ABSTRACT. Giardia lamblia trophozoites express on their surfaces one of a set of cysteine‐rich antigenically variant proteins, called variant‐specific surface proteins, which comprise the majority of proteins detected by surface labeling. While these VSP proteins may be immunodominant proteins important in the host immune response to G. lamblia, the ability to switch expression from one VSP to another may provide a means for the trophozoites to avoid the host immune response. The first VSP characterized, VSPA6 (from the A6 clone of the WB isolate, originally termed CRP170), contains 18–23 copies of a 65 amino acid repeat. We have now used the repeat as a probe to isolate from a WBA6 genomic library two genes related to vspA6 (called vspA6‐S1, vspA6‐S2). Sequence analysis of the vspA6‐S1 gene revealed nearly two complete copies of the 195 bp repeat and substantial nucleotide and translated amino acid similarity in the coding regions 5’and 3’to the repeats. The vspA6‐S2 gene, while still related, showed greater divergence from vspA6 than vspA6‐S1 in the nonrepeat coding region and contained nearly four copies of a 201 bp repeat that was 75% identical to the 195 bp vspA6 repeat. These results suggest that gene duplication followed by divergence has played a key role in the generation of the vsp gene repertoire.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology|
|Publication status||Published - Sept 1995|
- Antigenic variation
- gene family
- tandem repeat