Variable Small Protein 1 of Borrelia turicatae (VspA or Vsp1)

Experimental Data Snapshot

  • Resolution: 2.22 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.265 
  • R-Value Work: 0.206 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.209 

Starting Model: experimental
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Crystal structure of neurotropism-associated variable surface protein 1 (Vsp1) of Borrelia turicatae.

Lawson, C.L.Yung, B.H.Barbour, A.G.Zuckert, W.R.

(2006) J Bacteriol 188: 4522-4530

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1128/JB.00028-06
  • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  
    1YJG, 2GA0

  • PubMed Abstract: 

    Vsp surface lipoproteins are serotype-defining antigens of relapsing fever spirochetes that undergo multiphasic antigenic variation to allow bacterial persistence in spite of an immune response. Two isogenic serotypes of Borrelia turicatae strain Oz1 differ in their Vsp sequences and in disease manifestations in infected mice: Vsp1 is associated with the selection of a neurological niche, while Vsp2 is associated with blood and skin infection. We report here crystal structures of the Vsp1 dimer at 2.7 and 2.2 A. The structures confirm that relapsing fever Vsp proteins share a common helical fold with OspCs of Lyme disease-causing Borrelia. The fold features an inner stem formed by highly conserved N and C termini and an outer "dome" formed by the variable central residues. Both Vsp1 and OspC structures possess small water-filled cavities, or pockets, that are lined largely by variable residues and are thus highly variable in shape. These features appear to signify tolerance of the Vsp-OspC fold for imperfect packing of residues at its antigenic surface. Structural comparison of Vsp1 with a homology model for Vsp2 suggests that observed differences in disease manifestation may arise in part from distinct differences in electrostatic surface properties; additional predicted positively charged surface patches on Vsp2 compared to Vsp1 may be sufficient to explain the relative propensity of Vsp2 to bind to acidic glycosaminoglycans.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, 610 Taylor Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA. cathy.lawson@rutgers.edu

Find similar proteins by:  (by identity cutoff)  |  3D Structure
Entity ID: 1
MoleculeChains Sequence LengthOrganismDetailsImage
Surface protein VspAA,
C [auth D],
D [auth E]
158Borrelia turicataeMutation(s): 0 
Gene Names: VspA
Find proteins for O34000 (Borrelia turicatae)
Explore O34000 
Go to UniProtKB:  O34000
Entity Groups  
Sequence Clusters30% Identity50% Identity70% Identity90% Identity95% Identity100% Identity
UniProt GroupO34000
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence
Experimental Data & Validation

Experimental Data

  • Resolution: 2.22 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.265 
  • R-Value Work: 0.206 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.209 
  • Space Group: C 1 2 1
Unit Cell:
Length ( Å )Angle ( ˚ )
a = 175.857α = 90
b = 34.213β = 112.68
c = 99.386γ = 90
Software Package:
Software NamePurpose
HKL-2000data reduction
SCALEPACKdata scaling

Structure Validation

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Entry History 

Deposition Data

Revision History  (Full details and data files)

  • Version 1.0: 2006-01-24
    Type: Initial release
  • Version 1.1: 2008-04-30
    Changes: Version format compliance
  • Version 1.2: 2011-07-13
    Changes: Advisory, Version format compliance
  • Version 1.3: 2023-08-23
    Changes: Data collection, Database references, Refinement description