Author(s): Booth RJ, Harris DP, Love JM, Watson JD, Booth RJ, Harris DP, Love JM, Watson JD
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Abstract Recombinant clones expressing antigenic determinants of the 18-kDa protein antigen from Mycobacterium leprae recognized by the L5 monoclonal antibody were isolated from a lambda gt11 expression library and their nucleotide sequences determined. All clones expressed the M. leprae-specific determinant as part of a large fusion protein with Escherichia coli beta-galactosidase. The deduced amino acid sequence of the coding region indicated that all the lambda gt11 recombinant clones contained an incomplete M. leprae gene sequence representing the carboxy-terminal two-thirds (111 amino acids) of the 18-kDa gene and coding for a peptide of m.w. 12,432. Subsequent isolation and sequencing of a 3.2kb BamHI-PstI DNA fragment from a genomic M. leprae cosmid library permitted the deduction of the complete 148 amino acid sequence with a predicted m.w. of 16,607. A second open reading frame 560 bases downstream from the 18-kDa coding sequence was found to code for a putative protein of 137 amino acids (m.w. = 15,196). Neither this nor the 18-kDa amino acid sequence displayed any significant homologies with any proteins in the GENBANK, EMBL, or NBRF data bases. Crude lysates from recombinant lambda gt11 clones expressing part of the 18-kDa protein have been reported to stimulate the proliferation of some M. leprae-specific helper T cell clones. Thus, it is significant that the complete 18-kDa sequence contains five short peptides predicted to be possible helper T cell antigenic epitopes based on their propensity to form amphipathic helices. Although three of these occur within the 111 amino acid carboxy-terminal peptide expressed by lambda gt11 clones, the most highly amphipathic peptide is found in the amino-terminal region not present in the lambda gt11 recombinants.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Molecular Biology: Open Access