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J Clin Microbiol. Dec 1984; 20(6): 1094–1098.
PMCID: PMC271524

Composition of the antigenic material removed from Campylobacter jejuni by heat.


The antigenic material removed form Campylobacter jejuni by the boiling of whole cells in saline was examined biochemically. Analyses showed that the extracted material contained 3 micrograms of protein per ml per mg of wet cells and ca. 2.6 micrograms of carbohydrate per ml per mg of wet cells. Further extraction of the material with chloroform-methanol produced about 0.5 microgram of water-insoluble residue per ml per mg of wet cells, suggesting the presence of lipid as well. Additional analyses revealed the presence of hexose, pentose, heptose, hexosamine, and 2-keto-3-deoxyoctonic acid, and the extract was also positive by the Limulus amoebocyte lysate assay for lipopolysaccharide. An examination by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis showed that at least 10 different protein bands could be detected. One of the major bands corresponded to the major outer membrane protein, as determined by comparison with an outer membrane protein preparation by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Another major protein in the heated extract corresponded to a band previously shown to be flagellin. An analysis of the time course of the release of material showed that a significant amount was removed after 3 to 10 min at 100 degrees C, but the release of material seemed to be delayed at lower temperatures. These results show that the treatment of C. jejuni with heat produces a complex mixture of components, including cell wall lipopolysaccharide, the major outer membrane protein, and flagellin. It is likely that some cytoplasmic components are present as well. Blebs of outer membrane have been observed with this organism by electron microscopy. Our results confirm this and suggest that the heating of cells accelerates this blebbing process.

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Selected References

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