Molecular analysis of linear plasmid-encoded major surface proteins, OspA and OspB, of the Lyme disease spirochaete Borrelia burgdorferi

Mol Microbiol. 1989 Apr;3(4):479-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1989.tb00194.x.


The ospA and ospB genes encode the major outer membrane proteins of the Lyme disease spirochaete Borrelia burgdorferi. The deduced translation products from the ospA and ospB genes were: (OspA) 273 amino acids long with a molecular weight of 29,334, and (OspB) 296 amino acids long with a molecular weight of 31,739. The two Osp proteins showed a great degree of sequence similarity indicating a recent evolutionary event. Molecular analysis and sequence comparison of OspA and OspB with other proteins revealed a sequence similarity to the signal peptides of prokaryotic lipoproteins. These are the first sequences from Borrelia and provide interesting data on the evolutionary relationship between spirochaetes and other species as well as providing potential for spirochaete diagnostics and vaccines.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Borrelia / genetics*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Codon
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Genes
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Operon*
  • Plasmids
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Restriction Mapping


  • Amino Acids
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Codon
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Recombinant Proteins

Associated data