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© Research
Publication : Nature medicine

A B-cell mitogen from a pathogenic trypanosome is a eukaryotic proline racemase

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Nature medicine - 01 Aug 2000

Reina-San-Martín B, Degrave W, Rougeot C, Cosson A, Chamond N, Cordeiro-Da-Silva A, Arala-Chaves M, Coutinho A, Minoprio P

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 10932226

Nat. Med. 2000 Aug;6(8):890-7

Lymphocyte polyclonal activation is a generalized mechanism of immune evasion among pathogens. In a mouse model of Trypanosoma cruzi infection (American trypanosomiasis), reduced levels of polyclonal lymphocyte responses correlate with resistance to infection and cardiopathy. We report here the characterization of a parasite protein with B-cell mitogenic properties in culture supernatants of infective forms, the cloning of the corresponding gene and the analysis of the biological properties of its product. We characterized the protein as a co-factor-independent proline racemase, and show that its expression as a cytoplasmic and/or membrane-associated protein is life-stage specific. Inhibition studies indicate that availability of the racemase active site is necessary for mitogenic activity. This is the first report to our knowledge of a eukaryotic amino acid racemase gene. Our findings have potential consequences for the development of new immune therapies and drug design against pathogens.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10932226