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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1992 Nov;56(1):103-16.

Identification of a 33-kilodalton immunodominant antigen of Trypanosoma congolense as a cysteine protease.

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International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases, Nairobi, Kenya.


A 33-kDa protein of Trypanosoma congolense is a major antigen in infected cattle and the production of antibody to this antigen appeared to correlate with enhanced resistance to trypanosomiasis [4]. Immunoelectron microscopy using a monoclonal antibody (mAb 4C5) raised against the 33-kDa antigen showed a lysosomal localisation, similar to that of a previously described 32-kDa cysteine protease of T. congolense. Both mAb 4C5 and anti-33 kDa antibody from infected cattle bound on Western blots to the cysteine protease that had been purified by affinity chromatography on cystatin-Sepharose. Sepharose-coupled mAb 4C5 was used to affinity purify the antigen from bloodstream forms of T. congolense. On sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), the affinity-purified antigen had a molecular mass of 33 kDa under non-reducing conditions, and 40 kDa under reducing conditions. Anti-33-kDa antibody from infected cattle bound to both non-reduced and reduced affinity-purified antigen on Western blots. Serum from a rabbit immunised with the biochemically purified enzyme also bound the affinity-purified antigen. The affinity-purified antigen displayed proteolytic activity in fibrinogen-containing SDS-PAGE and against Azocoll. It hydrolysed benzyloxycarbonyl-Phe-Arg-7-amino-methyl coumarin (Z-Phe-Arg-NHMec) with a Km similar to that of the biochemically purified enzyme. Proteolytic and peptidolytic activities of the antigen were inhibited by the inhibitors of cysteine proteases, cystatin and trans-epoxysuccinyl-L-leucyl-amido (4-guanidino)butane (E-64). On two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, the antigen displayed similar characteristics to those of the biochemically purified enzyme. We conclude that the 33-kDa antigen of T. congolense and the cysteine protease are the same molecule.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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