9.B.399.  The Merozoite Surface Protein (MSP) Family 

Members of the MSP family are present in Plasmodium falciparum. Some members of this family (MSP4 and MSP5) arose by gene duplication, They are encoded within a gene cluster arranged in the order msp4, msp5, msp2 and asl genes where Asl is an adenylosuccinate lyase (ASL), an enzyme involved in purine biosynthesis and salvage (Polson et al. 2005). Msp4 and Msp5 (both of 272 aas) have two TMSs, N- and C-terminal.



Marshall, V.M., W. Tieqiao, and R.L. Coppel. (1998). Close linkage of three merozoite surface protein genes on chromosome 2 of Plasmodium falciparum. Mol Biochem Parasitol 94: 13-25.

Polson, H.E., D.J. Conway, T. Fandeur, O. Mercereau-Puijalon, and S. Longacre. (2005). Gene polymorphism of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface proteins 4 and 5. Mol Biochem Parasitol 142: 110-115.


TC#NameOrganismal TypeExample

MSP4 of 272 aas and 2 TMSs, N- and C-terminal (Marshall et al. 1998). The gene encoding MSP5 is of the same structure and length as MSP4, and the two genes are adjacent to each other.

MSP4 of Plasmodium falciparum


MSP5 of 272 aas and 2 TMSs, N- and C-terminal.

MSP5 of Plasmodium falciparum


Merozoite surface protein 4/5, MSP4/5, of 210 aas and 2 TMSs, N- and C-terminal.

MSP4/5 of Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi


TC#NameOrganismal TypeExample

Merozoite surface protein 2, MSP2, of 287 aas and 2 TMSs, N- and C-terminal.

MSP2 of Plasmodium falciparum


Merozoite surface protein 2 of 276 aas and 2 TMSs, N- and C-terminal.

MSP2 of Plasmodium sp. DRC-Itaito