Identification and characterisation of a novel conserved outer membrane protein from Neisseria meningitidis

Authors

  • Ian R.A. Peak,

    1. Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld., 4072, Australia
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  • Yogitha Srikhanta,

    1. Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld., 4072, Australia
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  • Manuela Dieckelmann,

    1. Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld., 4072, Australia
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    • 1Institute for Biological Sciences, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ont., Canada K1A 0R6.

  • E.Richard Moxon,

    1. Molecular Infectious Diseases Group, University Department of Paediatrics, Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK
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  • Michael P. Jennings

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld., 4072, Australia
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*Corresponding author. Tel.: +61 (7) 3365 4879; Fax: +61 (7) 3365 4620, E-mail address: jennings@biosci.uq.edu.au

Abstract

We have identified a homologue of the adhesin AIDA-I of Escherichia coli in Neisseria meningitidis. This gene was designated nhhA (Neisseria hiahomologue), as analysis of the complete coding sequence revealed that it is more closely related to the adhesins Hia and Hsf of Haemophilus influenzae. The sequence of nhhA was determined from 10 strains, and found to be highly conserved. Studies of the localisation by Western immunoblot analysis of total cell proteins and outer membrane complex preparations and by immunogold electron microscopy revealed that NhhA is located in the outer membrane. A strain survey showed that nhhA is present in 85/85 strains of N. meningitidis representative of all the major disease-associated serogroups, based on Southern blot analysis. It is expressed in the majority of strains tested by Western immunoblot.

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