Compared with the major outer membrane proteins (MOMPs) of the other chlamydial species, the Chlamydia pneumoniae MOMP appears to be less antigenically complex, and as determined by immunoblot analysis, it does not appear to be the immunodominant antigen recognized during infection. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the C. pneumoniae MOMP gene (ompA) revealed that it consisted of a 1,167-base open reading frame with an inferred 39,344-dalton mature protein of 366 amino acids plus a 23-amino-acid leader sequence. A ribosomal-binding site was located in the 5' upstream region, and two stop codons followed by an 11-base dyad forming a stable stem-loop structure were identified. This sequence shares 68 and 71% DNA sequence homology to the Chlamydia trachomatis serovar L2 and Chlamydia psittaci ovine abortion agent MOMP genes, respectively. Interspecies alignment identified regions, corresponding to the variable domains, which share little sequence similarity with the other chlamydial MOMPs. All seven cysteines conserved in the C. trachomatis and C. psittaci MOMPs, which are involved in the formation of disulfide cross-linkages, are found in the C. pneumoniae MOMP
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