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      Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1 (PfAMA-1) is translocated within micronemes along subpellicular microtubules during merozoite development.

      Journal of Cell Science

      Animals, Antigens, Protozoan, metabolism, Cell Membrane, Cell Nucleus, Cryoelectron Microscopy, Golgi Apparatus, Imaging, Three-Dimensional, Membrane Proteins, Microtubules, Models, Biological, Plasmodium falciparum, Protozoan Proteins, Secretory Vesicles

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          During the assembly of Plasmodium falciparum merozoites within the schizont stage, the parasite synthesizes and positions three sets of secretory vesicles (rhoptries, micronemes and dense granules) that are active during red cell invasion. There are up to 40 micronemes per merozoite, shaped like long-necked bottles, about 160 nm long and 65 nm at their widest diameter. On their external surfaces, they bear bristle-like filaments, each 3-4 nm thick and 25 nm long. Micronemes are translocated from a single Golgi-like cisterna near the nucleus along a band of two or three subpellicular microtubules to the merozoite apex, where they dock with the rhoptry tips. Dense granules are also formed around the periphery of the Golgi cisternae but their distribution is unrelated to microtubules. Three polyclonal antibodies raised against the recombinant PfAMA-1 ectodomain sequence recognizing both the 83 kDa and processed 66 kDa molecules label the peripheries of translocating and mature micronemes but do not label rhoptries significantly at any stage of merozoite development within schizonts. This result confirms that PfAMA-1 is a micronemal protein, and indicates that within the microneme it is located near or inserted into this organelle's boundary membrane.

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