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      Switches in expression of plasmodium falciparum var genes correlate with changes in antigenic and cytoadherent phenotypes of infected erythrocytes

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          Cloning the P. falciparum gene encoding PfEMP1, a malarial variant antigen and adherence receptor on the surface of parasitized human erythrocytes.

          Plasmodium falciparum-infected human erythrocytes evade host immunity by expression of a cell-surface variant antigen and receptors for adherence to endothelial cells. These properties have been ascribed to P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), an antigenically diverse malarial protein of 200-350 kDa on the surface of parasitized erythrocytes (PEs). We describe the cloning of two related PfEMP1 genes from the Malayan Camp (MC) parasite strain. Antibodies generated against recombinant protein fragments of the genes were specific for MC strain PfEMP1 protein. These antibodies reacted only with the surface of MC strain PEs and blocked adherence of these cells to CD36 but without effect on adherence to thrombospondin. Multiple forms of the PfEMP1 gene are apparent in MC parasites. The molecular basis for antigenic variation in malaria and adherence of infected erythrocytes to host cells can now be pursued.
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            Rapid switching to multiple antigenic and adhesive phenotypes in malaria.

            Adhesion of parasitized erythrocytes to post-capillary venular endothelium or uninfected red cells is strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Neoantigens at the infected red-cell surface adhere to a variety of host receptors, demonstrate serological diversity in field isolates and may also be a target of the host-protective immune response. Here we use sequential cloning of P. falciparum by micromanipulation to investigate the ability of a parasite to switch antigenic and cytoadherence phenotypes. Our data show that antigens at the parasitized cell surface undergo clonal variation in vitro in the absence of immune pressure at the rate of 2% per generation with concomitant modulations of the adhesive phenotype. A clone has the potential to switch at high frequency to a variety of antigenic and adhesive phenotypes, including a new type of cytoadherence behaviour, 'auto-agglutination' of infected erythrocytes. This rapid appearance of antigenic and functional heterogeneity has important implications for pathogenesis and acquired immunity.
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              Receptor and ligand domains for invasion of erythrocytes by Plasmodium falciparum.

              A 175-kilodalton erythrocyte binding protein, EBA-175, of the parasite Plasmodium falciparum mediates the invasion of erythrocytes. The erythrocyte receptor for EBA-175 is dependent on sialic acid. The domain of EBA-175 that binds erythrocytes was identified as region II with the use of truncated portions of EBA-175 expressed on COS cells. Region II, which contains a cysteine-rich motif, and native EBA-175 bind specifically to glycophorin A, but not to glycophorin B, on the erythrocyte membrane. Erythrocyte recognition of EBA-175 requires both sialic acid and the peptide backbone of glycophorin A. The identification of both the receptor and ligand domains may suggest rational designs for receptor blockade and vaccines.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Cell
                Cell
                Elsevier BV
                00928674
                July 1995
                July 1995
                : 82
                : 1
                : 101-110
                Article
                10.1016/0092-8674(95)90056-X
                3730239
                7606775
                © 1995

                http://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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