The major outer membrane proteins (MOMPs) of human Chlamydia trachomatis serovars exhibit four regions of variable amino acid sequences (VS1 to VS4) harboring serovar-specific B-cell epitopes. Antibody responses to these epitopes may contribute to acquired protection against human chlamydial infection. MOMP B-cell epitopes defined by 22 different serovar-specific or bispecific murine monoclonal antibodies were localized with synthetic peptides representing the four VS regions of seven genital serovars (D, Da, E, F, G, H, and K). Serovar F possessed two distinct serovar-specific epitopes, located in VS2 and VS4, while serovar K possessed three distinct serovar-specific epitopes, located in VS1, VS2, and VS4. Serovar D- and serovar Da-specific epitopes were located in VS4, serovar E- and serovar G- specific epitopes were located in VS2, and serovar H-specific epitopes were located in VS1. Regardless of whether the serovar was from the B (serovars D, Da, and E), C (serovars H and K), or F-G (serovars F and G) serogroup, all serovar-specific epitopes were found in three discrete subregions of MOMPs. These subregions comprised the central portion of VS1, residues 70 to 77; the amino-terminal half of VS2, residues 139 to 149; and the carboxyl-terminal third of VS4, residues 305 to 315. Monoclonal antibodies to each of these subregions neutralized infectivity in standard HaK cell culture assays. These findings are relevant to the development of an MOMP or MOMP subunit vaccine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases