Capacity of virulent Treponema pallidum (Nichols) for deoxyribonucleic acid synthesis

J. B. Baseman, J. C. Nichols, S. Mogerley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Treponema pallidum (Nichols) was extracted from infected rabbit tissue, and cell lysates were prepared for monitoring thymidine kinase and deoxyribonucleic acid polymerase activities. No thymidine kinase could be demonstrated in preparations of T.pallidum or the cultivable T.phagedenis biotype Reiter. Significant levels of deoxyribonucleic acid polymerase were detected in both treponemal samples. Interestingly, comparisons of polymerase activity among a spectrum of bacterial genera revealed a direct correlation between enzyme concentrations and estimated generation time. Incorporation of [3H]uridine and [3H]thymidine into macromolecules by intact T.pallidum and the Reiter treponeme was examined. Selective ribonuclease-deoxyribonuclease digestion and cesium chloride gradient banding demonstrated that T.pallidum, independent of the host, and T.phagedenis were capable of synthesizing deoxyribonucleic acid only from the [3H]-uridine precursor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-397
Number of pages6
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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