Addition of the MSA1 signal and anchor sequences to the malaria merozoite surface antigen 1 C-terminal region enhances immunogenicity when expressed by recombinant vaccinia virus.
Yang S., Carroll MW., Torres-Duarte AP., Moss B., Davidson EA.
Genes encoding four different C-terminal fragments of a Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface antigen were generated: MSA1C-(Si,A), containing signal and anchor regions of MSA1; MSA1C-(Si,nA), containing the signal but not the anchor; MSA1C-(nSi,A), containing the anchor but not the signal, and MSA1C-(nSi,nA) containing neither the signal nor the anchor region. Each gene was inserted into the thymidine kinase region of vaccinia virus, under the control of a synthetic strong early/ late promoter. When the plasmodial genes were expressed in cells infected by the recombinant vaccinia virus, the two proteins containing the signal region were transported to the surface of infected cells. Infection of mice and rabbits with the latter recombinant viruses stimulated C-terminal-specific antibody levels that were 10-80-fold higher than those induced by the two recombinant viruses without the signal region. The combination of the signal and anchor regions with the C-terminal MSA1 protein also generated the most effective neutralization in a P. falciparum invasion assay.