Inhibition of the complement cascade by the major secretory protein of vaccinia virus

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Science  09 Nov 1990:
Vol. 250, Issue 4982, pp. 827-830
DOI: 10.1126/science.2237434


The complement system contributes to host defenses against invasion by infectious agents. A 35-kilodalton protein, encoded by vaccinia virus and secreted from infected cells, has sequence similarities to members of a gene family that includes complement control proteins. Biochemical and genetic studies showed that the viral protein binds to derivatives of the fourth component of complement and inhibits the classical complement cascade, suggesting that it serves as a defense molecule to help the virus evade the consequences of complement activation.

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