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Identification and characterization of merozoite surface protein 1 epitope

Keywords: epitope , supertype , vaccine , malaria , bioinformatics

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Abstract:

Malaria is an important tropical infection which urgently requires intervention of an effective vaccine. Antigenic variations of the parasite and allelic diversity of the host are main problems in the development of an effective malaria vaccine. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) directed against Plasmodium falciparum-derived antigens are shown to play an important role for the protection against malaria. The merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) is expressed in all the four life-cycle stages of Plasmodium falciparum and did not find any sequence similarity to human and mouse reference proteins. MSP1 is a known target of the immune response and a single CTL epitope binding to the HLA-A*0201 is available for merozoite form. Here, we report the results from the computational characterization of MSP1, precursor (1720 residue) and screening of highest scoring potential CTL epitopes for 1712 overlapping peptides binding to thirty four HLA class-I alleles and twelve HLA class-I supertypes (5 HLA-A and 7 HLA-B) using bioinformatics tools. Supertypes are the clustered groups of HLA class-I molecules, representing a sets of molecules that share largely overlapping peptide binding specificity. The prediction results for MSP1 as adhesin and adhesin-like in terms of probability is 1.0. Results also show that MSP1 has orthologs to other related species as well as having non allergenicity and single transmembrane properties demonstrating its suitability as a vaccine candidate. The predicted peptides are expected to be useful in the design of multi-epitope vaccines without compromising the human population coverage.

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