Identification of a schizont- and species-specific surface glycoprotein on erythrocytes infected with rodent malarias.
Newbold CI., Boyle DB., Smith CC., Brown KN.
Erythrocytes infected with mature trophozoites of Plasmodium chabaudi and reticulocytes infected with P. berghei were labelled metabolically in vitro with [35S]methionine. The labelled cells were incubated with normal and immune serum and washed to remove unbound antibody. Solubilisation of the antibody-coated cells in detergent was followed by co-precipitation of antibody/antigen complexes and analysis of the immunoprecipitates by SDS-PAGE and fluorography. One major parasite polypeptide of 250 000 daltons was found to be exposed to antibody in both species. A labelled band of the same molecular weight could be identified by immunoprecipitation and SDS-PAGE analysis of P. chabaudi-infected cells that had been surface-labelled with periodate/NaB3H4. This molecule also incorporated [3H]glucosamine in short term cultures of mature parasitised erythrocytes. The results suggest that a 250 000 dalton glycoprotein which is synthesised only by late trophozoites or schizonts is exposed either on the surface of the infected erythrocyte, the surface of the merozoite, or both. Furthermore, the exposed portion of the molecule was not immunologically cross-reactive in the two Plasmodium species, but some cross reaction was detectable in total parasite lysates. The significance of these findings to protective immunity is discussed.