Merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) of malaria parasites undergoes proteolytic processing at least twice before invasion into a new RBC. The 42-kDa fragment, a product of primary processing, is cleaved by proteolytic enzymes giving rise to MSP133, which is shed from the merozoite surface, and MSP119, which is the only fragment carried into a new RBC. In this study, we have identified T cell epitopes on MSP133 of Plasmodium yoelii and have examined their function in immunity to blood stage malaria. Peptides 20 aa in length, spanning the length of MSP133 and overlapping each other by 10 aa, were analyzed for their ability to induce T cell proliferation in immunized BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. Multiple epitopes were recognized by these two strains of mice. Effector functions of the dominant epitopes were then investigated. Peptides Cm15 and Cm21 were of particular interest as they were able to induce effector T cells capable of delaying growth of lethal P. yoelii YM following adoptive transfer into immunodeficient mice without inducing detectable Ab responses. Homologs of these epitopes could be candidates for inclusion in a subunit vaccine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy