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Isolation and characterization of a gene encoding a Chlamydia pneumoniae 76-kilodalton protein containing a species-specific epitope.

By M Perez Melgosa, C C Kuo and L A Campbell


Chlamydia pneumoniae is a human respiratory pathogen. Unlike the other two Chlamydia species, no species-specific antigen has been defined for C. pneumoniae. An immunoreactive clone containing a 0.8-kb fragment was isolated from a C. pneumoniae (AR-39) genomic library by using anti-C. pneumoniae rabbit immune serum. By Southern hybridization analysis of chromosomal digests of the different Chlamydia spp., the 0.8-kb fragment was shown to react specifically with C. pneumoniae. Subcloning of this fragment into the pGEX-1 lambda T expression vector resulted in the expression of a 62-kDa fusion protein. This fusion protein as well as the cleaved C. pneumoniae peptide were recognized by anti-C. pneumoniae rabbit immune serum, while the glutathione S-transferase moiety was not recognized. The fusion protein was used to produce monospecific rabbit antiserum. This antiserum was shown to react with a 76-kDa protein in all C. pneumoniae isolates tested, specifically recognize C. pneumoniae inclusions in tissue culture, and neutralize infectivity of C. pneumoniae in cell culture. No reactivity was observed with Chlamydia trachomatis or Chlamydia psittaci. To isolate the entire coding sequence of the 76-kDa protein, two partially overlapping fragments of C. pneumoniae DNA, a 3.2-kb HindIII fragment and a 1.2-kb PvuII fragment, were isolated, cloned, and sequenced. No significant sequence similarity was found with any previously reported nucleotide or amino acid sequence of the other Chlamydia species. This C. pneumoniae protein containing a species-specific epitope could play a role in pathogenesis and may be useful as a diagnostic tool

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1994
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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