A structural basis for inhibition of the complement initiator protease C1r by Lyme disease spirochetes Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • AbstractComplement evasion is a hallmark of extracellular microbial pathogens such asBorreliella burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. Lyme disease spirochetes express nearly a dozen outer surface lipoproteins that bind complement components and interfere with their native activities. Among these, BBK32 is unique in its selective inhibition of the classical pathway. BBK32 blocks activation of this pathway by selectively binding and inhibiting the C1r serine protease of first component of complement, C1. To understand the structural basis for BBK32-mediated C1r inhibition, we performed co-crystallography and size exclusion chromatography-coupled small angle x-ray scattering experiments, which revealed a molecular model of BBK32-C in complex with activated human C1r. Structure-guided site-directed mutagenesis was combined with surface plasmon resonance binding experiments and assays of complement function to validate the predicted molecular interface. The studies reported here, for the first time, provide a structural basis for classical pathway-specific inhibition by a human pathogen.

altmetric score

  • 4.95

author list (cited authors)

  • Garrigues, R. J., Pierce, A., Hammel, M., Skare, J. T., & Garcia, B. L.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Garrigues, Ryan J||Pierce, Alexandra D Powell||Hammel, Michal||Skare, Jon T||Garcia, Brandon L

Book Title

  • bioRxiv

publication date

  • January 2021