The ves multigene family of B. bovis encodes components of rapid antigenic variation at the infected erythrocyte surface

David R. Allred, Jane M.R. Carlton, Ryan L. Satcher, Jennifer A. Long, Wendy C. Brown, Paula E. Patterson, Roberta M. O'Connor, Suzanne E. Stroup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

B. bovis, an intraerythrocytic protozoal parasite, establishes chronic infections in cattle in part through rapid variation of the polymorphic, heterodimeric VESA1 protein on the infected erythrocyte surface and sequestration of mature parasites. We describe the characterization of the ves1α gene encoding the VESA1a subunit, thus providing a description of a gene whose product is involved in rapid antigenic variation in a babesial parasite. This three-exon gene, a member of a multigene family (ves), encodes a polypeptide with no cleavable signal sequence, a single predicted transmembrane segment, and a cysteine/lysine-rich domain. Variation appears to involve creation and modification or loss of a novel, transcribed copy of the gene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Cell
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Greta Reutter, Brian Stephens, Jen Bansel, Ilene Serentill, Seth Mendelson, and Jessica Noggle for their excellent assistance and Terry McElwain for the Australia isolate. Anthony Barbet and Nancy Denslow provided helpful discussions and advice. This work was supported by grants from the U. S. Department of Agriculture (93–37204–9115, 95–37204–2140, and 97–35204–4768) and the American Heart Association, Florida Affiliate (9810077FL).

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