1887

Abstract

Pathogenic is the aetiological agent of leptospirosis, a life-threatening disease that affects populations worldwide. The search for novel antigens that could be relevant in host–pathogen interactions is being pursued. These antigens have the potential to elicit several activities, including adhesion. This study focused on a hypothetical predicted lipoprotein of , encoded by the gene LIC12895, thought to mediate attachment to extracellular matrix (ECM) components. The gene was cloned and expressed in BL21 Star (DE3)pLys by using the expression vector pAE. The recombinant protein tagged with N-terminal hexahistidine was purified by metal-charged chromatography and characterized by circular dichroism spectroscopy. The capacity of the protein to mediate attachment to ECM components was evaluated by binding assays. The leptospiral protein encoded by LIC12895, named Lsa27 (leptospiral surface adhesin, 27 kDa), bound strongly to laminin in a dose-dependent and saturable fashion. Moreover, Lsa27 was recognized by antibodies from serum samples of confirmed leptospirosis specimens in both the initial and the convalescent phases of the disease. Lsa27 is most likely a surface protein of as revealed in liquid-phase immunofluorescence assays with living organisms. Taken together, these data indicate that this newly identified membrane protein is expressed during natural infection and may play a role in mediating adhesion of to its host.

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2009-10-01
2019-10-23
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