Extremely diverged actin proteins in Plasmodium falciparum

Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1988 Aug;30(2):143-53. doi: 10.1016/0166-6851(88)90107-7.


In a previous paper the nucleotide sequence of a complementary DNA coding for a Plasmodium falciparum actin protein (pf-actin I) has been described. Here we present evidence that the genome of this human malaria parasite encodes for still another actin protein (pf-actin II). Via nucleotide sequence analysis of its coding DNA we established the amino acid sequence of this protein. This sequence was compared with the pf-actin I sequence and those of a number of other actins. The comparative studies revealed that the amino acid sequence of pf-actin II is very diverged from the actins known thus far. The mutual amino acid sequence similarity between both Plasmodium actins is also very poor and in fact the observed value is the lowest ever seen between actins within one species. Furthermore, the studies suggest that the actin genes from sporozoa and ciliated protozoa, but not those from amoebae, have evolved from a common primitive ancestor. It is likely, however, that during evolution the actin sequences in these protozoa are not as well conserved as in other eukaryotic lineages.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / genetics*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Southern
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Plasmodium falciparum / genetics*
  • RNA / genetics


  • Actins
  • RNA
  • DNA
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M18817