The lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) and trachoma biovars of Chlamydia trachomatis exhibit differences in biological properties both in vivo and in vitro. To identify analogous biochemical differences, we studied the molecular charges of chlamydial outer membrane proteins (OMPs) by means of isoelectric focusing and nonequilibrium pH gradient electrophoresis. Analysis of proteins of whole elementary bodies biosynthetically labeled with L-[35S]cysteine revealed that most chlamydial proteins were neutral or acidic. The major OMPs (MOMPs) of all strains tested were acidic and had apparent isoelectric points (pIs) that varied within narrow limits (approximately 5.3 to 5.5) despite differences in molecular mass of up to 3,000 daltons (Da). However, a low-molecular-mass cysteine-rich OMP analogous to that previously described for Chlamydia psittaci varied consistently in molecular mass (12,500 versus 12,000 Da) and pI (5.4 versus 6.9) between LGV strains and trachoma strains, respectively. OMPs with a molecular mass of 60,000 Da in the trachoma biovar strains had pIs in the 7.3 to 7.7 range. However, analogous OMPs in the LGV strains existed as a doublet with a molecular mass of about 60,000 Da. Both members of the doublet were basic (pIs > 8.5). Both proteins of this basic doublet in LGV strains and the neutral analog in trachoma strains bound a species-specific monoclonal antibody in an immunoblot assay. These data indicate substantial differences in biochemical characteristics of analogous OMPs in the LGV and trachoma biovars. Such differences are the first structural differences described between LGV and trachoma strains which support their distinction into separate biovars and may be related to some of their biological differences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases