Analysis of Plasmodium falciparum antigens expressed in Escherichia coli has identified several different proteins as potential vaccine components. Fragments of one of these antigens, the ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen (RESA) have been used to protect Aotus monkeys against overwhelming infection with P. falciparum. In this vaccine, trial protection correlated with antibody responses to two of three repetitive sequences in RESA. RESA is released from merozoites and becomes associated with the erythrocyte membrane at the time of merozoite invasion. The 3' repeat structure of RESA encodes a polyacidic sequence that has homology with the N-terminal sequence (cytoplasmic domain) of band 3, the erythrocyte anion transporter. These homologous sequences both include a recognition sequence for a protein tyrosine kinase. It is postulated that RESA disrupts the normal intermolecular interactions of the cytoplasmic domain of band 3 and that phosphorylation of RESA by an erythrocyte membrane kinase in some way regulates this function of RESA.