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J Bacteriol. Nov 1982; 152(2): 822–828.
PMCID: PMC221536

Effects of nonionic, ionic, and dipolar ionic detergents and EDTA on the Brucella cell envelope.


Cell envelopes prepared from smooth and rough strains of Brucella were characterized on the basis of lipopolysaccharide and protein content. The action of three kinds of detergents on Brucella cell envelopes and Escherichia coli control cell envelopes was examined on the basis of the proteins and lipopolysaccharides that were extracted. As compared with those of E. coli, Brucella cell envelopes were resistant to nonionic detergents. Zwittergents 312 and 316 were most effective in extracting E. coli cell envelopes, and Zwittergent 316 was most effective in extracting Brucella cell envelopes. Sarkosyl extracted proteins but extracted only trace amounts of lipopolysaccharides from cell envelopes of both bacteria. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis of the Sarkosyl-resistant proteins revealed a composition similar to that of the proteins exposed on the surfaces of viable cells, as determined by the lactoperoxidase-125I radioiodination method. EDTA, with either Tris-HCl or Tris-HCl-Triton X-100, did not have detectable effects on Brucella cell envelopes. Ultracentrifugation of purified lipopolysaccharides in detergents and EDTA demonstrate that, in contrast to that of E. coli, Brucella lipopolysaccharide was not stabilized by divalent cations. Sarkosyl was ineffective in dispersing lipopolysaccharides, whereas the action of Zwittergents was related to the length of their alkyl chains.

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