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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1994 Jun;65(2):305-15.

OvGalBP, a filarial antigen with homology to vertebrate galactoside-binding proteins.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City 52242.


The increased incidence of "allergic" symptomatology and clinical complications seen in non-endemic individuals with loiasis, as compared to natives of endemic areas, is thought to reflect a heightened immune response to filarial antigens. To identify antigens involved in this hyperresponsiveness, a cDNA library constructed from adult female RNA from the related filarial parasite, Onchocerca volvulus, was screened with serum from a North American who acquired loiasis in West Africa. Sequence analysis of one of the identified clones, OvGalBP, revealed significant homology to the vertebrate S-type lectins, a family of thiol-dependent, metal-independent galactoside binding lectins, which includes an IgE-binding protein thought to be involved in IgE regulation. The 1100-bp insert of OvGalBP contains the entire protein coding region and has a 3' poly(A) tail. The two amino acid consensus sequences (WGxExR and HFNPRF) found in all of the S-type lectins are present. Purified recombinant protein expressed as a fusion with glutathione-S-transferase (OvGalBP-GST) was recognized by sera from a majority of filaria-infected patients but not by putatively immune individuals from an endemic area or by unexposed endemic and non-endemic controls. Interestingly, OvGalBP-GST specifically bound IgE (and not IgG) in a lactose-inhibitable manner, suggesting a potential role for this protein in the pathophysiology of human filarial infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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