Molecular and biochemical parasitology vol:63 issue:2 pages:193-202
We have previously shown that an antiserum raised against the 86-kDa fragment of the low-density lipoprotein-receptor (LDL-receptor) of bloodstream Trypanosoma brucei brucei shows extensive cross-reactivity with the mammalian LDL-receptor. Here we report on the production and characterisation of 30 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) raised against the same 86-kDa fragment of the T. b. brucei LDL-receptor. Of these, only 8 mAbs recognise in an ELISA test the purified (presumably intact) 145-kDa LDL-receptor. Seven of them also recognise the LDL-receptors isolated from rat and rabbit, whereas one mAb (1A9) is specific for the trypanosome LDL-receptor. A pool of several mAbs inhibits by 90% the specific binding of 125I-LDL to trypanosomes at 4 degrees C, but does not interfere with binding of 125I-LDL to rat fibroblasts. 125I-mAb 1A9 is efficiently taken up by T. b. brucei at 30 degrees C and its uptake is inhibited by an excess of unlabelled LDL particles, indicating that mAb 1A9 follows the LDL-receptor pathway. Uptake of 125I-mAb 1A9 by rat fibroblasts is less efficient and is not significantly reduced by an excess of unlabelled LDL. MAb 1A9 as well as other pooled mAbs activate rabbit complement, leading to lysis of trypanosomes in vitro. We conclude that the T. b. brucei LDL-receptor contains at least one specific epitope that is accessible on live cells to antibodies and which can activate the complement system.