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Stage-Specific Transcription of Distinct Repertoires of a Multigene Family During Plasmodium Life Cycle

Science  11 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5553, pp. 342-345
DOI: 10.1126/science.1064938

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Abstract

Members of a multigene family in the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii yoelii code for 235-kilodalton proteins (Py235) that are located in the merozoite apical complex, are implicated in virulence, and may determine red blood cell specificity. We show that distinct subsets of py235 genes are expressed in sporozoites and hepatic and erythrocytic stages. Antibodies to Py235 inhibited sporozoite invasion of hepatocytes. The switch in expression profile occurred immediately after transition from one stage to another. The results suggest that this differential expression is driven by strong biological requirements and provide evidence that hepatic and erythrocytic merozoites differ.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: ppreise{at}nimr.mrc.ac.uk

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