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Ann Rech Vet. 1983;14(3):311-8.

Evidence of three major polypeptide species and two major polysaccharide species in the Brucella outer membrane.


Polypeptide and polysaccharide outer membrane components of Brucella abortus 99 (S) were investigated by analysis of cell-wall fractions by sodium dodecyl-sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and staining with coomassie blue and periodic acid silver stain. Crude cell-walls were deprived by Triton X-100 treatment of most cytoplasmic material as seen by electron microscopy and cytochrome determination (cell-walls). They were submitted to hot SDS to obtain intentionally after centrifugation, peptidoglycan in the insoluble fraction: SDS-I fractions or peptidoglycan sacculi, and outer membrane components in the SDS soluble fraction as for Enterobacteriaceae. The SDS-soluble fraction contained two major components: a high molecular weight broad band of smooth lipopolysaccharide (S-LPS) and a 43k polypeptide band. The SDS-I fractions were treated by lysozyme to solubilize peptidoglycan before analysis. They contained two major polypeptide groups 36-37-38k, 25-26-27k, a minor one at 31k and variable amounts of high molecular weight S-LPS. The polypeptide and polysaccharide patterns of the entire outer membrane obtained from lysozyme hydrolysed cell-walls are the sum of both SDS soluble and insoluble fraction patterns. These results mean that 25-27k and 36-38k bands are strongly bound to peptidoglycan, probably covalently. The 25-26-27k bands heavily stained for polysaccharides would be glycopolypeptides. In addition, the polysaccharide patterns of S-LPS fraction appears as a high molecular weight broad band, contrary to the multiple regularly spaced bands of high molecular weight E. coli S-LPS. The B. abortus outer membrane is composed of four major components: LPS, 43k and 36-37-38k polypeptides and 25-26-27k glycopeptides.

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