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Infect Immun. Dec 1988; 56(12): 3046–3051.
PMCID: PMC259698

Characterization of fibronectin-binding antigens released by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis BCG.


Fibronectin (FN)-binding antigens are prominent components of short-term culture supernatants of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In 3-day-old supernatants, a 30-kilodalton (kDa) protein was identified as the major FN-binding molecule. In 21-day-old supernatants, FN bound to a double protein band of 30 and 31 kDa, as well as to a group of antigens of larger molecular mass (57 to 60 kDa). FN-binding molecules in this size range, but not of 30 to 31 kDa, were also found in sonicates. We showed that the 31- and 30-kDa FN-binding bands correspond to components A and B of the BCG85 complex, previously shown to be abundant in culture supernatants of Mycobacterium bovis BCG. Thus, a polyclonal antibody to the BCG85 complex bound to the 30- and 31-kDa antigens and inhibited binding of FN to them on immunoblots of the culture filtrates. Similarly, FN bound to the purified components of the BCG85 complex, and this binding was blocked by the antibody. A monoclonal antibody, HYT27, also bound both to the BCG85 components A and B and to the 30- and 31-kDa FN-binding molecules of M. tuberculosis, but it did not block the binding of FN. Related molecules appear to be present on the surface of BCG and to mediate the binding of BCG to FN-coated plastic surfaces, since this binding could also be blocked by the polyclonal anti-BCG85 antibody and by the purified components of BCG85, particularly component A, but not by monoclonal antibody HYT27. The binding of these mycobacterial antigens to FN appears to be of very high affinity, and we suggest that this property of major secreted antigens of M. tuberculosis indicates an important role in mycobacterial disease and in the binding of BCG to tumor cells during immunotherapy of bladder cancer.

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Selected References

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