Plasmodium falciparum: Release of circumsporozoite protein by sporozoites in the mosquito vector

John C. Beier, Jefferson A. Vaughan, Aya Madani, Bruce H. Noden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The release of Circumsporozoite (CS) protein by Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites was investigated to identify factors regulating this process within infected Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes. The potential for sporozoites to release CS protein in vitro was not dependent upon their site-specific developmental stage (i.e., mature oocysts, hemolymph, salivary glands), their duration in the vector, or their exposure to mosquito-derived components such as salivary glands or hemolymph. The capacity of sporozoites to release CS protein was depressed by mosquito blood feeding during periods of sporozoite migration to the salivary glands, but the effect was only temporary and those sporozoites already in the glands were not affected. Free CS protein in the salivary glands was present in 93.3% of 45 infective mosquitoes. Sporozoites from these same, individual mosquitoes were also tested in vitro for CS protein release. In both cases, the amount of soluble CS protein increased as a function of sporozoite density but the total amount of CS protein per sporozoite became progressively less with increasing numbers of sporozoites. Further experiments showed that sporozoite contact with increasing amounts of soluble CS protein caused a down-regulation of CS protein release. Thus, a primary factor regulating the production and release of CS protein by sporozoites is their contact with soluble CS protein within the mosquito.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-256
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Anopheles gambiae
  • Circumsporozoite protein
  • Malaria
  • Mosquito
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Sporozoite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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