Identification and genetic mapping of proteins encoded in the fimbrial subunit gene region of Bacteroides nodosus

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The fimbriae produced by the anaerobic bacterium Bacteroides nodosus are important in the pathogenesis of ovine foot rot. Studies on other microorganisms have shown that the genes coding for the production and assembly of fimbriae are often clustered. By the use of maxicells, transposon mutagenesis and expression vectors, we have identified several genes which are located in the fimbrial subunit gene region. Antiserum was prepared against one of the proteins (88 kDa) which we were able to overproduce in Escherichia coli. In Western blots, these antibodies reacted with an 88 kDa protein located in the B. nodosus cell membrane. However, they did not react with the putative basal protein which is found in fimbrial preparations. We concluded that in B. nodosus the genes involved in fimbrial assembly are not all localised to one small region of the genome. In addition, our studies showed that although the fimbrial subunits are not assembled into intact fimbriae, an N-terminal sequence is processed in E. coli. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-68
Number of pages16
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1990

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