Date: 23 Sep 2011

Advances in Understanding the Structure, Function, and Mechanism of the SCIN and Efb Families of Staphylococcal Immune Evasion Proteins

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Our understanding of both the nature and diversity of Staphylococcal immune evasion proteins has increased tremendously throughout the last several years. Among this group of molecules, members of the SCIN and Efb families of complement inhibitors have been the subject of particularly intense study. This work has demonstrated that both types of proteins exert their primary function by inhibiting C3 convertases, which lie at the heart of the complement-mediated immune response. Despite this similarity, however, significant differences in structure/function relationships and mechanisms of action exist between these bacterial proteins. Furthermore, divergent secondary effects on host immune responses have also been described for these two protein families. This chapter summarizes recent advances toward understanding the structure, function, and mechanism of the SCIN and Efb families, and suggests potential directions for the field over the coming years.