The Rickettsiales Ehrlichia ruminantium (ER) is the causative agent of heartwater, a fatal tick-borne disease of livestock in sub-Saharan Africa and in the Caribbean, posing strong economical constraints to livestock production. In an attempt to identify the most prominent proteins expressed by this bacterium, especially those encoded by the major antigenic protein 1 (map1) multigene family, a proteome map of ER cultivated in endothelial cells was constructed by using two dimensional gel electrophoresis combined with mass spectrometry. Among the sixty-four spots detected, we could identify only four proteins from the MAP1-family; the other proteins detected were mainly related to energy, amino acid and general metabolism (26%), to protein turnover, chaperones and survival (21%) and to information processes (14%) or classified as hypothetical proteins (23%).Additional studies on MAP1-family protein using immunochemical labeling also revealed that these proteins are differentially expressed along the bacterium life cycle, presenting different structural organization. Interestingly, when infectious elementary bodies (EBs) are released from host cells, MAP1 appears to be organized in SDS and heat-resistant dimers and trimers stabilized by disulfide bridges.Overall, the results presented herein not only reveal the first partial proteome map of ER but provide new insights on the expression ER MAP1-family proteins in host endothelial cells.
- Ehrlichia ruminantium
- MAP1-family proteins
- Mass spectrometry
- Two-dimensional electrophoresis