SUMMARY: The determinant(s) of gonococcal resistance to killing by human phagocytes has been extracted from outer membrane vesicles (OMV) of a phagocyte-resistant strain, BS4 (agar), with sodium cholate (1%, w/v). The extracts, like the OMV, nullified the effect of antiserum raised against whole BS4 (agar) to promote intracellular killing of the latter by human peripheral blood phagocytes. Fractionation of the extract on Sephadex G75 produced an active fraction with much less protein and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) than in the original extract. Furthermore, crude LPS prepared from the resistant gonococci was inactive. These results imply that the factor(s) promoting intracellular resistance is a protein. SDS-PAGE of the active fraction suggested that the factor was not a principal outer membrane protein nor one of three proteins previously thought to be associated with resistance. In contrast to a similar preparation from a phagocyte-susceptible strain, BSSH, the active fraction from BS4 (agar) showed faintly staining proteins in the regions of 20 and 60kDal. When eluted from the gels, the former but not the latter neutralized the above effect of antisera, thus associating the 20 kDal protein(s) with resistance to intracellular killing.


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