Glycophorin A is a major receptor on human erythrocytes for Plasmodium falciparum, the human malaria parasite. In this work, we have produced four glycophorin A-specific mAb: 2B10, 1E4, 3H12, and 3H2. 2B10 was mapped to the amino terminal region of glycophorin (amino acids 1-31), and its binding to erythrocytes was fully dependent on sialic acid residues. 3H2 bound to the region close to the cell membrane, and its binding to Wr (b-) erythrocytes was significantly decreased, compared with its binding to Wr (b+) erythrocytes. 1E4 and 3H12 recognized sites between those identified by 2B10 and 3H2. Pf200 (MSA-1) is a surface protein on the P. falciparum merozoite which has been shown to bind to erythrocytes. By reciprocal inhibition assays, 2B10 and MSA-1 could be shown to share the same determinant on erythrocytes. Using an in vitro assay, we have shown that 2B10 was the most efficient inhibitor of the invasion of human erythrocytes by P. falciparum merozoites. We conclude that the binding site for MSA-1 is primarily located on the amino terminal region, amino acids 1-31, of glycophorin A, and that 2B10 is valuable for additional study of the interactions between P. falciparum merozoites and human erythrocytes.

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