Plasmodium circumsporozoite protein (IPR003067)

Short name: Crcmsprzoite

Overlapping homologous superfamilies


Family relationships



The circumsporozoite (CS) protein is the most prominant surface antigen on the sporozoite of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium spp. The sporozoite is the infectious stage of the Plasmodium life cycle, the form in which malaria is passed from the mosquito vector to the mammalian host [PMID: 10639441]. Antibodies to this protein are used in the field to detect exposure to malaria [PMID: 10643909] and it is a target for several vaccines [PMID: 10697892].

The sequence of the CS protein consists of head and tail regions, which are largely conserved, and a large set of low-complexity repeats, which are variant across strain and species [PMID: 3802196]. The C-terminal region is probably used for anchoring the protein to the cell membrane, while the central repeat sequences would be the surface antigen of the organism. The repeats, which encode the immunodominant epitope of the CS protein (see IPR000884), diverge more rapidly than the remainder of the gene. It is thought that the maintenance and evolution of the repeats is achieved via a mechanism that acts not at the protein level, but rather directly on the DNA sequence [PMID: 3802196].

GO terms

Biological Process

No terms assigned in this category.

Molecular Function

No terms assigned in this category.

Cellular Component

GO:0009986 cell surface

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.