Variation in the structural subunit and basal protein antigens of Bacteroides nodosus fimbriae.


The fimbriae of Bacteroides nodosus play a major role in protective immunity against ovine footrot and are an important determinant in the serological classification system that divides field isolates into at least eight serogroups and 16 serotypes. Purified fimbriae contain two polypeptide antigens, the structural subunit of the fimbrial strand (molecular weight about 17,000) and a basal protein (molecular weight about 80,000), both of which exhibit structural variation. Fimbriae were prepared from all prototype strains, as well as from a number of other isolates representative of each of the B. nodosus serotypes, and analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Substantial variation was observed in the electrophoretic mobility of the fimbrial subunits from the prototypes of each of the eight serogroups. With the exception of serogroup H, which is an unusual case, the apparent molecular weights of the fimbrial subunits ranged from about 16,500 in serogroup D to 19,000 in serogroup F (serotype 1); in serogroup A, B, C and E, the apparent molecular weights were clustered in the range of 17,000 to 17,500, whereas serogroup G was about 18,500. Serogroup H fimbriae appeared to consist of two smaller polypeptides, which in the prototype (H1) had apparent molecular weights of about 6,000 and 10,000 and which seem to have arisen as a consequence of an internal proteolytic nick in the original subunit. Electrophoretic variation in the fimbrial subunit was also observed between different serotypes, although with the exceptions of serogroups F and H, this was not as pronounced as between the serogroups. Examination of a number of isolates classified within the same serotypes showed that some variation, although minor, also occurred at this level. The basal antigen exhibited significant variation at all levels of the serotypic hierarchy in a manner apparently unrelated to the classification system. Among the range of isolates examined, the apparent molecular weight of this antigen varied from about 77,000 to 88,000.

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@article{Anderson1986VariationIT, title={Variation in the structural subunit and basal protein antigens of Bacteroides nodosus fimbriae.}, author={Beau J. Anderson and Cyb{\'e}le Kristo and John R Egerton and John S. Mattick}, journal={Journal of bacteriology}, year={1986}, volume={166 2}, pages={453-60} }