The Genes for Variant Antigens in Trypanosomes

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  • Section for Medical Enzymology and Molecular Biology, Laboratory of Biochemistry, University of Amsterdam, Jan Swammerdam Institute, The Wellcome Research Laboratories, Department of Immunology, Langley Court, P.O. Box 60.000, 1005 GA Amsterdam, The Netherlands

We have studied the mechanism of antigenic variation by using DNA complementary to the messenger RNAs for four variant surface glycoproteins of Trypansoma brucei. Pure complementary DNAs were obtained by cloning as recombinant DNA in Escherichia coli. Using these complementary DNAs as hybridization probes, we have analyzed the genes for these variant surface glycoproteins. The results provide new information on the origin and evolution of antigenic variation, and on the mechanism involved in switching from one antigenic type to another.

Author Notes

Present address: Laboratory of Medical Microbiology, University of Amsterdam, Mauritskade 57, 1092 AD Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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