A 75 kd merozoite surface protein of Plasmodium falciparum which is related to the 70 kd heat-shock proteins

EMBO J. 1987 Feb;6(2):493-9. doi: 10.1002/j.1460-2075.1987.tb04780.x.


Proteins on the merozoite surface of the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum are targets of the host's immune response. The merozoite surface location of p75, a 75 kd P. falciparum protein, was established by immunoelectron microscopy using antisera raised to the expressed product of a cDNA clone. Immunoprecipitation from protein extracts biosynthetically labeled during different periods of the asexual cycle showed that p75 is made continuously, although ring-stage parasites appear to synthesize larger quantities. p75 is conserved and invariant in size in eight isolates of P. falciparum. The 880 bp cDNA sequence encoding part of p75 reveals one open reading frame containing a repetitive sequence unit of four amino acids. The predicted reading frame is correct since antisera to a synthetic peptide corresponding to the repetitive region recognize p75 in immunoblots. The sequence of p75 is homologous with the sequences of proteins from the ubiquitous, highly conserved family of 70 kd heat-shock proteins, suggesting an important physiological function for p75. The cDNA fragment encoding part of p75 hybridizes with multiple genomic fragments, whose sizes are identical in DNA from nine P. falciparum strains, suggesting that the gene for p75 is well conserved and may be part of a gene family.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Protozoan / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Malaria / blood
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Molecular Weight
  • Plasmodium falciparum / genetics*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / ultrastructure
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Xenopus laevis


  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins