Identification of a gene encoding a bacteriophage-related integrase in a vap region of the Dichelobacter nodosus genome.
ABSTRACT Dichelobacter nodosus is the principal causative agent of ovine footrot. Nucleotide (nt) sequences from the D. nodosus genome have been isolated and a series of overlapping lambda clones defining vap (virulence-associated protein) regions 1, 2 and 3 have been reported [Katz et al., J. Bacteriol. 176 (1994) 2663-2669]. In the present study, the limits of the virulence-associated (va) DNA around vap regions 1 and 3 were determined by dot-blot hybridization experiments using plasmid subclones to probe genomic DNA from the D. nodosus virulent strain A198 and the benign strain C305. This va region was found to be approx. 11.9 kb in length, and to be interrupted by a short DNA segment which is also found in the benign D. nodosus strain. Sequence analysis of the entire region revealed an ORF, intA, which is very similar to the integrases of bacteriophages phi R73, P4 and Sf6. Bacteriophages phi R73 and P4 integrate into the 3' ends of tRNA genes, with the integrase genes adjacent to the tRNA genes. A similar arrangement was found in the D. nodosus va region. A 19-bp nt sequence was found to be repeated at the ends of the va region, and may represent the bacteriphage attachment site. These findings suggest that D. nodosus may have acquired these DNA sequences by the integration of a bacteriophage, or an integrative plasmid that contains a bacteriophage-related integrase gene. The high similarity of the D. nodosus integrase to integrases from coliphages suggests that these va sequences may be transferred between distantly related bacteria.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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ABSTRACT: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) have a unique ability to survive in extreme acidic environments and to colonize the gastric mucosa. It can cause diverse gastric diseases such as peptic ulcers, chronic gastritis, mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma, gastric cancer, etc. Based on genomic research of H. pylori, over 1600 genes have been functionally identified so far. However, H. pylori possess some genes that are uncharacterized since: (i) the gene sequences are quite new; (ii) the function of genes have not been characterized in any other bacterial systems; and (iii) sometimes, the protein that is classified into a known protein based on the sequence homology shows some functional ambiguity, which raises questions about the function of the protein produced in H. pylori. Thus, there are still a lot of genes to be biologically or biochemically characterized to understand the whole picture of gene functions in the bacteria. In this regard, knowledge on the 3D structure of a protein, especially unknown or hypothetical protein, is frequently useful to elucidate the structure-function relationship of the uncharacterized gene product. That is, a structural comparison with known proteins provides valuable information to help predict the cellular functions of hypothetical proteins. Here, we show the 3D structures of some hypothetical proteins determined by NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography as a part of the structural genomics of H. pylori. In addition, we show some successful approaches of elucidating the function of unknown proteins based on their structural information.International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2012; 13(6):7109-37. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: VapD-like virulence-associated proteins have been found in many organisms, but little is known about this protein family including the 3D structure of these proteins. Recently, a relationship between the Cas2 family of ribonucleases associated with the CRISPR system of microbial immunity and VapD was suggested. Here, we show for the first time the structure of a member of the VapD family and present a relationship of VapD with Cas2 family and toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems. The crystal structure of HP0315 from Helicobacter pylori was solved at a resolution of 2.8 Å. The structure of HP0315, which has a modified ferredoxin-like fold, is very similar to that of the Cas2 family. Like Cas2 proteins, HP0315 shows endoribonuclease activity. HP0315-cleaved mRNA, mainly before A and G nucleotides preferentially, which means that HP0315 has purine-specific endoribonuclease activity. Mutagenesis studies of HP0315 revealed that D7, L13, S43 and D76 residues are important for RNase activity, in contrast, to the Cas2 family. HP0315 is arranged as an operon with HP0316, which was found to be an antitoxin-related protein. However, HP0315 is not a component of the TA system. Thus, HP0315 may be an evolutionary intermediate which does not belong to either the Cas2 family or TA system.Nucleic Acids Research 01/2012; 40(9):4216-28. · 8.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Footrot in sheep and goats is expressed as a spectrum of clinical entities ranging from benign, which is a self limiting interdigital dermatitis to highly virulent, in which severe under running of the horn of the hoof occurs. Interactions between the host, the virulence of the causative strain of Dichelobacter nodosus and environmental conditions determine the severity of the disease. Clinical diagnosis of virulent footrot, which a notifiable disease in some states of Australia, is not always straightforward. Therefore, the gelatin gel and elastase tests for protease activity, and the intA PCR test for an inserted genetic element in D. nodosus are commonly used to support or to confirm a clinical diagnosis. A comparative study of these laboratory tests with a large number of samples collected from 12 flocks of sheep with clinically virulent footrot was conducted. Based on the elastase test, 64% of the isolates tested were classified as virulent compared to 91% on the gelatin gel test and 41% according to the intA test. The agreement between the elastase and the gelatin gel test was low (kappa=0.12) as were the agreements between other tests. Only about 21% of the isolates were virulent in all 3 tests. Therefore these tests on their own may not provide standard and reliable results and are likely to remain as supplementary tests for clinical diagnosis of the disease.Veterinary Microbiology 10/2012; · 3.13 Impact Factor