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FEBS Lett. 1992 Feb 3;297(1-2):70-6.

SP-40,40, a protein involved in the control of the complement pathway, possesses a unique array of disulphide bridges.

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Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.


SP-40,40 is a two-chain serum protein which acts in vitro as a potent inhibitor of the assembly of the membrane attack complex of human complement. It contains 10 cysteine residues, the numbers and locations of which are conserved in several mammalian species. Evidence is presented that all the cysteine residues are involved in interchain (alpha-beta) disulphide bonds. There are no free cysteine residues. The disulphide bond motif established in this study for SP-40,40 is unique and bears no obvious homology to those complement components whose disulphide bonds have been assigned, nor is there any homology apparent between SP-40,40 and other multi-chain proteins containing disulphide bonds.

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