Chemical and biological activities of a 64-kilodalton outer sheath protein from Treponema denticola strains

A. Weinberg, S. C. Holt

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53 Scopus citations


This study examined the distribution of the major outer sheath proteins (MOSP) in several Treponema denticola strains and reports the isolation of a 64-kDa protein from the outer sheath of human clinical isolate T. denticola GM-1. The outer sheath was isolated by freeze-thaw procedures, and the distribution of outer sheath proteins was examined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). T. denticola GM-1, MS25, SR-5, and three low-passage clinical isolates possessed an MOSP with a relative molecular mass of 60 to 64 kDa. This MOSP was absent in T. denticola ATCC 35404 (TD-4) and clinical isolate SR-4. The latter possessed an MOSP of 58 kDa. 125I labeling revealed both MOSP to be dissociated forms of higher-molecular-mass oligomeric units between 116 and 162 kDa. Two-dimensional SDS-PAGE confirmed the modifiability of these MOSP. Isoelectric focusing of the 64-kDa MOSP indicated a pI of 6.7. Immunoblots with antiserum to GM-1 whole cells revealed the 64-kDa protein to be immunogenic and not cross-reactive with the MOSP of TD-4 or SR-4, and monospecific antibody to the 64-kDa protein recognized common epitopes on the high-molecular-weight oligomeric protein. These antibodies did not react with any component of TD-4 whole cells in immunoblots or in immunogold electron microscopy. Fab fragments inhibited the adherence of T. denticola GM-1 to human gingival fibroblasts by 78% (1:1,600; 0.72 μg of protein per ml), while TD-4 adherence was not inhibited. Amino acid analysis revealed a slightly acidic protein, devoid of cysteine, with 36% hydrophobic residues. Cyanogen bromide fragmentation of the 64-kDa protein revealed that a 42-kDa fragment contained a T-L-D-L-A-L-D segment which was 100% homologous with an integrin alpha subunit of a human leukocyte adhesion glycoprotein p 150,95.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6935-6947
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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