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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Identification of the trypanocidal factor in normal human serum: high density lipoprotein.

The differentiation of Trypanosoma brucei from T. rhodesiense, the causative agent of human sleeping sickness, depends on their relative sensitivities to the cytotoxic effects of normal human serum. The molecule responsible for the specific lysis of T. brucei has now been isolated. Serum lipoproteins were fractionated and purified by ultracentrifugal flotation and chromatography on Bio-Gel A-5m. Trypanocidal activity was recovered in the high density lipoprotein fraction (density, 1.063-1.216 g/ml). Contamination by other serum proteins was checked by crossed immunoelectrophoresis and sodium dodecyl sulfate/acrylamide gel electrophoresis. Only a trace of beta-lipoprotein was found. The trypanocidal activity of pure human high density lipoprotein was identical to that of unfractionated serum when the following were tested: (i) time course of in vitro lysis of T. bruceli; (ii) in vivo destruction of T. brucei; (iii) relative resistance of T. rhodesiense to lysis. Rat or rabbit high density lipoprotein had no trypanocidal activity. Identification of the trypanocidal factor as high density lipoprotein was confirmed by the finding that serum from patients with Tangier disease, an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by a severe deficiency of high density lipoprotein, had no trypanocidal activity.[1]


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