A well-conserved Plasmodium falciparum var gene shows an unusual stage-specific transcript pattern.
The var multicopy gene family encodes Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) variant antigens, which, through their ability to adhere to a variety of host receptors, are thought to be important virulence factors. The predominant expression of a single cytoadherent PfEMP1 type on an infected red blood cell, and the switching between different PfEMP1 types to evade host protective antibody responses, are processes thought to be controlled at the transcriptional level. Con...Expand abstract
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