Epitope mapping of immunogenic and adhesive structures in repetitive domains of Mycoplasma bovis variable surface lipoproteins

K. Sachse*, J. H. Helbig, I. Lysnyansky, C. Grajetzki, W. Müller, E. Jacobs, D. Yogev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations

Abstract

The family of variable surface lipoproteins (Vsps) of the bovine pathogen Mycoplasma bovis includes some of the most immunogenic antigens of this microorganism. Vsps were shown to undergo high-frequency phase and size variations and to possess extensive reiterated coding sequences extending from the N-terminal end to the C-terminal end of the Vsp molecule. In the present study, mapping experiments were conducted to detect regions with immunogenicity and/or adhesion sites in repetitive domains of four Vsp antigens of M. bovis, VspA, VspB, VspE, and VspF. In enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay experiments, sera obtained from naturally infected cattle showed antibodies to different repeating peptide units of the Vsps, particularly to units RA1, R(A)2, RA4.1, R(B)2.1, R(E)1, and R(F)1, all of which were found to contain immunodominant epitopes of three to seven amino acids. Competitive adherence trials revealed that a number of oligopeptides derived from various repeating units of VspA, VspB, VspE, and VspF partially inhibited cytoadhesion of M. bovis PG45 to embryonic bovine lung cells. Consequently, putative adherence sites were identified in the same repeating units (R(A)1, R(A)2, R(A)4.1, R(B)2.1, R(E)1, and R(F)1) and in R(F)2. The positions and lengths of the antigenic determinants were mostly identical to those of adhesion-mediating sites in all short repeating units, whereas in the considerably longer R(F)1 unit (84 amino acid residues), there was only one case of identity among four immunogenic epitopes and six adherence sites. The identification of epitopes and adhesive structures in repetitive domains of Vsp molecules is consistent with the highly immunogenic nature observed for several members of the Vsp family and suggests a possible function for these Vsp molecules as complex adherence-mediating regions in pathogenesis.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)680-687
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and Immunity
Volume68
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2000

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