasmodium-infected erythrocytes have been shown to employ sphingolipids from both endogenous metabolism as well as existing host pools. Therapeutic agents that limit these supplies have thus emerged as intriguing, mechanistically distinct putative targets for the treatment of malaria infections. In an initial screen of our library of sphingolipid pathway modulators for efficacy against two strains of the predominant human malaria species Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium knowlesi, a series of orally available, 1-deoxysphingoid bases were found to possess promising in vitro antimalarial activity. To better understand the structural requirements that are necessary for this observed activity, a second series of modified analogues were prepared and evaluated. Initial pharmacokinetic assessments of key analogues were investigated to evaluate plasma and red blood cell concentrations in vivo.
    ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters 01/2012; 3(1):43-7. · 3.31 Impact Factor
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    Stacey A Lapp, Cindy C Korir, Mary R Galinski
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    ABSTRACT: The SICAvar gene family, expressed at the surface of infected erythrocytes, is critical for antigenic variation in Plasmodium knowlesi. When this family was discovered, a prototypic SICAvar gene was characterized and defined by a 10-exon structure. The predicted 205-kDa protein lacked a convincing signal peptide, but included a series of variable cysteine-rich modules, a transmembrane domain encoded by the penultimate exon, and a cytoplasmic domain encoded by the final highly conserved exon. The 205 SICAvar gene and its family with up to 108 possible family members, was identified prior to the sequencing of the P. knowlesi genome. However, in the published P. knowlesi database this gene remains disjointed in five fragments. This study addresses a number of structural and functional questions that are critical for understanding SICAvar gene expression. Database mining, bioinformatics, and traditional genomic and post-genomic experimental methods including proteomic technologies are used here to confirm the genomic context and expressed structure of the prototype 205 SICAvar gene. This study reveals that the 205 SICAvar gene reported previously to have a 10-exon expressed gene structure has, in fact, 12 exons, with an unusually large and repeat-laden intron separating two newly defined upstream exons and the bona fide 5'UTR from the remainder of the gene sequence. The initial exon encodes a PEXEL motif, which may function to localize the SICA protein in the infected erythrocyte membrane. This newly defined start of the 205 SICAvar sequence is positioned on chromosome 5, over 340 kb upstream from the rest of the telomerically positioned SICAvar gene sequence in the published genome assembly. This study, however, verifies the continuity of these sequences, a 9.5 kb transcript, and provides evidence that the 205 SICAvar gene is located centrally on chromosome 5. The prototype 205 SICAvar gene has been redefined to have a 12-exon structure. These data are important because they 1) address questions raised in the P. knowlesi genome database regarding SICAvar gene fragments, numbers and structures, 2) show that this prototype gene encodes a PEXEL motif, 3) emphasize the need for further refinement of the P. knowlesi genome data, and 4) retrospectively, provide evidence for recombination within centrally located SICAvar sequences.
    Malaria Journal 08/2009; 8:181. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plasmodium knowlesi is an intracellular malaria parasite whose natural vertebrate host is Macaca fascicularis (the 'kra' monkey); however, it is now increasingly recognized as a significant cause of human malaria, particularly in southeast Asia. Plasmodium knowlesi was the first malaria parasite species in which antigenic variation was demonstrated, and it has a close phylogenetic relationship to Plasmodium vivax, the second most important species of human malaria parasite (reviewed in ref. 4). Despite their relatedness, there are important phenotypic differences between them, such as host blood cell preference, absence of a dormant liver stage or 'hypnozoite' in P. knowlesi, and length of the asexual cycle (reviewed in ref. 4). Here we present an analysis of the P. knowlesi (H strain, Pk1(A+) clone) nuclear genome sequence. This is the first monkey malaria parasite genome to be described, and it provides an opportunity for comparison with the recently completed P. vivax genome and other sequenced Plasmodium genomes. In contrast to other Plasmodium genomes, putative variant antigen families are dispersed throughout the genome and are associated with intrachromosomal telomere repeats. One of these families, the KIRs, contains sequences that collectively match over one-half of the host CD99 extracellular domain, which may represent an unusual form of molecular mimicry.
    Nature 11/2008; 455(7214):799-803. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The receptor-binding domain of Plasmodium vivax Duffy-binding protein, region II (PvRII), is an attractive candidate for a vaccine against P. vivax malaria. Here, we have studied the safety and immunogenicity of recombinant PvRII in Macaca mulatta (rhesus monkeys). Recombinant PvRII with a C-terminal 6-histidine tag was expressed in E. coli, recovered from inclusion bodies, refolded into its functional conformation, purified to homogeneity and formulated with three adjuvants, namely, Alhydrogel, Montanide ISA 720 and the GSK proprietary Adjuvant System AS02A for use in immunogenicity studies. All the PvRII vaccine formulations tested were safe and highly immunogenic. The overall magnitude of the antibody response was significantly higher for both Montanide ISA 720 and AS02A formulations in comparison with Alhydrogel. Furthermore, there was a significant correlation between antibody recognition titers by ELISA and binding inhibition titers in in vitro binding assays. The PvRII vaccine formulations also induced IFN-gamma recall responses that were identified using ex vivo ELISPOT assays. These results provide support for further clinical development of a vaccine for P. vivax malaria based on recombinant PvRII.
    Vaccine 07/2008; 26(34):4338-44. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polymeric linear peptide chimeras (LPCs) that incorporate Plasmodium vivax promiscuous T cell epitopes and the P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein B cell epitope have been shown to induce a high level of immunogenicity and overcome genetic restriction when tested as vaccine immunogens in BALB/c mice. The present study evaluates the biological relevance of several LPCs using a well characterized rodent malaria model. Polymeric peptide constructs based on P. berghei and P. yoelii sequences, and orthologous to the human malaria sequences included in the original LPCs, were designed and tested for immunogenicity in mice of different H-2 haplotypes. We demonstrate that robust immune responses are induced and that peptides containing the orthologous rodent Plasmodium sequences exhibited similar immunogenic capabilities. Unique to this report, we show that LPCs can also prime MHC class I-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and, most relevantly, that a peptide construct prototype incorporating single B, T and CTL epitopes induced protection against an experimental challenge with P. berghei or P. yoelii sporozoites. Collectively, these results suggest that polymeric polypeptide chimeras can be used as a platform to deliver subunit vaccines.
    Microbes and Infection 11/2005; 7(13):1324-37. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plasmodium knowlesi variant antigens are expressed at the surface of infected erythrocytes and are encoded by the Schizont Infected Cell Agglutination variant antigen (SICAvar) multigene family. The 3' region of the SICAvar gene locus encoding the 205 kDa variant antigen expressed in the Pk1(B+)1+ parasites was found to be altered compared to the Pk1(A+) parental clone. Here we report that this alteration is the result of a DNA rearrangement and that the original and altered 205 SICAvar alleles appear to encode bona fide variant antigens. Importantly, 205A and 205B SICAvar RNA sequences are detectable in similar apparent quantities as determined by quantitative real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) amplification experiments. However, expression of the 205 kDa SICA protein at the surface of the infected erythrocyte is not characteristic of the Pk1(A+) parasites and the 205 SICAvar transcript has not been detected in Pk1(A+) parasites by northern blot analysis. Furthermore, we report that many distinct SICAvar transcripts were detected in P. knowlesi Pk1(B+)1+ cDNA library hybridization screens. Of special interest, in light of these data, distinctive differences at the 3' end of the 205A and 205B alleles are observed, which may be of functional importance. An analysis of the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of SICAvar genes in more than 100 sequences revealed a surprising common sequence pattern characterized by blocks of imperfect, GT-rich, heptad repeated motifs (Block I), followed by A and T rich homopolymers (Block II) and in a large number of genes, GC-rich segments (Block III). We show that this region undergoes extensive recombination and that the preferential stability of the 205 SICAvar transcript in Pk1(B+)1+ parasites may be associated with the presence of its specific Block III sequences. We speculate that the conserved yet polymorphic SICAvar 3'UTR sequences, and comparable regions in P. falciparum var genes, function in the stage-specific and developmentally regulated post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) of variant antigen transcripts.
    Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 12/2004; 138(1):37-49. · 2.73 Impact Factor