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

Mimicry of elastin repetitive motifs by Theileria annulata sporozoite surface antigen.

Theileria annulata is an important pathogen of cattle in the tropics. The gene sequence of a sporozoite surface antigen (SPAG-1) is reported. Data is also presented demonstrating that SPAG-1 is synthesised as a large precursor. This antigen, which is a candidate for inclusion in a subunit vaccine, shows a remarkable degree of molecular mimicry to the extracellular matrix protein elastin. It contains both repetitive motifs PGVGV and VGVAPG. Immunofluorescence using a monoclonal antibody against VGVAPG confirmed that this peptide is expressed on sporozoites as predicted. The presence of VGVAPG is particularly interesting since this is the ligand for elastin receptors on a range of cell types, including macrophages/monocytes which are a major class of host target cells. It is proposed that this antigen represents the ligand whereby T. annulata recognises its host cells.[1]


  1. Mimicry of elastin repetitive motifs by Theileria annulata sporozoite surface antigen. Hall, R., Hunt, P.D., Carrington, M., Simmons, D., Williamson, S., Mecham, R.P., Tait, A. Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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