Apical membrane antigen 1 is a microneme protein which plays an indispensable role during Apicomplexa parasite invasion. The detailed mechanism of AMA-1 molecular interaction with its receptor on bovine erythrocytes has not been completely defined in Babesia bovis. This study was focused on identifying the minimum B. bovis AMA-1-derived regions governing specific and high-affinity binding to its target cells. Different approaches were used for detecting ama-1 locus genetic variability and natural selection signatures. The binding properties of twelve highly conserved 20-residue-long peptides were evaluated using a sensitive and specific binding assay based on radio-iodination. B. bovis AMA-1 ectodomain structure was modelled and refined using molecular modelling software. NetMHCIIpan software was used for calculating B-and T-cell epitopes. The B. bovis ama-1 gene had regions under functional constraint, having the highest negative selective pressure intensity in the Domain I encoding region. Interestingly, B. bovis AMA-1-DI (100YMQKFDIPRNHGSGIYVDLG119 and120GYESVGSKSYRMPVGKCPVV139 ) and DII (302CPMHPVRDAIFGKWSGGSCV321 )-derived peptides had high specificity interaction with erythrocytes and bound to a chymotrypsin and neuraminidase-treatment sensitive receptor. DI-derived peptides appear to be exposed on the protein’s surface and contain predicted B-and T-cell epitopes. These findings provide data (for the first-time) concerning B. bovis AMA-1 functional subunits which are important for establishing receptor-ligand interactions which could be used in synthetic vaccine development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry