Isolation of a C (Ibc) Protein From Group B Streptococcus Which Elicits Mouse Protective Antibody

Microb Pathog. 1986 Apr;1(2):191-204. doi: 10.1016/0882-4010(86)90021-5.


The C (Ibc) proteins of group B Streptococcus (GBS) have been shown to induce mouse protective antibodies when present as immunogens on whole organisms. However, characterization of specific proteins responsible for inducing protection has not been reported. We have grown type Ic GBS in a dialysate of Todd Hewitt broth and analyzed the proteins extruded into the broth. Multiple proteins of varying size were visualized by SDS-PAGE. Ultrafiltration was used to separate the GBS components by molecular weight (MW) into 2 pools, those below 30,000 MW but above 10,000 MW (P10) and those above 30,000 MW (P30). The P10 contained 4 major proteins, including a 14,000 MW protein. Balb-c mice were immunized with the P10 fraction and the antisera used in mouse protection studies. This immune sera protected 100% of mice against challenge with type Ib GBS and protection was not altered by prior absorption of the sera with type Ia or Ib capsular polysaccharide. The P10 was fractionated by column chromatography and eluted proteins examined by SDS-PAGE and Western blot with the mouse protective antisera elicited to the P10. There was one major immunologically reactive protein at 14,000 MW which eluted in a partially purified form from the column. The 14,000 MW protein was reisolated from preparative SDS-PAGE gels and used to elicit antiserum in a rabbit. In mouse protection studies this rabbit antiserum protected mice against subsequent challenge with type Ib GBS (89% protection). Surface antigens were extracted from 125I-labelled type Ic GBS and immunoprecipitated with antiserum to the 14,000 MW protein. The 14,000 MW protein and multiple higher molecular weight proteins were immunologically cross-reactive suggesting the presence of shared epitopes. Thus the 14,000 MW protein from type Ic GBS that is antigenic and elicits mouse protective antibodies against the heterologous type Ib GBS fulfills the criteria for a C protein of GBS.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Bacterial Vaccines / isolation & purification
  • Mice
  • Molecular Weight
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Ibc proteins, Streptococcus