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Immunology. 1988 Oct;65(2):299-303.

gp 58/68, a parasite component that contributes to the escape of the trypomastigote form of T. cruzi from damage by the human alternative complement pathway.

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INSERM U28, Hôpital Broussais, Paris, France.


A glycoprotein of apparent molecular weight 58,000 (unreduced)/68,000 (in its reduced form) (gp 58/68), which is one of the fibronectin/collagen receptors of Trypanosoma cruzi, was purified to homogeneity from the trypomastigote forms of the Tehuantepec and Y strains of the parasite. Purified gp 58/68 inhibited formation of cell-bound and fluid-phase alternative pathway C3 convertase in a dose-dependent fashion, as assessed using purified human complement components. Gp 58/68 differed from the human regulatory proteins H, DAF, MCP and CR1 and from previously reported regulatory proteins on the parasite membrane in that it was unable to enhance decay-dissociation of preformed alternative pathway C3 convertase sites, did not serve as a co-factor for I-mediated cleavage of C3b and had no inhibitory activity on the classical pathway convertases. The inhibitory effect of gp 58/68 was most likely dependent on an interaction of the protein with factor B rather than with C3b. Gp 58/68 provides trypomastigotes with an additional potential mechanism for escaping complement lysis by the human alternative pathway.

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