Structure-function mapping of BbCRASP-1, the key complement factor H and FHL-1 binding protein of Borrelia burgdorferi.
Cordes FS., Kraiczy P., Roversi P., Simon MM., Brade V., Jahraus O., Wallis R., Goodstadt L., Ponting CP., Skerka C., Zipfel PF., Wallich R., Lea SM.
Borrelia burgdorferi, a spirochaete transmitted to human hosts during feeding of infected Ixodes ticks, is the causative agent of Lyme disease, the most frequent vector-borne disease in Eurasia and North America. Sporadically Lyme disease develops into a chronic, multisystemic disorder. Serum-resistant B. burgdorferi strains bind complement factor H (FH) and FH-like protein 1 (FHL-1) on the spirochaete surface. This binding is dependent on the expression of proteins termed complement-regulator acquiring surface proteins (CRASPs). The atomic structure of BbCRASP-1, the key FHL-1/FH-binding protein of B. burgdorferi, has recently been determined. Our analysis indicates that its protein topology apparently evolved to provide a high affinity interaction site for FH/FHL-1 and leads to an atomic-level hypothesis for the functioning of BbCRASP-1. This work demonstrates that pathogens interact with complement regulators in ways that are distinct from the mechanisms used by the host and are thus obvious targets for drug design.