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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 68:29-38 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/dao068029

Identification of the major outer membrane proteins of Aeromonas salmonicida

Roger O. Ebanks*, Michel Goguen, Stewart McKinnon, Devanand M. Pinto, Neil W. Ross

Institute for Marine Biosciences, National Research Council Canada, 1411 Oxford Street, Halifax NS B3H 3Z1, Canada

ABSTRACT: Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida is a Gram-negative bacterium that is the etiological agent of furunculosis, a serious infectious disease of salmonids. Aeromonas spp. are ubiquitous waterborne bacteria responsible for a wide spectrum of diseases among aquatic organisms and humans. Bacterial outer membrane proteins (OMPs) play a significant role in virulence as they comprise the outermost surface in contact with host cells and immune defense factors. To identify the major OMPs of a. salmonicida a proteomic analysis was undertaken using a carbonate OMP-enrichment protocol. The enriched OMP-extracts were separated by 2-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and the spots identified using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) via an electrospray ionization source. In total, 76 unique proteins were identified from the 125 spots observed on the 2-D gel. The surface layer (S-layer) VapA protein dominated the A. salmonicida OMP 2-D profile, accounting for 60% of the protein on the 2-D gels. Among the other outer membrane proteins identified were at least 10 porins and various receptors involved in nutrient acquisition. Also identified in the carbonate insoluble fraction were phosphoglycerate kinase, enolase and others that lacked classical export sorting signals. The putative association of these proteins with the cell surface might provide new insights concerning the biological and pathogenic roles of these molecules in A. salmonicida infection. This work represents the first systematic attempt to characterize the cell surface of A. salmonicida.

KEY WORDS: Proteomics · Aeromonas salmonicida · Outer membrane proteins

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