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Biochemistry. 1979 Apr 17;18(8):1422-6.

Antigenic architecture of membrane vesicles from Escherichia coli.


The antigenic architecture of membrane vesicles prepared from Escherichia coli ML 308--225 has been studied using crossed immunoelectrophoresis. Progressive immunoadsorption experiments conducted with control vesicles and with physically disrupted vesicles were used to monitor and quantitate the expression of 14 different immunogens. Eleven immunogens, including NADH dehydrogenase (EC, D-lactate dehydrogenase (EC, dihydro-orotate dehydrogenase (EC, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (EC, polynucleotide phosphorylase (EC, and beta-galactosidase (EC, exhibit minimal expression (10% or less) unless the vesicles are disrupted. Three unidentified antigens are expressed to a similar extent in untreated and disrupted vesicles. Consideration of these and other results [Owen, P., & Kaback, H. R. (1978) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 75, 3148] in terms of membrane polarity, dislocation of antigens, and possible transmembrane orientation of some immunogens reveals that over 95% of the membrane in the vesicle preparations is in the form of sealed sacculi with the same orientation as the intact cell. Furthermore, antigens are distributed across the membrane in a highly asymmetric manner, indicating that dislocation of components from the inner to the outer surface of the membrane during vesicle preparation does not occur to an extent exceeding 10%.

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