We have identified strain-specific antigens with Camp and St. Lucia strains of P. falciparum of Mr approximately 285,000 and approximately 260,000, respectively. These strain-specific antigens were metabolically labeled with radioactive amino acids, indicating that they were of parasite origin rather than altered host components. These proteins had the properties of a molecule exposed on the surface of infected erythrocytes (IE). First, the proteins are accessible to lactoperoxidase-catalyzed radioiodination of IE. Second, the radioiodinated proteins were cleaved by low concentrations of trypsin (0.1 microgram/ml). Third, these antigens were immunoprecipitated after addition of immune sera to intact IE. Fourth, the strain-specific immuno-precipitation of these proteins correlated with the capacity of immune sera to block cytoadherence of IE in a strain-specific fashion. Fifth, the strain-specific antigen had detergent solubility properties (i.e., insolubility in 1% Triton X-100, solubility in 5% sodium dodecyl sulfate) similar to the variant antigen of P. knowlesi, which has been proven to be a malarial protein exposed on the erythrocyte surface.

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