Characterization of cell envelope proteins of Staphylococcus epidermidis cultured in human peritoneal dialysate

David George Emslie Smith, Mark H. Wilcox, Paul Williams, Roger G. Finch, Stephen P. Denyer

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22 Citations (Scopus)


The cell envelope protein profiles of Staphylococcus epidermidis cultured in used human peritoneal dialysate (HPD) differed markedly from those of cells cultured in nutrient broth. Compared with broth-grown cells, many cell wall proteins were repressed in HPD, although three proteins of 42, 48, and 54 kDa predominated and an iron-repressible 130-kDa protein was induced. Growth in HPD also resulted in expression of two cell membrane proteins of 32 and 36 kDa which were iron repressible. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblot analysis using monospecific polyclonal antisera raised against the 32- and 36-kDa proteins revealed considerable antigenic and molecular mass homology among 12 S. epidermidis isolates from patients with continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis-related peritonitis. The 32-kDa antiserum also cross-reacted with a 32-kDa S. aureus cell membrane protein. Immunoblots of S. epidermidis cell walls and membranes were also probed with normal human serum and serum and HPD from continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis patients. While the cell wall proteins of S. epidermidis appeared to be relatively poorly immunogenic, the 32- and 36-kDa membrane proteins reacted strongly with antibodies present in each of the body fluids evaluated. These results suggest that the highly conserved 32- and 36-kDa iron-repressible proteins are expressed during growth in vivo and may be involved in iron transport, since all 12 S. epidermidis strains examined also produced iron chelators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-624
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1991


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cell Wall
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Iron
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mercaptoethanol
  • Molecular Weight
  • Peritoneal Dialysis, Continuous Ambulatory
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis
  • Transferrin


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