Killing of trypanosomes by the human haptoglobin-related protein

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  14 Apr 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5208, pp. 284-286
DOI: 10.1126/science.7716520


African trypanosomes cause disease in humans and animals. Trypanosoma brucei brucei affects cattle but not humans because of its sensitivity to a subclass of human high density lipoproteins (HDLs) called trypanosome lytic factor (TLF). TLF contains two apolipoproteins that are sufficient to cause lysis of T. b. brucei in vitro. These proteins were identified as the human haptoglobin-related protein and paraoxonase-arylesterase. An antibody to haptoglobin inhibited TLF activity. TLF was shown to exhibit peroxidase activity and to be inhibited by catalase. These results suggest that TLF kills trypanosomes by oxidative damage initiated by its peroxidase activity.