Product(s) used in this publication: PepStar™ Peptide Microarrays
Studies on Pf332, a major Plasmodium falciparum blood-stage antigen, have largely been hampered by the cross-reactive nature of antibodies generated against the molecule due to its high content of repeats, which are present in other malaria antigens. We previously reported the identification of a conserved domain in Pf332 with a high degree of similarity to the Duffy-binding-like (DBL) domains of the erythrocyte-binding-like (EBL) family. We here describe that antibodies towards Pf332-DBL are induced after repeated exposure to P. falciparum and that they are acquired early in life in areas of intense malaria transmission. Furthermore, a homology model of Pf332-DBL was found to be similar to the structure of the EBL-DBLs. Despite their similarities, antibodies towards Pf332-DBL did not display any cross-reactivity with EBL-proteins as demonstrated by immunofluorescence microscopy, Western blotting, and peptide microarray. Thus the DBL domain is an attractive region to use in further studies on the giant Pf332 molecule.