Characterization of an S antigen synthesized by several isolates of Plasmodium falciparum. Academic Article uri icon


  • The S antigen of a Papua New Guinean isolate of Plasmodium falciparum was identified by immunoblotting as the dominant antigen in culture supernatants. An antigen identical in molecular weight (Mr 220,000), isoelectric point (pI 4.2), and immunoreactivity with sera from individuals exposed to malaria was expressed by four Papua New Guinean isolates and one isolate of unknown origin. The Mr 220,000 antigen was not detected in culture supernatants derived from two isolates from Thailand and one from Ghana. The Mr 220,000, pI 4.2 S antigen may characterize a subpopulation of parasites common to many isolates of P. falciparum, which is selected for by continuous culture in vitro. A variant S antigen, 30 kilodaltons larger but with similar immunoreactivity, was expressed by 1 of 26 clonal populations derived by limit-dilution culture from one of the Papua New Guinean isolates of P. falciparum. The characteristics of the S antigen, defined by immunoblotting, allowed it to be identified in two-dimensional separations of [35S]methionine-labeled parasite proteins, thus confirming the parasite origin of the antigen.

publication date

  • November 1, 1983