In a previous paper (2) we identified a protective antigen (Pb44) of the surface membrane of sporozoites of Plasmodium berghei by means of a monoclonal antibody. Immunoprecipitation of extracts of mature salivary gland sporozoites, metabolically labeled with L[35S]methionine using the same monoclonal antibody, revealed three specific polypeptides: *Pb44, *Pb52, and *Pb54. Metabolically labeled *Pb44 is probably identical to the protective antigen previously identified by surface labeling. Both proteins have the same molecular weights and isoelectric points under denaturing conditions, and they share an epitope. Moreover, *Pb44 also seems to be located on the cell membrane. The results of pulse-chase experiments strongly suggest that *Pb52 is the precursor of *Pb44. The relationship between *Pb54 and the protective antigen is unknown. The three polypeptides seem to be strictly associated with only one of the developmental stage of the parasite. They were not detected in blood forms and were found in minute amounts in sporozoites from the midgut of mosquitoes. In contrast, in mature salivary gland sporozoites they constitute main products of protein synthesis.
Biosynthesis of Pb44, the protective antigen of sporozoites of Plasmodium berghei.
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N Yoshida, P Potocnjak, V Nussenzweig, R S Nussenzweig; Biosynthesis of Pb44, the protective antigen of sporozoites of Plasmodium berghei.. J Exp Med 1 October 1981; 154 (4): 1225–1236. doi: https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.154.4.1225
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