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Mass Spectrometric Characterization of the Surface-Associated 42 kDa Lipoprotein JlpA as a Glycosylated Antigen in Strains of Campylobacter jejuni

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journal contribution
posted on 02.10.2009, 00:00 by Nichollas E. Scott, Daniel R. Bogema, Angela M. Connolly, Linda Falconer, Steven P. Djordjevic, Stuart J. Cordwell
Campylobacter jejuni is the most common cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in the developed world. Immunoproteomics highlighted a 42−45 kDa antigen that comigrated on two-dimensional (2-DE) gels with the C. jejuni major outer membrane protein (MOMP). Predictive analysis revealed two candidates for the identity of the antigen, the most likely of which was the surface-associated lipoprotein, JlpA. Recombinant JlpA (rJlpA) reacted with patient sera, confirming that JlpA is antigenic. Polyclonal antibodies raised against rJlpA reacted against 3 JlpA mass variants from multiple C. jejuni. These variants differed by approximately 1.5 kDa, suggesting the presence of the N-linked C. jejuni glycan on two sites. Soybean agglutinin affinity and 2-DE purified 2 JlpA glycoforms (43.5 and 45 kDa). Their identities were confirmed using mass spectrometry following trypsin digest. Glycopeptides within JlpA variants were identified by proteinase-K digestion, graphite micropurification and MS-MS. Sites of glycosylation were confirmed as asparagines 107 and 146, both of which are flanked by the N-linked sequon. Sequence analysis confirmed that the N146 sequon is conserved in all C. jejuni genomes examined to date, while the N107 sequon is absent in the reference strain NCTC 11168. Western blotting confirmed the presence of only a single JlpA glycoform in both virulent (O) and avirulent (GS) isolates of NCTC 11168. MS analysis showed that JlpA exists as 3 discrete forms, unmodified, glycosylated at N146, and glycosylated at both N146/107, suggesting glycan addition at N146 is necessary for N107 glycosylation. Glycine extracts and Western blotting revealed that doubly glycosylated JlpA was the predominant form on the C. jejuni JHH1 surface; however, glycosylation is not required for antigenicity. This is the first study to identify N-linked glycosylation of a surface-exposed C. jejuni virulence factor and to show strain variation in glycosylation sites.