Stage-specific expression and genomic organization of the actin genes of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1989 Jun 15;35(2):167-76. doi: 10.1016/0166-6851(89)90119-9.


Two different actin transcripts are found in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. One of these is a 2.5-kb-long RNA found both in asexual blood stages and in the sexual stages (i.e., gametes/zygotes) of the parasite. This transcript is encoded by the P. falciparum (pf)-actin I gene. The second malarial actin gene, the pf-actin II gene, yields a 1.9-kb-long transcript which is formed solely in the sexual stages. Elucidation of the genomic organisation of these two Plasmodium actin genes showed that the pf-actin I gene does not possess any introns whereas the coding region of the pf-actin II gene is interrupted by a 368-bp intron. This intron has consensus splice junction sequences. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the 3' non-coding regions of the pf-actin genes revealed that these regions are quite long (pf-actin I, 250 bp; pf-actin II, 331 bp) and that these trailers do not share sequence similarity. Furthermore, the poly(A)+ addition sites of both actin mRNAs have now been identified. The 5' untranslated regions are also rather long; the sequenced areas lack sequence similarity and have, as do the 3' untranslated regions, a very high A + T content.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / biosynthesis*
  • Actins / genetics
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Composition
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Codon
  • DNA / genetics*
  • Exons
  • Introns*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmodium falciparum / genetics*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / growth & development
  • Poly A / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Restriction Mapping


  • Actins
  • Codon
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Poly A
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/J03988
  • GENBANK/M22718
  • GENBANK/M22719