Changes in repeat number, sequence, and reading frame in S-antigen genes of Plasmodium falciparum. Academic Article uri icon


  • The S antigens from different isolates of Plasmodium falciparum exhibit extensive size, charge, and serological diversity. We show here that the S-antigen genes behave as multiple alleles of a single locus. The size heterogeneity results from different numbers, lengths, and/or sequences of tandem repeat units encoded within the S-antigen genes. Two genes studied here encode antigenically different S antigens but nevertheless have closely related tandem repeat sequences. We show that antigenic differences can arise because repeats are translated in different reading frames.


  • Saint, RB
  • Coppel, RL
  • Cowman, AF
  • Brown, GV
  • Shi, PT
  • Barzaga, N
  • Kemp, DJ
  • Anders, RF

publication date

  • August 1987