Chapter 21 : Proteins and Antigens of

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The proteins of the causative agent of tuberculosis, , have been a major research topic almost since the days of the discovery of the organism by Robert Koch in 1882. The goals of subsequent efforts have been to identify antigens that may be important in conferring protection against tuberculosis. The search for improved diagnostic reagents such as improved skin test reagents and/or serological markers is another aspect of such studies. Obviously, each protein of , like proteins of any other organism, serves different functions. As discussed in this chapter, many bacterial proteins are highly conserved, not only within the genus but also in a broad range of other bacterial species. One example is the group of stress or heat shock proteins that are produced in abundant quantities by and that exhibit at least 50% homology at the amino acid level with stress proteins from other bacterial species. A new group of researchers were thereby recruited to the field from other disciplines, and the microorganism was soon approached at both the DNA level and the protein level by the development of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) raised against . Five recombinant antigens have been produced in large enough quantities to be distributed to interested researchers through a WHO-organized "antigen bank". In gram-negative bacteria, the cell wall consists of three layers: the cytoplasmic membrane, the peptidoglycan layer, and an outer lipopolysaccharide-containing cell membrane.

Citation: Andersen Å, Brennan P. 1994. Proteins and Antigens of , p 307-332. In Bloom B (ed), Tuberculosis. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818357.ch21
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Figure 1

Example of CIE of BCG culture fluid (BCG c.fl.). The second-dimension gel contained rabbit anti-BCG immunoglobulins (anti-BCG), and the intermediate gel contained 100 μl of 0.1 M NaCl. Numbers refer to the CIE reference system introduced by Closs et al. (1980). Staining for the esterase activity was performed prior to Coomassie staining of the CIE plate. The figure was kindly provided by Morten Harboe, Oslo, Norway. ag, antigen.

Citation: Andersen Å, Brennan P. 1994. Proteins and Antigens of , p 307-332. In Bloom B (ed), Tuberculosis. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818357.ch21
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Figure 2

Example of SDS-PAGE of fractions of secreted proteins of Lane F contains the starting material: secreted proteins from devoid of autolytic products. Lanes 1 to 19 contain different fractions obtained after preparative SDS-PAGE and subsequent electroelution ( ). The figure was kindly provided by Peter Andersen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Citation: Andersen Å, Brennan P. 1994. Proteins and Antigens of , p 307-332. In Bloom B (ed), Tuberculosis. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818357.ch21
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Figure 3

Kinetics of release of antigens into culture filtrates. Group 1 represents antigens rapidly secreted or excreted into the medium. Group 2 contains antigens secreted or released gradually throughout the culture period. Group 3 contains antigens present in SDS cell extracts that represent release of cytoplasmic constituents rather than secreted proteins. OD490, optical density at 490 nm.

Citation: Andersen Å, Brennan P. 1994. Proteins and Antigens of , p 307-332. In Bloom B (ed), Tuberculosis. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818357.ch21
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Generic image for table
Table 1

Antigens with identified functionsa

Citation: Andersen Å, Brennan P. 1994. Proteins and Antigens of , p 307-332. In Bloom B (ed), Tuberculosis. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818357.ch21
Generic image for table
Table 2

Antigens with known sequences but without identified functiona

Citation: Andersen Å, Brennan P. 1994. Proteins and Antigens of , p 307-332. In Bloom B (ed), Tuberculosis. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818357.ch21

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