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Preparation of Highly Immunogenic Ribosomal Fractions of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by Use of Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate

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  • Infection And Immunity
  • Biology


Youmans, Anne S. (Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Ill.), and Guy P. Youmans. Preparation of highly immunogenic ribosomal fractions of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by use of sodium dodecyl sulfate. J. Bacteriol. 91:2139–2145. 1966.—Ribosomal fractions of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, strain H37Ra, were prepared by treatment of the intracellular particulate fraction with 0.25 or 0.5% sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) followed by centrifugation at 144,700 × g for 3 hr. This procedure has greatly simplified the preparation of ribosomal fractions and has given fractions composed of approximately 50% ribonucleic acid (RNA) and 15 to 20% protein. When incorporated into Freund's incomplete adjuvant and injected intraperitoneally into CF-1 mice, the SDS ribosomal fractions were more immunogenic than the particulate fractions from which they were prepared. They were as much as 100 times more immunogenic than ribosomal fractions prepared by differential centrifugation, 1 μg (dry weight) per mouse being sufficient for the induction of some immunity. However, none of these ribosomal preparations, in comparable doses, was as immunogenic as the living cells from which they were prepared. It was also shown that the addition of 10−4m MgCl2 to the final diluent increased immunogenic activity, whereas larger concentrations (10−3m) reduced immunogenic activity. Preparation of the ribosomal fraction from ruptured cells in one continuous process during the course of 1 day increased the activity. Two-week-old H37Ra cells contained more RNA and were more immunogenic than the older cultures which have been used in the past.

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