The complete sequence of the gene for the knob-associated histidine-rich protein from Plasmodium falciparum. Academic Article uri icon


  • 'Knobs' at the surface of erythrocytes infected with mature stages of Plasmodium falciparum are believed to be important in adherence of these cells to capillary walls. They contain at least one parasite protein, designated the knob-associated histidine-rich protein (KAHRP). We present here the sequences of a cDNA and chromosomal clone that predict the complete sequence of KAHRP. The gene contains a single intervening sequence, located at the 3' boundary of the hydrophobic core of a putative signal sequence. Exon two encodes a short region that is rich in histidine as well as two separate regions of repetitive sequence, the 5' repeats (five copies related to SKKHKDNEDAESVK) and the 3' repeats (seven copies related to SKGATKEAST). These repeat blocks were both shown to bear epitopes recognized by the human immune system during natural infection by expressing them separately in Escherichia coli, and reacting human antibodies affinity-purified on lysates of the resulting clones with the corresponding synthetic oligopeptides. The 3' end of the molecule, presumably the repetitive region, is a site of size variation in KAHRP from different isolates.


  • Triglia, T
  • Stahl, HD
  • Crewther, PE
  • Scanlon, D
  • Brown, GV
  • Anders, RF
  • Kemp, DJ

publication date

  • May 1987