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Infect Immun. 1995 Sep;63(9):3336-47.

Selection of Mycoplasma hominis PG21 deletion mutants by cultivation in the presence of monoclonal antibody 552.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Aarhus, Denmark.


Three mutants of Mycoplasma hominis PG21 were isolated and shown to contain alterations in the size of a repeat-containing gene encoding a surface-localized 135-kDa antigen designated Lmp1. The mutants were isolated by cultivating M. hominis for a 3-month period in the presence of Lmp1-specific monoclonal antibody (MAb) 552. The epitope for MAb 552 was localized at the repeated part of the protein. The gene encoding Lmp1 is part of a transcriptional complex that contains 9.5 direct repeats of 471 bp each. Pure cultures of mutant strains were obtained by subcloning, and three mutants were characterized. The mutants showed deletions of a various number of repeats. The deletions were accompanied by a decrease in size of the proteins. With increasing size of deletions, agglutination and growth inhibition by MAb 552 became less pronounced. Spontaneous aggregation of the mutant M. hominis cells in culture medium was, however, increased, indicating that the repeated elements may be of importance for repulsion of the cells.

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