Borrelia burgdorferi possesses a collagenolytic activity

Dennis J. Grab, Richard Kennedy, Mario T. Philipp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Lyme disease is a multisystemic disorder caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, an invasive spirochete. B. burgdorferi has a predilection for collagenous tissue and one major clinical manifestation of the disease is arthritis. We have identified a collagenolytic activity in B. burgdorferi detergent lysates using iodinated gelatin as well as iodinated pepsinized human collagen types II and IV as protein substrates. In addition, we describe several proteolytic activities in B. burgdorferi with molecular masses greater than 200 kDa on sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gels containing copolymerized gelatin. We propose that the collagenolytic activity of B. burgdorferi has a role in invasion, in the pathogenesis of Lyme arthritis, and perhaps also in other manifestations of Lyme borreliosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 15 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Borrelia burgdorferi
  • collagenolysis
  • Lyme disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Microbiology


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