Article

Characterisation of the gene encoding adenylosuccinate lyase of Plasmodium falciparum.

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology (Impact Factor: 1.79). 10/1997; 88(1-2):237-41.
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous studies of Plasmodium falciparum have identified a region of chromosome 2 in which are clustered three genes for glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored merozoite surface proteins, MSP2, MSP5, and MSP4, arranged in tandem. MSP4 and MSP5 both encode proteins 272 residues long that contain hydrophobic signal sequences, GPI attachment signals, and a single epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like domain at their carboxyl termini. Nevertheless, the remainder of their protein coding regions are quite dissimilar. The locations and similar structural features of these genes suggest that they have arisen from a gene duplication event. Here we describe the identification of the syntenic region of the genome in the murine malaria parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi adami DS. Only one open reading frame is present in this region, and it encodes a protein with structural features reminiscent of both MSP4 and MSP5, including a single EGF-like domain. Accordingly, the gene has been designated PcMSP4/5. The homologue of the P. falciparum MSP2 gene could not be found in P. chabaudi; however, the amino terminus of the PcMSP4/5 protein shows similarity to that of MSP2. The PcMSP4/5 gene encodes a protein with an apparent molecular mass of 36 kDa, and this protein is detected in mature stages of the parasite. The protein partitions in the detergent-enriched phase after Triton X-114 fractionation and is localized to the surfaces of trophozoites and developing and free merozoites. The PcMSP4/5 gene is transcribed in both ring and trophozoite stages but appears to be spliced in a stage-specific manner such that the central intron is spliced from the mRNA in the parasitic stage in which the protein is expressed.
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