Definition of Brucella A and M epitopes by monoclonal typing reagents and synthetic oligosaccharides

D. R. Bundle, J. W. Cherwonogrodzky, M. A.J. Gidney, P. J. Meikle, M. B. Perry, Thomas Peters


The paradigm that Brucella A and M epitopes are simultaneously expressed on single cells and within one antigen molecule was reinvestigated by using polysaccharide-specific murine monoclonal antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies were generated to the M antigen of Brucella melitensis 16M. Chemically defined lipopolysaccharides and O polysaccharides from Brucella abortus 1119-3, B. melitensis 16M, and Yersinia enterocolitica O:9 were used to dissect the binding profiles of the B. melitensis antibodies and an additional set of antibodies available from a B. abortus fusion experiment. Binding specificities were rationalized in terms of prototype A- and M-antigen structures, an interpretation supported by competitive binding studies with O polysaccharides and synthetic oligosaccharide analogs of the A and M antigens. Three binding patterns were characterized. Antibodies specific for the A antigen required five contiguous alpha 1,2-linked 4,6-dideoxy-4-formamido-D-mannopyranosyl residues, while antibodies with equal affinities for A or M epitopes were effectively inhibited by alpha 1,2-linked tri- or tetrasaccharides. Specificity for the M epitope correlated with binding of a critical disaccharide element alpha-D-Rha4NFo(1----3)alpha-D-Rha4NFo bracketed by alpha 1,2-linked residues. The binding profiles of Brucella monoclonal antibodies were consistent with the concept of simultaneous expression of A and M epitopes within a single molecule. A epitopes were present in the M antigen, and the discovery of isolated alpha 1,3 linkages in the A antigen suggests that M epitopes occur in all A antigens. Three monoclonal antibodies are proposed as standard reagents for the detection and identification of Brucella A and M antigens.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)2829-36
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 09.1989


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