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The repetitive amino acid sequences encoded within the CR are remarkably conserved (only two amino acid motifs are known in P. falciparum, NANP and NVDP; Table 4), but there is a fair deal of synonymous nucleotide polymorphism among the repeats (Table 5). We have introduced the concept of the repeat allotype (RAT) to refer to variant nucleotide sequences that encode a single amino acid motif (Rich et al., 1997). Among the known Csp gene sequences of P. falciparum, there are 10 RATs that encode the NANP motif and four RATs that encode the NVDP motif, with an average of about 10 RATs per gene sequence (range 9–11; see Table 6). Table 4 displays the arrangement of the two amino acid motifs in 25 gene sequences of P. falciparum and one of P. reichenowi. The alignment of the RATs can be found in Rich et al. (1997; see also Ayala et al., 1999). The only known sequence of Csp in P. reichenowi is somewhat shorter than those of falciparum (35 rather than about 45 repeats per sequence, on average), but has a similar number of distinct RATs (10, the

TABLE 4. Composition of the CR of the Csp gene

   

Number of repeats

Sequence

Repeat motifs

1

2

3

M15505

1212111111111111111211111111111111111111111111

43

3

0

M83173

1212111111111111111211111111111111111111111111

43

3

0

M83149

12121211111111111111111111111111111111111111

41

3

0

M83150

12121111111111111112111111111111111111111111111

44

3

0

M83156

121211111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

49

2

0

M83158

1212121211111111111111111111111111111111111111

42

4

0

M83161

1212121111111111111111111211111111111111111.

39

4

0

M83163

12121111111111111112111111111111111111111111111

43

3

0

M83164

12121111111111111112111111111111111111111111111

46

3

0

M83165

1212121111111111111111111111111111111111111ili

43

3

0

M83166

1212121211111111111111111111111111111111111111

42

4

0

M83167

12121211111111111111111111111111111111111111111

46

3

0

M83168

1212121211111111111111111111111111111111111111

42

4

0

M83169

12121211111111111111111111111111111111111111

41

3

0

M83170

1212121211111111111111111111111111111111111111

42

4

0

M83174

1212121111111111211111111111111111111111111

39

4

0

M19752

12121211111111111111111111111111111111111111

41

3

0

M83172

121212111111111111111121111111111111111111

38

4

0

K02194

12121211111111111111121111111111111111111

37

4

0

M57499

12121212111111111111111111111111111111111111

40

4

0

U20969

1212121111111111111112111111111111111111

36

4

0

M83886

121212111111111111111112111111111111111111

38

4

0

M22982

12121211111111111111111112111111111111111111

40

4

0

X15363

12121211111111111111111112111111111111111111

40

4

0

M57498

12121211111111111111121111111111111111111

37

4

0

P. reichenowi

12121212131213131311111111111111111

26

5

4

The repeat motifs NANP, NVDP, and NVNP are represented by 1, 2, and3, respectively. Adapted from Ayala et al., (1999).



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