Circumsporozoite protein of Plasmodium vivax: gene cloning and characterization of the immunodominant epitope

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Science  15 Nov 1985:
Vol. 230, Issue 4727, pp. 815-818
DOI: 10.1126/science.2414847


The gene encoding the circumsporozoite (CS) protein of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax has been cloned. The deduced sequence of the protein consists of 373 amino acids with a central region of 19 tandem repeats of the nonapeptide Asp-Arg-Ala-Asp/Ala-Gly-Gln-Pro-Ala-Gly. A synthetic 18-amino acid peptide containing two tandem repeats binds to a monoclonal antibody directed to the CS protein of Plasmodium vivax and inhibits the interaction of this antibody with the native protein in sporozoite extracts. The portions of the CS gene that do not contain repeats are closely related to the corresponding regions of the CS genes of two simian malarias, Plasmodium cynomolgi and Plasmodium knowlesi. In contrast, the homology between the CS genes of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum, another malaria parasite of humans, is very limited.