Heterogeneous expression and functional analysis of two distinct replication protein A large subunits from Cryptosporidium parvum. Academic Article uri icon


  • Replication protein A is a single stranded DNA-binding protein that has multiple roles in eukaryotic DNA metabolism. Typically, eukaryotic replication protein A is a stable heterotrimeric complex with three subunits of 70 kDa (RPA1), 32 kDa (RPA2) and 14 kDa (RPA3). We have previously cloned and characterised an RPA1 subunit from Cryptosporidium parvum, which shares high homology with other eukaryotic replication protein A 1 proteins, but lacks an N-terminal domain. Here, we have identified a second replication protein A 1 (termed CpRPA1B) from the ongoing C. parvum genome-sequencing project. The deduced protein sequence to CpRPA1B shows only 16% sequence identity with CpRPA1, indicating that two different types of RPA1 subunits are present in C. parvum. The CpRPA1B gene predicts a 75.5 kDa peptide similar in size to those of higher eukaryotes, but in contrast to the 53.9 kDa N-terminal short-type CpRPA1 protein. However, western blot analysis suggested that, although the entire CpRPA1B open reading frame might be translated, the protein may be cleaved by posttranslational modification, similar to that observed with the replication protein A 1 gene product in Plasmodium falciparum. Indirect immunofluorescence studies indicated a diffused pattern for both proteins in sporozoites. However, differential localisation was observed with CpRPA1 to the anterior region that contains the apical-complex and CpRPA1B to the central region in/or around the nuclei of the sporozoites. Both CpRPA1 and CpRPA1B full-length open reading frames were expressed for functionality assays. The CpRPA1 and CpRPA1B recombinant proteins were expressed in bacterial Escherichia coli as maltose-binding protein fusion proteins and the entire fusion proteins were assayed for their DNA-binding properties. Studies indicate that CpRPA1B binds ssDNA of >or=5 nucleotides (dT), while CpRPA1 only binds ssDNA >or=20 nucleotides (dT). This study indicates that C. parvum possesses two different types of replication protein A large subunits (replication protein A 1), both differing significantly from their hosts.

published proceedings

  • Int J Parasitol

author list (cited authors)

  • Millership, J. J., & Zhu, G.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Millership, Jason J||Zhu, Guan

publication date

  • January 2002