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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2013 Mar;97(5):2077-91. doi: 10.1007/s00253-013-4720-5. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

Immunoproteomic identification of immunogenic proteins in Cronobacter sakazakii strain BAA-894.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety, Ministry of Education, Tianjin University of Science & Technology, Tianjin 300457, People's Republic of China.


Cronobacter spp. are emerging opportunistic pathogens. Cronobacter sakazakii is considered as the predominant species in all infections. So far, our understanding of the species' immunogens and potential virulence factors of Cronobacter spp. remains limited. In this study, an immunoproteomic approach was used to investigate soluble and insoluble proteins from the genome-sequenced strain C. sakazakii ATCC BAA-894. Proteins were separated using two-dimensional electrophoresis, detected by Western blotting with polyclonal antibodies of C. sakazakii BAA-894, and identified using tandem mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS and MALDI-MS/MS, MS/MSMS). A total of 11 immunoreactive proteins were initially identified in C. sakazakii BAA-894, including two outer membrane proteins, four periplasmic proteins, and five cytoplasmic proteins. In silico functional analysis of the 11 identified proteins indicated three proteins that were initially described as immunogens of pathogenic bacteria. For the remaining eight proteins, one protein was categorized as a potential virulence factor involved in protection against reactive oxygen species, and seven proteins were considered to play potential roles in adhesion, invasion, and biofilm formation. To our knowledge, this is the first time that immunogenic proteins of C. sakazakii BAA-894 have been identified as immunogens and potential virulence factors by an immunoproteomics approach. Future studies should investigate the roles of these proteins in bacterial pathogenesis and modulation of host immune responses during infection to identify their potential as molecular therapeutic targets.

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