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J Proteome Res. 2011 May 6;10(5):2417-24. doi: 10.1021/pr1012398. Epub 2011 Mar 24.

Outer membrane proteome of Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei from diverse growth conditions.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, United States.


Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei are closely related, aerosol-infective human pathogens that cause life-threatening diseases. Biochemical analyses requiring large-scale growth and manipulation at biosafety level 3 under select agent regulations are cumbersome and hazardous. We developed a simple, safe, and rapid method to prepare highly purified outer membrane (OM) fragments from these pathogens. Shotgun proteomic analyses of OMs by trypsin shaving and mass spectrometry identified >155 proteins, the majority of which are clearly outer membrane proteins (OMPs). These included: 13 porins, 4 secretins for virulence factor export, 11 efflux pumps, multiple components of a Type VI secreton, metal transport receptors, polysaccharide exporters, and hypothetical OMPs of unknown function. We also identified 20 OMPs in each pathogen that are abundant under a wide variety of conditions, including in serum and with macrophages, suggesting these are fundamental for growth and survival and may represent prime drug or vaccine targets. Comparison of the OM proteomes of B. mallei and B. pseudomallei showed many similarities but also revealed a few differences, perhaps reflecting evolution of B. mallei away from environmental survival toward host-adaptation.

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