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Analysis of Apical Membrane Antigen (AMA)-1 characteristics using bioinformatics tools in order to vaccine design against Plasmodium vivax

Jahangiri, Farhad, Jalallou, Nahid, Ebrahimi, Mansour
Infection, genetics, and evolution 2019 v.71 pp. 224-231
B-lymphocytes, Plasmodium vivax, Protozoa, T-lymphocytes, bioinformatics, disulfide bonds, epitopes, humoral immunity, hydrophilicity, malaria, malaria vaccines, parasites, prediction, proteins, surface antigens, vaccine development
Plasmodium vivax, an intracellular protozoan, causes malaria which is characterized by fever, anemia, respiratory distress, liver and spleen enlargement. In spite of attempts to design an efficient vaccine, there is not a vaccine against P. vivax. Notable advances have recently achieved in the development of malaria vaccines targeting the surface antigens such as Apical Membrane Antigens (AMA)-1. AMA-1 is a micronemal protein synthesized during the erythrocyte-stage of Plasmodium species and plays a significant role in the invasion process of the parasite into host cells. P. vivax AMA-1 (PvAMA-1) can induce strong cellular and humoral responses, indicating that it can be an ideal candidate of vaccine against malaria. Identification and prediction of proteins characteristics increase our knowledge about them and leads to develop vaccine and diagnostic studies. In the present study several valid bioinformatics tools were applied to analyze the various characteristics of AMA-1 such as physical and chemical properties, secondary and tertiary structures, B- cell and T-cell prediction and other important features in order to introduce potential epitopes for designing a high-efficient vaccine. The results demonstrated that this protein had 57 potential PTM sites and only one transmembrane domain on its sequence. Also, multiple hydrophilic regions and classical high hydrophilic domains were predicted. Secondary structure prediction revealed that the proportions of random coil, alpha-helix and extended strand in the AMA-1 sequence were 53.74%, 27.22%, and 19.4%, respectively. Moreover, 5 disulfide bonds were predicted at positions 14–21aa, 162–192aa, 208–220aa, 247–265aa and 354–363aa. The data obtained from B-cell and T-cell epitopes prediction showed that there were several potential epitopes on AMA-1 that can be proper targets for diagnostic and vaccine studies. The current study presented interesting basic and theoretical information regarding PvAMA-1, being important for further studies in order to design a high-efficiency vaccine against malaria.