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Mol Microbiol. 1990 Mar;4(3):461-9.

A soluble 60 kiloDalton antigen of Chlamydia spp. is a homologue of Escherichia coli GroEL.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, New York 14642.


Two major 60 kD protein species can be separated by differential detergent extraction in Chlamydia spp. A Sarkosyl-soluble 60 kD protein is (i) structurally and antigenically distinct from the previously characterized 60 kD Omp2 outer membrane protein; and (ii) antigenically related to a bacterial common antigen of similar molecular weight which includes a 65 kD mycobacterial antigen and the GroEL heat-shock protein of Escherichia coli. Among GroEL homologues, the chlamydial protein (chl-GroEL) uniquely displays affinity towards immobilized thiol groups. The significance of this property is discussed with respect to the synthesis and assembly of the chlamydial disulphide-rich cell wall late in the growth cycle. Chl-GroEL is identical to the Triton X-100-soluble, ocular delayed-type hypersensitivity agent (Morrison et al., 1989), an essential component in the development of blinding trachoma. An autoimmune mechanism for chronic chlamydial diseases based on chl-GroEL homology to host proteins is hypothesized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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