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Treponema pallidum does not synthesise in vitro a capsule containing glycosaminoglycans or proteoglycans.
  1. R A Strugnell,
  2. C J Handley,
  3. D A Lowther,
  4. S Faine,
  5. S R Graves

    Abstract

    Treponema pallidum was investigated for its ability to synthesise glycosaminoglycans or proteoglycans in vitro. Isolated viable T pallidum organisms were incubated with radiolabelled precursors of glycosaminoglycans, sodium 35S-sulphate and 3H-glucosamine (tritiated glucosamine). T pallidum failed to incorporate sodium 35S-sulphate but did incorporate 3H-glucosamine into a macromolecule which may be associated with the surface of the treponeme. This macromolecule was resistant to degradation by specific glycosaminoglycanases. We conclude that T pallidum does not synthesise a capsule containing glycosaminoglycans in vitro.

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