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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Protective immune responses to the 42-kilodalton (kDa) region of Plasmodium yoelii merozoite surface protein 1 are induced by the C-terminal 19-kDa region but not by the adjacent 33-kDa region.

Vaccination of mice with the 42-kDa region of Plasmodium yoelii merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1(42)) or its 19-kDa C-terminal processing product (MSP1(19)) can elicit protective antibody responses in mice. To investigate if the 33-kDa N-terminal fragment (MSP1(33)) of MSP1(42) also induces protection, the gene segment encoding MSP1(33) was expressed as a glutathione S-transferase ( GST) fusion protein. C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice were immunized with GST-MSP1(33) and subsequently challenged with the lethal P. yoelii YM blood stage parasite. GST-MSP1(33) failed to induce protection, and all mice developed patent parasitemia at a level similar to that in naive or control (GST-immunized) mice; mice immunized with GST-MSP1(19) were protected, as has been shown previously. Specific prechallenge immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody responses to MSP1 were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunofluorescence. Despite being unprotected, several mice immunized with MSP1(33) had antibody titers (of all IgG subclasses) that were comparable to or higher than those in mice that were protected following immunization with MSP1(19). The finding that P. yoelii MSP1(33) elicits strong but nonprotective antibody responses may have implications for the design of vaccines for humans based on Plasmodium falciparum or Plasmodium vivax MSP1(42).[1]


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