The surface polypeptides of both cultured and blood forms of Trypanosoma cruzi were iodinated by the glucose oxidase-lactoperoxidase technique. Blood-form trypomastigotes (BFT) isolated form infected mice displayed a major 90,000-Mr component. In contrast, both epimastigotes and trypomastigotes obtained form acellular cultures expressed a smaller 75,000-Mr peptide. Both major surface components were presumably glycoproteins in terms of their binding to concanavalin A-Sepharose 4B. Within a 3-h period, both blood and culture forms synthesized their respective surface glycoproteins (90,000 Mr and 75,000 Mr, respectively in vitro. [35S]methionine-labeled surface peptides were immunoprecipitated with immune sera of both human and murine origin. A panel of sera form patients with chronic Chagas' disease and hyperimmunized mice recognized similar surface peptides. These immunogens were the same components as the major iodinated species. The major BFT surface peptide was readily removed by trypsin treatment of the parasites, although the procedure did not affect the 75,000-Mr peptide from the culture forms. Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed that the 90,000-Mr peptide found on BFT was an acidic protein of isoelectric point (pI) 5.0, whereas, the 75,000-Mr peptide form culture-form trypomastigotes has a pI of 7.2. The 90,000-Mr component is thought to be responsible for the anti-phagocytic properties of the BFT (1).

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