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J Biol Chem. 2002 Jun 14;277(24):21691-6. Epub 2002 Mar 28.

Crystal structure of Lyme disease variable surface antigen VlsE of Borrelia burgdorferi.

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  • 1Center for Structural Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-2128, USA.

Abstract

VlsE is an outer surface lipoprotein of Borrelia burgdorferi that undergoes antigenic variation through an elaborate gene conversion mechanism and is thought to play a major role in the immune response to the Lyme disease borellia. The crystal structure of recombinant variant protein VlsE1 at 2.3-A resolution reveals that the six variable regions form loop structures that constitute most of the membrane distal surface of VlsE, covering the predominantly alpha-helical, invariant regions of the protein. The surface localization of the variable amino acid segments appears to protect the conserved regions from interaction with antibodies and hence may contribute to immune evasion.

PMID:
11923306
DOI:
10.1074/jbc.M201547200
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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