Molecular characterization of a third malic enzyme-like AP65 adhesin gene of Trichomonas vaginalis

J. L. O'Brien, C. M. Lauriano, J. F. Alderete

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30 Scopus citations


Adherence to the vaginal epithelium by the sexually transmitted parasite Trichomonas vaginalis is mediated by four trichomonad surface proteins (AP65, AP51, AP33 and AP23). We recently showed that the 65-kDa adhesin is a member of a multigene family comprised of two similar but distinct proteins, AP65-1 and AP65-2, encoded by the genes ap65-1 and ap65-2, respectively. An additional immuno-crossreactive clone, the 1.2 kb F11.1 cDNA, was isolated from a phagemid expression library and encoded e fusion protein of ~46 000 daltons (46 kDa) that bound to HeLa cell surfaces. A significant portion of the 5' end was missing which, using the 5'-RACE method, was obtained and combined with the F11.1 clone to give a full-length cDNA. The ap65-3 gene encoded for a protein of 567 amine acids with a molecular mass of 63.1 kDa. The gene showed 88% and 96% identity at the DNA level with ap65-1 and ap65- 2, respectively. Restriction mapping confirmed that the three AP65 genes are different. Southern analysis revealed that the ap65-3 gene is present in the T. vaginalis genome in multiple copies. Experiments with agar clones of trichomonads showed that each gene of the multigene family is present in all parasites, and Northern analysis showed that ap65-3 is expressed and transcriptionally regulated by iron. The ap65-3 gene had a leader sequence and, as with ap65-1 and ap65-2, showed significant homology to malic enzyme. Finally, analysis of the 3'-untranslated regions revealed that the transcript of ap65-3 had a long poly (A) tail in comparison to ap65-1 and ap65-2. Even more intriguing, sequences were found that may relate to differential degradation of select AP65 transcripts, such as the sequence motifs AUUUA for ap65-1 mRNA and UUAUUUAU for the ap65-2 mRNA, which were not found for ap65- 3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-349
Number of pages15
JournalMicrobial Pathogenesis
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1996


  • Adhesins
  • cDNAs
  • cytoadherence
  • host-parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis
  • virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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