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J Bacteriol. 2007 Feb;189(3):1109-17. Epub 2006 Dec 1.

Proteome and differential expression analysis of membrane and cytosolic proteins from Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis strains K-10 and 187.

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USDA-ARS, National Animal Disease Center, 2300 North Dayton Avenue, Ames, IA 50010, USA.


Little is known of protein expression in Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis and how this contributes to pathogenesis. In the present study, proteins from both membranes and cytosol were prepared from two strains of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis, i.e., laboratory-adapted strain K-10 and a recent isolate, strain 187, obtained from a cow exhibiting clinical signs of Johne's disease. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of cytosol and membrane proteins from K-10 and 187 showed marked differences in protein expression. Relative levels of protein expression from both M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis strains were measured by using amine-reactive isobaric tagging reagents (iTRAQ) and tandem mass spectroscopy. Protein identification and relative expression data were obtained for 874 membrane and cytosolic proteins from the M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis proteome. These data showed a number of significant differences in protein expression between strain K-10 and clinical isolate 187. Examples of proteins expressed at higher levels in clinical isolate 187 compared to strain K-10 are AtpC, RpoA, and several proteins involved in fatty acid biosynthesis. In contrast, proteins such as AhpC and several proteins involved in nitrogen metabolism were expressed at higher levels in strain K-10 compared to strain 187. These data may provide insights into the proteins whose expression is important in natural infection but are modified once M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis is adapted to laboratory cultivation. Results from these studies will provide tools for developing a better understanding of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in the host and offer potential as diagnostic reagents and vaccine candidates.

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