Five mouse mAb were generated against a synthetic peptide corresponding to the proposed Ca(2+)-binding region of human C-reactive protein (CRP). The peptide consists of amino acids 134 to 148 and possesses a calmodulin Ca(2+)-binding sequence. The mAb reacted with a surface epitope(s) on native, intact CRP as well as the closely related pentraxin protein, serum amyloid P-component. Three of the 5 mAb inhibited the Ca(2+)-dependent phosphorylcholine-(PC) binding activity of CRP, but did not bind to the PC-binding region itself. Four of the five mAb also inhibited the recognition of an epitope in the PC-binding site of CRP. Four of the mAb partially, or completely, protected CRP from selective cleavage by pronase between residues 146 and 147. The findings suggest that the Ca(2+)-binding region is on the surface of CRP, has substantial flexibility, and is probably responsible for the allosteric effects of Ca2+ ions on CRP.

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