Integral membrane proteins of Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum (T. pallidum) were identified by phase partitioning with the nonionic detergent Triton X-114; antigens with apparent molecular masses of 47, 38, 36, 34, 32, 17, and 15 kilodaltons (kDa) were identified in the detergent phase. Immunoblotting with murine monoclonal antibodies directed against pathogen-specific 47- and 34-kDa T. pallidum antigens confirmed their presence in the detergent phase. Endoflagellar proteins of T. pallidum were not detected in immunoblots of detergent-phase proteins when monospecific antisera directed against endoflagella of the nonpathogenic T. phagedenis biotype Reiter were used. At detergent concentrations (0.02 and 0.1%) which appeared to solubilize selectively the outer membranes of treponemes radiolabeled with 35S in vitro, limited amounts of detergent-phase proteins were immunoprecipitated. Greater amounts of detergent-phase proteins were extracted at higher detergent concentrations (0.5 and 2.0%) which resulted in both outer membrane solubilization and ultrastructural derangements of the residual cytoplasmic bodies. Furthermore, Triton X-114 extraction of both intact treponemes and organisms without outer membranes yielded detergent phases with similar protein profiles. The results of these experiments indicate that the hydrophobic proteins identified by Triton X-114 are not located exclusively in the T. pallidum outer membrane. The results are also consistent with the hypothesis that the T. pallidum outer membrane is a protein-deficient lipid bilayer.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Infection and immunity|
|State||Published - 1988|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases