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Cross-antigenicity between the major surface proteins (ospA and ospB) and other proteins of Borrelia burgdorferi.

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Abstract

Two of the major surface Ag of Borrelia burgdorferi, the 31-kDa OspA and 34-kDa OspB proteins, are encoded by a 49-kb plasmid. In this study, mAb and monospecific polyclonal antibodies were used to define cross-antigenicity of the OspA and OspB protein to each other and to other lower molecular mass proteins by Western blot analysis. Two mAb studied, 105.5 and 184.1, were directed predominantly against the 31-kDa OspA protein. However, each also reacted with other minor bands, though with different specificities. Using V8 protease digestion and cleavage by cyanogen bromide, we demonstrated that each mAb reacted to the 31-kDa protein differently. Monospecific polyclonal rabbit and human antibodies directed against the 34-, 31-, 22-, and 20-kDa proteins were eluted from blots and used to further corroborate the cross-reactivity among these Ag. Rabbit antibodies to the 31- and 22-kDa Ag gave remarkably similar peptide maps after V8 protease digestion of the 31-kDa OspA protein, as did mAb 184.1, suggesting that this mAb recognized an immunodominant epitope common to the 22- and 31-kDa proteins. It seems likely therefore that the humoral immune response to Borrelia surface Ag may be due to a limited number of cross-reactive epitopes on distinct, but related, gene products.

J Immunol. 1990 Jan 1;144(1):284-9. Comparative Study; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t; Research Support, U.S. Gov’t, P.H.S.

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