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Infect Immun. 1997 December; 65(12): 5231–5237.
PMCID: PMC175753

Identification of a Fusobacterium nucleatum PK1594 galactose-binding adhesin which mediates coaggregation with periopathogenic bacteria and hemagglutination.


Attachment of Fusobacterium nucleatum to various oral surfaces is mediated by several adhesins anchored on its outer surface. Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were prepared and used to identify the putative galactose-binding adhesin of F. nucleatum PK1594. Four unique MAbs, 8G7, 26B9, 28G11, and 29D4, were isolated on the basis of their ability to inhibit coaggregation of F. nucleatum PK1594 with Porphyromonas gingivalis PK1924. All four MAbs were also capable of inhibiting galactose-inhibitable interactions of F. nucleatum PK1594 with other oral gram-negative bacteria and with erythrocytes. Preincubation of F. nucleatum PK1594 with MAb 26B9 or its Fab fragments at concentrations lower than 1 microg/ml resulted in complete inhibition of coaggregation with P. gingivalis PK1924 or hemagglutination. F. nucleatum PK1594 surface components prepared by mild sonication or by extracting whole cells with detergents were subjected to Western blot analysis. None of the MAbs were able to recognize any polypeptide in these experiments. Therefore, detergent extracts of F. nucleatum PK1594 surface components were subjected to three experimental procedures: (i) separation by ion-exchange chromatography and testing of fractions for reaction with MAb 26B9 in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), (ii) lactose-Sepharose affinity chromatography and testing of the lactose eluate in ELISA with MAb 26B9, and (iii) immunoseparation with either MAb 26B9 or 8G7. Collectively, the results suggest that the putative adhesin is a 30-kDa outer membrane polypeptide which mediates the coaggregation with P. gingivalis PK1924 as well as other galactose-sensitive interactions of F. nucleatum PK1594.

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