Mimicry of elastin repetitive motifs by Theileria annulata sporozoite surface antigen

Roger Hall, Philip D. Hunt, Mark Carrington, David Simmons, Susanna Williamson, Robert P. Mecham, Andrew Tait

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Theileria annulata is an important pathogen of cattle in the tropics. The gene sequence of a sporozoite surface antigen (SPAG-1) is reported. Data is also presented demonstrating that SPAG-1 is synthesised as a large precursor. This antigen, which is a candidate for inclusion in a subunit vaccine, shows a remarkable degree of molecular mimicry to the extracellular matrix protein elastin. It contains both repetitive motifs PGVGV and VGVAPG. Immunofluorescence using a monoclonal antibody against VGVAPG confirmed that this peptide is expressed on sporozoites as predicted. The presence of VGVAPG is particularly interesting since this is the ligand for elastin receptors on a range of cell types, including macrophages/monocytes which are a major class of host target cells. It is proposed that this antigen represents the ligand whereby T. annulata recognises its host cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 1992


  • Elastin
  • Molecular mimicry
  • Receptor-ligand
  • Sporozoite antigen
  • Subunit vaccine
  • Theileria annulata


Dive into the research topics of 'Mimicry of elastin repetitive motifs by Theileria annulata sporozoite surface antigen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this