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Keywords:

  • Treponema pallidum;
  • Syphilis;
  • Borrelia burgdorferi;
  • TpN35;
  • BmpA;
  • BmpB;
  • BmpC

Abstract An Escherichia coli clone containing recombinant plasmid C19 was identified from a Treponema pallidum genomic DNA library by in situ immunoassay. E. coli maxicells containing pC19 synthesized a treponemal protein doublet of 39.2 and 38.2 kDa, designated TpN38(b). Pulse-chase and protein processing studies showed that TpN38(b) is synthesized with a cleavable amino-terminal signal peptide. A 2.0-kb fragment of pC19 containing the tpn38(b) gene was subcloned and sequenced. The tpn38(b) gene is 1029 nucleotides long and encodes a protein of 343 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 37.9 kDa. The deduced amino acid sequence of TpN38(b) has homology with the T. pallidum TpN35 lipoprotein and the Borrelia burgdorferi BmpA, BmpB, BmpC, and BmpD proteins.