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Biol Met. 1990;2(4):203-8.

Iron-regulated envelope proteins of mycobacteria grown in vitro and their occurrence in Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium leprae grown in vivo.

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Department of Applied Biology, University of Hull, UK.


Several iron-regulated envelope proteins (IREPs), 11-180 kDa, have been detected in preparations of walls and membranes of Mycobacterium smegmatis, in an armadillo-derived mycobacterium (ADM) and in M. avium. The same sized proteins from M. vacae appeared under both iron-deficient and iron-sufficient growth conditions. Two larger proteins, of 240 and 250 kDa, appeared in the membranes of M. smegmatis and M. avium only when grown iron-sufficiently but were constitutively present in both ADM and M. vaccae. The IREPs from M. smegmatis were not induced under zinc-deficient growth conditions. Three of the four IREPs (14, 21 and 29 kDa) recognized in M. avium grown in vitro were also recovered from membrane fractions of the same strain grown in mice. In addition, these membranes contained both the high-molecular-mass proteins associated with iron-sufficient growth conditions. Membranes of M. leprae, recovered from infected armadillos, showed the faint presence of a possible IREP at 29 kDa and wall preparations showed the presence of a 21-kDa protein. Membranes also contained the two larger proteins at 240 and 250 kDa. An explanation for the simultaneous occurrence of both low-iron-regulated and high-iron-regulated proteins is offered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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