Immunogenic integral membrane proteins of Borrelia burgdorferi are lipoproteins

M. E. Brandt, B. S. Riley, J. D. Radolf, M. V. Norgard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


The pathogenic spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi contains a set of integral membrane proteins which were selectively extracted into the detergent phase upon solubilization of intact B. burgdorferi with the nonionic detergent Triton X-114. Virtually all of these hydrophobic proteins were recognized by antibodies in pooled sera from patients with chronic Lyme arthritis, demonstrating that proteins partitioning into the detergent phase of Triton X-114 encompass the major B. burgdorferi immunogens. Furthermore, most of these immunogenic proteins, including the previously characterized OspA and OspB membrane antigens, could be biosynthetically labeled when B. burgdorferi was incubated in vitro with [3H]palmitate. The OspA and OspB antigens were radioimmunoprecipitated from [3H]palmitate-labeled detergent-phase proteins with monoclonal antibodies, and [3H]palmitate was recovered unaltered from these proteins after sequential alkaline and acid hydrolysis. The combined results provide formal confirmation that the major B. burgdorferi immunogens extracted by Triton X-114 are lipoproteins. The demonstration that B. burgdorferi integral membrane antigens are lipoproteins may explain the basis of their immunogenicity and may help to improve our understanding of the surface topology of B. burgdorferi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)983-991
Number of pages9
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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