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Open Access Research article

Delineation of immunodominant and cytadherence segment(s) of Mycoplasma pneumoniae P1 gene

Bishwanath K Chourasia1, Rama Chaudhry1* and Pawan Malhotra2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

2 International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, India

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BMC Microbiology 2014, 14:108  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-14-108

Published: 28 April 2014

Abstract

Background

Adhesion of Mycoplasma pneumoniae (M. pneumoniae) to host epithelial cells requires several adhesin proteins like P1, P30 and P116. Among these proteins, P1 protein has been inedited as one of the major adhesin and immunogenic protein present on the attachment organelle of M. pneumoniae. In the present study, we scanned the entire sequence of M. pneumoniae P1 protein to identify the immunodominant and cytadherence region(s). M. pneumoniae P1 gene was synthesized in four segments replacing all the UGA codons to UGG codons. Each of the four purified P1 protein fragment was analyzed for its immunogenicity with anti-M. pneumoniae M129 antibodies (Pab M129) and sera of M. pneumoniae infected patients by western blotting and ELISA. Antibodies were produced against all the P1 protein fragments and these antibodies were used for M. pneumoniae adhesion, M. pneumoniae adhesion inhibition and M. pneumoniae surface exposure assays using HEp-2 cells lines.

Results

Our results show that the immunodominant regions are distributed throughout the entire length of P1 protein, while only the N- and C- terminal region(s) of P1 protein are surface exposed and block cytadhesion to HEp-2 cells, while antibodies to two middle fragments failed to block cytadhesion.

Conclusions

These results have important implications in designing strategies to block the attachment of M. pneumoniae to epithelial cells, thus preventing the development of atypical pneumonia.