Purification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa proteases and microscopic characterization of pseudomonal protease-induced rabbit corneal damage.

Infection and Immunity
A S Kreger, L Gray


Extracellular proteases of three cornea-virulent strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa were isolated by sequential ammonium sulfate precipitation, Ultrogel AcA 54 gel filtration, and flat-bed isoelectric focusing. The purity of the preparations was determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis , thin-layer isoelectric focusing in polyacrylamide gel, immunodiffusion and immunoelectrophoretic procedures, and tests for the presence of other known pseudomonal products. Light and electron microscopic examination of rabbit corneal lesions observed 4 to 6 h after the intracorneal injection of submicrogram amounts of the proteases revealed: (i) degeneration and necrosis of epithelium, endothelium, and keratocytes, (ii) infiltration, degeneration, and necrosis of polymorphonuclear leukocytes, (iii) loss of the characteristic weblike pattern, colloidal iron staining, and ruthenium red staining of the stromal proteoglycan ground substance, (iv) dispersal of strucutrally normal appearing collagen fibrils, ground substance, (iv) dispersal of structurally normal appearing collagen fibrils, and (v) accumulation of plasma proteins and fibrin in the necrotic corneas. These structural alterations are very similar to those o...Continue Reading


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