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Keywords:

  • Mycoplasma infection;
  • B lymphocyte proliferation;
  • CD21

Abstract

Human cell lines are often infected by mycoplama strains. We have demonstrated that when infected by Mycoplasma fermentans, human B lymphoma cell proliferation increased strongly. These infected B cells expressed a p45 kDa protein which interacted with the intracellular domain of CD21, the EBV/C3d receptor. p45 analysis demonstrated that this is a new gene which encodes an elongation factor originating from Mycoplasma fermentans. p45 interaction with CD21 was specific, there being no interaction with CD19. This is the first demonstration that Mycoplasma fermentans, in infecting human B cells, generates a p45 Mycoplasma component that interacts with CD21, which is involved in B cell proliferation.