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Gene Review

MSP8  -  Merozoite Surface Protein 8, MSP8

Plasmodium falciparum 3D7

Synonyms: MSP-8, RMP-1, merozoite surface protein 8, ring-stage membrane protein 1
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High impact information on PFMSP8

  • In contrast to MSP-8, an even more divergent double EGF module, that from the sexual stage protein PbS25, was not capable of complementing MSP-1 EGF function [1].
  • Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 8 is a ring-stage membrane protein that localizes to the parasitophorous vacuole of infected erythrocytes [2].
  • However, it is still possible that MSP-8 is involved in an early parasitophorous vacuole function that is significant for pathogenesis in the human host [2].
  • To date, the following seven glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored merozoite antigens have been described in Plasmodium falciparum: merozoite-associated surface protein 1 (MSP-1), MSP-2, MSP-4, MSP-5, MSP-8, MSP-10, and the rhoptry-associated membrane antigen [2].
  • As determined by a combination of immunofluorescence and membrane purification approaches, it appears likely that MSP-8 initially localizes to the parasite plasma membrane in the ring stage [2].

Biological context of PFMSP8

  • Stage-specific immunoblots showed that MSP8 expression commences in late rings and extends throughout the rest of the erythrocytic life cycle in the 3D7 parent line, but is absent from all stages in the DeltaMSP8 transfectants [3].
  • In addition to above results, the high homology in amino-acid sequence and superimposition of both MSP-10, MSP-8 and MSP-1 EGF-like domains and HABPs 31132, 26373 and 5501 suggest that tridimensional structure could be playing an important role in the invasion process and in designing synthetic multi-stage anti-malarial vaccines [4].

Other interactions of PFMSP8

  • MSP8 is a recently identified merozoite surface protein that shares similar structural features with the leading vaccine candidate MSP1 [3].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of PFMSP8

  • By double recombination, we have disrupted the MSP8 gene in P. falciparum 3D7 parasites, and confirmed integration by southern hybridisation and PCR [3].
  • Western blot analysis of lysates from asynchronous cultures and isolated merozoites demonstrated the absence of MSP8 in two cloned knockout lines [3].


  1. A common cross-species function for the double epidermal growth factor-like modules of the highly divergent plasmodium surface proteins MSP-1 and MSP-8. Drew, D.R., O'Donnell, R.A., Smith, B.J., Crabb, B.S. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
  2. Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 8 is a ring-stage membrane protein that localizes to the parasitophorous vacuole of infected erythrocytes. Drew, D.R., Sanders, P.R., Crabb, B.S. Infect. Immun. (2005) [Pubmed]
  3. MSP8 is a non-essential merozoite surface protein in Plasmodium falciparum. Black, C.G., Wu, T., Wang, L., Topolska, A.E., Coppel, R.L. Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  4. Identifying Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein-10 human erythrocyte specific binding regions. Puentes, A., Ocampo, M., Rodríguez, L.E., Vera, R., Valbuena, J., Curtidor, H., García, J., López, R., Tovar, D., Cortes, J., Rivera, Z., Patarroyo, M.E. Biochimie (2005) [Pubmed]
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