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Cloning and sequence of the gene for heat shock protein 60 from Chlamydia trachomatis and immunological reactivity of the protein.

By M C Cerrone, J J Ma and R S Stephens


We isolated and sequenced the gene for the chlamydial heat shock protein 60 (HSP-60) from a Chlamydia trachomatis genomic library by molecular genetic methods. The DNA sequence derived revealed an operon-like gene structure with two open reading frames encoding an 11,122- and a 57,956-Da protein. The translated amino acid sequence of the larger open reading frame showed a high degree of homology with known sequences for HSP-60 from several bacterial species as well as with plant and human sequences. By using the determined nucleotide sequence, fragments of the gene were cloned into the plasmid vector pGEX for expression as fusion proteins consisting of glutathione S-transferase and peptide portions of the chlamydial HSP-60. HSP-60 antigenic identity was confirmed by an immunoblot with anti-HSP-60 rabbit serum. Sera from patients that exhibited both high antichlamydial titers and reactivity to chlamydial HSP-60 showed reactivity on immunoblots to two fusion proteins that represented portions of the carboxyl-terminal half of the molecule, whereas fusion proteins defining the amino-terminal half were nonreactive. No reactivity with the fusion proteins was seen with sera from patients that had been previously screened as nonreactive to native chlamydial HSP-60 but which had high antichlamydial titers. Sera from noninfected control subjects also exhibited no reactivity. Definition of recognized HSP-60 epitopes may provide a predictive screen for those patients with C. trachomatis infections who may develop damaging sequelae, as well as providing tools for the study of immunopathogenic mechanisms of Chlamydia-induced disease

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1991
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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