Journal of Parasitic Diseases

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 269–276 | Cite as

Bioinformatics analysis of single and multi-hybrid epitopes of GRA-1, GRA-4, GRA-6 and GRA-7 proteins to improve DNA vaccine design against Toxoplasma gondii

  • Minoo Shaddel
  • Mansour Ebrahimi
  • Mohammad Reza Tabandeh
Original Article


Toxoplasma gondii, is a causative agent of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised and congenitally-infected individuals. Attempts to construct DNA vaccines against T. gondii using surface proteins are increasing. The dense granule antigens are highly expressed in the acute and chronic phases of T. gondii infection and considered as suitable DNA vaccine candidates to control toxoplasmosis. In the present study, bioinformatics tools and online software were used to predict, analyze and compare the structural, physical and chemical characters and immunogenicity of the GRA-1, GRA-4, GRA-6 and GRA-7 proteins. Sequence alignment results indicated that the GRA-1, GRA-4, GRA-6 and GRA-7 proteins had low similarity. The secondary structure prediction demonstrated that among the four proteins, GRA-1 and GRA-6 had similar secondary structure except for a little discrepancy. Hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity analysis showed multiple hydrophilic regions and some classical high hydrophilic domains for each protein sequence. Immunogenic epitope prediction results demonstrated that the GRA-1 and GRA-4 epitopes were stable and GRA-4 showed the highest degree of antigenicity. Although the GRA-7 epitope had the highest score of immunogenicity, this epitope was instable and had the lowest degree of antigenicity and half-time in eukaryotic cell. Also, the results indicated that GRA4–GRA7 epitope and GRA6–GRA7 had the highest degree of antigenicity and immunogenicity among multi-hybrid epitopes, respectively. Totally, in the present study, single epitopes showed the highest degree of antigenicity compared with multi-hybrid epitopes. Given the results, it can be concluded that GRA-4 and GRA-7 can be powerful DNA vaccine candidates against T. gondii.


Bioinformatics analysis Toxoplasma gondii GRA proteins DNA vaccine 



We would like to acknowledge the Aja University of Medical Sciences management for supporting us to do this study.

Author contributions

All authors contributed extensively to the present study. M.S, M.E and MR.T designed the study; M.E and MR.T collected and analyzed Data; M.E and M.S wrote the main manuscript. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript at all stages.


This study was funded by Aja University of Medical Sciences (Grant No. 695520).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Indian Society for Parasitology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Parasitology, Faculty of MedicineAja University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineShahid Chamran University of AhvazAhvazIran
  3. 3.Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineShahid Chamran University of AhvazAhvazIran

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