Influence of the Chlamydia pneumoniae AR39 bacteriophage ϕCPAR39 on chlamydial inclusion morphology.
The complete genome of Chlamydia pneumoniae contains a total of 21 genes encoding polymorphic membrane proteins (Pmp). From this large Pmp family three genes, pmp8, pmp10 and pmp11, were cloned and antibodies against recombinant full-length Pmp proteins were produced. Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy of HEp-2 cells infected with C. pneumoniae CWL029 was performed with the Pmp antibodies in combination with a Chlamydia-specific anti-lipopolysaccharide (LPS) antibody. This double staining technique clearly showed that expression of Pmp10 was differential. Additional double staining with monoclonal antibodies to the surface of C. pneumoniae elementary bodies and the anti-LPS antibody resulted in identification of seven monoclonal antibodies that reacted identically to the Pmp10 antibody indicating that Pmp10 is an immunodominant protein. Finally, the molecular mechanism responsible for differential expression is suggested to be variation in the guanine residues in the polyG tract of pmp10.