Characterization of a post-translational modification of Campylobacter flagellin: identification of a sero-specific glycosyl moiety

Mol Microbiol. 1996 Jan;19(2):379-87. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.1996.370890.x.


The flagellins of Campylobacter spp. differ antigenically. In variants of C. coli strain VC167, two antigenic flagellin types determined by sero-specific antibodies have been described (termed T1 and T2). Post-translational modification has been suggested to be responsible for T1 and T2 epitopes, and, using mild periodate treatment and biotin hydrazide labelling, flagellin from both VC167-T1 and T2 were shown to be glycosylated. Glycosylation was also shown to be present on other Campylobacter flagellins. The ability to label all Campylobacter flagellins examined with the lectin LFA demonstrated the presence of a terminal sialic acid moiety. Furthermore, mild periodate treatment of the flagellins of VC167 eliminated reactivity with T1 and T2 specific antibodies LAH1 and LAH2, respectively, and LFA could also compete with LAH1 and LAH2 antibodies for binding to their respective flagellins. These data implicate terminal sialic acid as part of the LAH strain-specific epitopes. However, using mutants in genes affecting LAH serorecognition of flagellin it was demonstrated that sialic acid alone is not the LAH epitope. Rather, the epitope(s) is complex, probably involving multiple glycosyl and/or amino acid residues.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Campylobacter coli / chemistry
  • Campylobacter coli / metabolism*
  • Campylobacter fetus / chemistry
  • Campylobacter fetus / metabolism*
  • Campylobacter jejuni / chemistry
  • Campylobacter jejuni / metabolism*
  • Flagellin / chemistry
  • Flagellin / metabolism*
  • Glycosylation
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Sialic Acids / metabolism


  • Sialic Acids
  • Flagellin