Christian W Kauth

Universität Heidelberg, Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

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Publications (5)18.72 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Plasmodium falciparum infection causes cerebral malaria (CM) in a subset of patients with anti-malarial treatment protecting only about 70% to 80% of patients. Why a subset of malaria patients develops CM complications, including neurological sequelae or death, is still not well understood. It is believed that host immune factors may modulate CM outcomes and there is substantial evidence that cellular immune factors, such as cytokines, play an important role in this process. In this study, the potential relationship between the antibody responses to the merozoite surface protein (MSP)-1 complex (which consists of four fragments namely: MSP-1(83), MSP-1(30), MSP-1(38) and MSP-1(42)), MSP-6(36) and MSP-7(22) and CM was investigated. Peripheral blood antibody responses to recombinant antigens of the two major allelic forms of MSP-1 complex, MSP-6(36) and MSP-7(22) were compared between healthy subjects, mild malaria patients (MM) and CM patients residing in a malaria endemic region of central India. Total IgG and IgG subclass antibody responses were determined using ELISA method. The prevalence and levels of IgG and its subclasses in the plasma varied for each antigen. In general, the prevalence of total IgG, IgG1 and IgG3 was higher in the MM patients and lower in CM patients compared to healthy controls. Significantly lower levels of total IgG antibodies to the MSP-1(f38), IgG1 levels to MSP-1(d83), MSP-1(19) and MSP-6(36) and IgG3 levels to MSP-1(f42) and MSP-7(22) were observed in CM patients as compared to MM patients. These results suggest that there may be some dysregulation in the generation of antibody responses to some MSP antigens in CM patients and it is worth investigating further whether perturbations of antibody responses in CM patients contribute to pathogenesis.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2008 · Malaria Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Merozoites of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum expose at their surface a large multiprotein complex, composed of proteolytically processed, noncovalently associated products of at least three genes, msp-1, msp-6, and msp-7. During invasion of erythrocytes, this complex is shed from the surface except for a small glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored portion originating from MSP-1. The proteolytic cleavage separating the C-terminal portion of MSP-1 is required for successful invasion. Little is known about the structure and function of the abundant and essential multipartite complex. Using heterologously produced MSP-1, MSP-6, and MSP-7 in precursor and with the exception of MSP-7 in processed form, we have studied in vitro the complex formation between the different proteins to identify the interaction partners within the complex. Both MSP-6(36) and MSP-7 bind only to MSP-1 subunits that are shed, but although MSP-6(36) contacts just subunit p38, MSP-7 interacts with p83, p30, and p38. The intact C-terminal region of MSP-6 is required for the association with p38 as well as for its multimerization into tetramers. Furthermore, our data suggest that only the processed form and not the precursor form of MSP-1 interacts with MSP-6(36). MSP-6- as well as MSP-7-specific rabbit antibodies inhibit parasite multiplication in vitro as shown previously for antibodies directed against MSP-1. Our findings raise interesting questions with regard to proteolysis-mediated mechanisms of maturation of the MSP-1-MSP-6-MSP-7 complex and to the mode by which antibodies directed against this complex interfere with parasite multiplication.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2006 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: The 190-kDa merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1) of Plasmodium falciparum, an essential component in the parasite's life cycle, is a primary candidate for a malaria vaccine. Rabbit antibodies elicited by the heterologously produced MSP-1 processing products p83, p30, p38, and p42, derived from strain 3D7, were analyzed for the potential to inhibit in vitro erythrocyte invasion by the parasite and parasite growth. Our data show that (i) epitopes recognized by antibodies, which inhibit parasite replication, are distributed throughout the entire MSP-1 molecule; (ii) when combined, antibodies specific for different regions of MSP-1 inhibit in a strictly additive manner; (iii) anti-MSP-1 antibodies interfere with erythrocyte invasion as well as with the intraerythrocytic growth of the parasite; and (iv) antibodies raised against MSP-1 of strain 3D7 strongly cross-inhibit replication of the heterologous strain FCB-1. Accordingly, anti-MSP-1 antibodies appear to be capable of interfering with parasite multiplication at more than one level. Since the overall immunogenicity profile of MSP-1 in rabbits closely resembles that found in sera of Aotus monkeys immunized with parasite-derived MSP-1 and of humans semi-immune to malaria from whom highly inhibiting antigen-specific antibodies were recovered, we consider the findings reported here to be relevant for the development of MSP-1-based vaccines against malaria.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2006 · Infection and Immunity
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    Christian W Kauth · Christian Epp · Hermann Bujard · Rolf Lutz
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    ABSTRACT: The major protein component at the surface of merozoites, the infectious form of blood stage malaria parasites, is the merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1) complex. In the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, this complex is generated by proteolytic cleavage of a 190-kDa glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored precursor into four major fragments, which remain non-covalently associated. Here, we describe the in vitro reconstitution of the MSP-1 complex of P. falciparum strain 3D7 from its heterologously produced subunits. We provide evidence for the arrangement of the subunits within the complex and show how they interact with each other. Our data indicate that the conformation assumed by the reassembled complex as well as by the heterologously produced 190-kDa precursor corresponds to the native one. Based on these results we propose a first structural model for the MSP-1 complex. Together with access to faithfully produced material, this information will advance further structure-function studies of MSP-1 that plays an essential role during invasion of erythrocytes by the parasite and that is considered a promising candidate for a malaria vaccine.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2003 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
  • Christian Epp · Christian W Kauth · Hermann Bujard · Rolf Lutz
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    ABSTRACT: The C-terminal 42.10(3) Da portion of the merozoite surface protein (MSP-1) of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is of interest, not only because it may constitute an essential part of a future anti-malaria vaccine, but also due to its role during the infection of erythrocytes by the parasite. We have cloned and expressed two synthetic DNA sequences encoding the two prototypic MSP-1(42) variants in E. coli. When over-produced, both proteins form insoluble aggregates which were isolated in high purity and yield. After solubilisation and refolding in vitro, both proteins were purified to homogeneity by a three-step procedure applying Ni-chelate, size exclusion and immuno-affinity chromatography. After purification, both proteins meet key criteria of preparations for clinical use. First, conformational studies suggest proper folding of the proteins, particularly in the region containing two EGF-like domains. Polyclonal serum raised against E. coli produced MSP-1(42) recognizes native MSP-1 in Plasmodium infected erythrocytes as shown by immunofluorescence.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2003 · Journal of Chromatography B