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J Proteome Res. 2019 Apr 5;18(4):1567-1581. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.8b00860. Epub 2019 Feb 26.

Localization of Outer Membrane Proteins in Treponema denticola by Quantitative Proteome Analyses of Outer Membrane Vesicles and Cellular Fractions.

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Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne Dental School, Bio21 Institute , The University of Melbourne , Parkville , Victoria 3010 , Australia.


The identification and localization of outer membrane proteins (Omps) and lipoproteins in pathogenic treponemes such as T. denticola (periodontitis) and T. pallidum (syphilis) has been challenging. In this study, label-free quantitative proteomics using MaxQuant was applied to naturally produced outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) and cellular fractions to identify 1448 T. denticola proteins. Of these, 90 proteins were localized to the outer membrane (OM) comprising 59 lipoproteins, 25 β-barrel proteins, and six other putative OM-associated proteins. Twenty-eight lipoproteins were localized to the inner membrane (IM), and 43 proteins were assigned to the periplasm. The signal cleavage regions of the OM and IM lipoprotein sequences were different and may reveal the signals for their differential localization. Proteins significantly enriched in OMVs included dentilisin, proteins containing leucine-rich repeats, and several lipoproteins containing FGE-sulfatase domains. Blue native PAGE analysis enabled the native size of the dentilisin complex and Msp to be determined and revealed that the abundant β-barrel Omps TDE2508 and TDE1717 formed large complexes. In addition to the large number of integral Omps and potentially surface-located lipoproteins identified in T. denticola, many such proteins were also newly identified in T. pallidum through homology, generating new targets for vaccine development in both species.


Treponema denticola; Treponema pallidum; bacterial lipoproteins; localization; outer membrane proteins; outer membrane vesicles; protein sorting; proteome; spirochete

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