Interaction of Plasmodium gallinaceum ookinetes and oocysts with extracellular matrix proteins

A. Adini, A. Warburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Plasmodium ookinetes are elongate, motile and invasive while inside the mosquito gut but promptly metamorphose into spherical immobile oocysts upon coming in contact with the basement membrane surrounding the midgut. There they begin a prolonged growth period characterized by massive DNA synthesis for the production of sporozoites. Living Plasmodium gallinaceum ookinetes attached avidly to the murine extracellular matris proteins, laminin and collagen type IV. In ELISA-type assays, the main ookinete surface protein, Pgs28 was implicated as a mediator of parasite attachment to these basement membrane constituents. Laminin and collagen IV adhered to ookinete and oocyst lysates spotted onto nitrocellulose membranes. Receptor-ligand blot assays demonstrated that Pgs28 and an oocyst-specific antigen recognized by the mAb 10D6 interact with murine collagen IV and laminin. 10D6 antigen was also recognized by monospecific antiserum against the human epidermal growth factor receptor. Mosquito-derived laminin was incorporated into oocyst capsules of P. gallinaceum growing in Aedes aegypti. We hypothesize that contact with the mosquito basement membrane triggers the transformation of ookinetes into oocysts. Coalescence of basement membrane proteins onto the capsules masks developing oocysts from the mosquito's immune system and facilitates their prolonged extracellular development in the mosquito body cavity.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)331-336
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


  • Basement membrane
  • Collagen type IV
  • Laminin
  • Oocyst
  • Ookinete
  • Plasmodium gallinaceum


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