Characterization of the P13 membrane protein of Borrelia burgdorferi by mass spectrometry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato is a tick-borne pathogen that causes Lyme disease. The characterization of membrane proteins from this and other pathogens may yield a better understanding of the mechanisms of infection and information useful for vaccine design. Characterization of the highly hydrophobic Borrelia outer membrane component P13 from a mutant (OspA- OspB- OspC- and OspD-) strain was undertaken by use of a combination of mass spectrometric methods. In a previous investigation, an electrospray ionization (ESI) mass spectrum of the intact protein provided an average molecular weight that was 20 Da lower than the predicted molecular weight. The mass deviation could be explained by a modification of the N-terminus of the protein such as pyroglutamylation (-17 Da) in combination with the experimental error of measurement, however more information was required. New structural information for this membrane protein was provided by peptide mapping with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI TOF MS) and sequencing with ESI-quadrupole-TOF tandem MS.


  • Carol L Nilsson
  • Helen J Cooper
  • Kristina Håkansson
  • Alan G Marshall
  • Yngve Ostberg
  • Marija Lavrinovicha
  • Sven Bergström
External organisations
  • University of Gothenburg
Research areas and keywords


  • Animals, Borrelia burgdorferi, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Hydrolysis, Membrane Proteins, Peptide Mapping, Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization, Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization, Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared, Trypsin, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S., Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-9
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Apr
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes