Project: Research project

Project Details


Our research approach is to understand the virulence of Treponema pallidum,
the causative agent of syphilis, by identifying, purifying and
characterizing outer envelope proteins of the spirochete that possess
important biological functions. Emphasis focuses on treponemal proteins
that mediate surface parasitism of eucaryotic cells, probably through
recognition of fibronectin or fibronectin-like macromolecules associated
with host cell membranes. Chemical dissection of fibronectin will permit
analysis of the specific binding region(s) or domain(s) for treponemal
outer envelope ligands. This should lead to improved purification of the
specific T. pallidum adhesin proteins. A combination of methodologies will be employed which include use of
radiolabeling techniques, affinity chromatography, gel electrophoresis,
aqueous and selected detergent extracts of treponemal components,
radio-immunoassays and microELISA techniques, monoclonal and monospecific
antibody reagents, autoradiography-fluorography and electron microscopy.
Long term objectives are to define the virulence determinants of T.
pallidum and the pathogenesis of syphilis by focusing on receptor-ligand
mechanisms of recognition between host macromolecules and surface proteins
of T. pallidum. Data presented in the Preliminary Studies and Appendix
sections suggest tha these interactions may influence the disease process.
Effective start/end date12/1/8311/30/86


  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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