Variants of a Leishmania surface antigen derived from a multigenic family Academic Article uri icon


  • The promastigote surface antigen-2 (PSA-2) complex comprises a group of immunogenic surface antigens linked to the surface of the Leishmania major promastigote with glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchors. The L. major genome contains at least 14 PSA-2 genes on a 950-kilobase chromosome and comprising approximately 20% of the length of this chromosome. The sequence of three independent, but incomplete, PSA-2 cDNAs and one genomic fragment encoding a complete PSA-2 coding sequence were compared. PSA-2 genes encode polypeptides exhibiting 22-25aa tandem repeat elements, threonine-rich segments which vary between genes, a conserved COOH-terminal cysteine-rich region, and a conserved GPI anchor signal sequence. PSA-2 genes appear to be transcribed in a complex manner with multiple RNAs. The complex genomic organization of PSA-2 genes is present in other members of the genus suggesting that PSA-2 function is important for the biology of Leishmania.

publication date

  • December 1, 1991

has subject area