SUMMARY: We examined 10 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against proteins of 200, 170, 67, 46 and 42 kDa, and one mAb directed against a glycolipid component. The membrane association of the antigens reacting with our mAbs was investigated, in particular by phase-fractionation involving use of the detergent Triton X-114. The 170 kDa protein was shown to be membrane-associated, and surface exposure of this antigen was demonstrated by its disappearance from SDS-PAGE patterns after treatment of intact mycoplasmas with proteolytic enzymes. Cross-reactions with protein antigens of were also shown. A mAb directed against a component of a lipid extract, prepared by the method used for preparation of the antigen used in the complement fixation (CF) test for serological diagnosis of infection, reacted with one major and a few minor bands in thin-layer chromatography (TLC) of the crude extract. The glycolipid character of this major antigen was demonstrated by treatment of the extract with sodium periodate, and by development of the TLC with orcinol/ferric chloride. These reactive bands were the same as those detected by the use of polyclonal mouse antiserum and a human convalescent serum, a result showing that the CF antigen contains a glycolipid moiety reacting with our mAb. The surface exposure of this antigen was demonstrated by binding of mAbs to intact cells.


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