Table of Contents
Scholarly Research Exchange
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 824949, 10 pages
Research Article

Analysis of PfEMP1—var Gene Sequences in Different Plasmodium falciparum Malarial Parasites

1Molecular Biology Research Laboratory, Department of Zoology and Centre for Advanced Studies, University of Pune, Pune 411007, India
2Malaria Section, National Centre for Cell Science, Pune 411007, India

Received 4 September 2008; Accepted 5 February 2009

Copyright © 2009 Aarti Ozarkar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Plasmodium falciparum synthesizes P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein-1 (PfEMP-1), a product of the multicopy var gene family, which localizes on the surface of infected erythrocytes. This protein plays an important role in cytoadherence and immune evasion. Comparative analysis of the molecular sequences of the DBLα domain of the var gene from different isolates of the parasite reveals variations in the number of cysteines and presence of small conserved motifs like DGEA, RGD, GAG-binding motifs. Phylogenetic analysis while highlighting the extensive diversity leads to clustered them in separate clades far apart from each other. Discriminant factor analysis of physicochemical properties of amino acid sequences revealed that the aliphatic index, isoelectric point, and instability index have more effect in deciding the variance of different isolates sequences. The origin of diverse repertoire of the DBLα domain in the parasites highlights the complexity of host-parasite relationship in the context of parasite survival.