Variant specific glycoprotein of Trypanosoma brucei consists of two domains each having an independently conserved pattern of cysteine residues

J Mol Biol. 1991 Oct 5;221(3):823-35. doi: 10.1016/0022-2836(91)80178-w.


The complete amino acid sequences for nine variant specific glycoproteins (VSGs) of Trypanosoma brucei are presented. These have more than doubled the size of the VSG sequence data base and have enabled a new and more rigorous comparison to be made between amino acid sequences of different VSGs. Each VSG can be defined as a combination of an N-terminal domain type and a C-terminal domain type, based on the distribution of cysteine residues within the molecule. This identifies three N-terminal domain types and at least four C-terminal domain types. Different combinations of N and C-terminal domains can be formed; for example, in the sequences presented here, two different N-terminal domains are found in association with each of three different C-terminal domains. The biological context of the domain structure of VSGs is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cysteine / chemistry*
  • DNA, Protozoan
  • Glycosylation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei* / genetics
  • Variant Surface Glycoproteins, Trypanosoma / chemistry*
  • Variant Surface Glycoproteins, Trypanosoma / genetics


  • DNA, Protozoan
  • Variant Surface Glycoproteins, Trypanosoma
  • Cysteine

Associated data

  • GENBANK/S58559
  • GENBANK/S58561
  • GENBANK/X56761
  • GENBANK/X56762
  • GENBANK/X56763
  • GENBANK/X56764
  • GENBANK/X56765
  • GENBANK/X56766
  • GENBANK/X56767
  • GENBANK/X56768
  • GENBANK/X56769