Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

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.

Original publication




Conference paper

Publication Date



296 Suppl 40


177 - 184


Amino Acid Sequence, Bacterial Proteins, Binding Sites, Borrelia burgdorferi, Complement C3b Inactivator Proteins, Complement Factor H, Humans, Membrane Proteins, Models, Molecular, Molecular Sequence Data, Protein Structure, Secondary, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Sequence Alignment, Structure-Activity Relationship