Identification of Proteins in the Exosporium of Bacillus Anthracis
CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES PORTON DOWN (UNITED KINGDOM) DEFENSE SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY LAB
Pagination or Media Count:
Spores of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, possess an exosporium. As the outer surface layer of these mature spores, the exosporium represents the primary contact surface between the spore and environmenthost and is a site of spore antigens. The exosporium was isolated from the endospores of the B. anthracis wild-type Ames strain, from a derivative of the Ames strain cured of plasmid pXO2 , and from a previously isolated pXO1 , pXO2 doubly cured strain, B. anthracis UM23Cl2. The protein profiles of SDS-PAGE-separated exosporium extracts were similar for all three. This suggests that avirulent variants lacking either or both plasmids are realistic models for studying the exosporium from spores of B. anthracis. A number of loosely adsorbed proteins were identified from amino acid sequences determined by either nanospray-MSMS or N-terminal sequencing. Salt and detergent washing of the exosporium fragments removed these and revealed proteins that are likely to represent structuralintegral exosporium proteins. Seven proteins were identified in washed exosporium alanine racemase, inosine hydrolase, ExsF, CotY, ExsY, CotB and a novel protein, named ExsK. CotY, ExsY and CotB are homologues of Bacillus subtilis outer spore coat proteins, but ExsF and ExsK are specific to B. anthracis and other members of the Bacillus cereus group.