Antigenicity of recombinant proteins derived from Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1

Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1997 Apr;85(2):197-211. doi: 10.1016/s0166-6851(96)02826-5.


We have expressed seven recombinant antigens representing two N-terminal regions of the polymorphic merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1) of Plasmodium falciparum. The antigens include the MAD20 and Palo Alto forms of the relatively conserved Block 1 region, and variants of the Block 2 region from isolates 3D7, Palo Alto FUP, MAD20, Wellcome and RO33, that are representative of a range or amino acid sequence diversity in this most polymorphic section of MSP-1. All recombinant antigens have been able to immunise mice to produce polyclonal antibodies which specifically recognise parasite MSP-1 in indirect immunofluorescence assays and in Western blots. The recombinant antigens also react appropriately in ELISA with murine monoclonal antibodies specific for variant epitopes in Block 2 of MSP-1. These results show that the antigenic structure of the recombinant proteins is similar to that of the native MSP-1 product from parasites. Importantly, human sera from malaria-exposed individuals contain IgG antibodies that recognise very specifically one or another of the Block 2 types, showing that different Block 2 types are immunogenic, antigenically distinct and distinguishable when presented during natural infections. In contrast, the conserved Block 1 is rarely recognised by human antibodies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / genetics
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / metabolism
  • Antigens, Protozoan / immunology*
  • Antigens, Protozoan / metabolism
  • Aotus trivirgatus
  • Humans
  • Immune Sera / genetics
  • Immune Sera / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism
  • Merozoite Surface Protein 1
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmodium falciparum / genetics*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / growth & development
  • Plasmodium falciparum / immunology*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Precursors / genetics*
  • Protein Precursors / immunology*
  • Protozoan Proteins / genetics*
  • Protozoan Proteins / immunology*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / immunology*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Saimiri


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Immune Sera
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Merozoite Surface Protein 1
  • Protein Precursors
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins