Although Pgs28, a 28-kD surface protein of Plasmodium gallinaceum oökinetes, was previously thought not to be a target of transmission-blocking antibodies, we found that polyclonal antisera to Pgs28 completely blocked parasite infectivity to Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Antisera raised against reduced Pgs28 were less effective in blocking transmission than were antisera to nonreduced Pgs28; thus, the target epitope(s) of transmission-blocking antibodies appears to be conformation dependent. In stage-specific assays, polyclonal antisera impaired the in vitro transformation of zygotes to mature oökinetes, as well as the in vivo development of mature oökinetes to oöcysts. Using microsequence of immunoaffinity-purified Pgs28, we cloned the 666-bp open reading frame of the Pgs28 gene. The deduced amino acid sequence of Pgs28 is strikingly similar to that of a P. gallinaceum zygote surface protein, Pgs25, and its P. falciparum analogue, Pfs25. Pgs28, like Pgs25 and Pfs25, has a presumptive secretory signal sequence, followed by four epidermal growth factor-like domains, and a terminal hydrophobic region.

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