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      A genomic island in Pseudomonas aeruginosa carries the determinants of flagellin glycosylation

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      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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          Abstract

          Protein glycosylation has been long recognized as an important posttranslational modification process in eukaryotic cells. Glycoproteins, predominantly secreted or surface localized, have also been identified in bacteria. We have identified a cluster of 14 genes, encoding the determinants of the flagellin glycosylation machinery in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAK, which we called the flagellin glycosylation island. Flagellin glycosylation can be detected only in bacteria expressing the a-type flagellin sequence variants, and the survey of 30 P. aeruginosa isolates revealed coinheritance of the a-type flagellin genes with at least one of the flagellin glycosylation island genes. Expression of the b-type flagellin in PAK, an a-type strain carrying the glycosylation island, did not lead to glycosylation of the b-type flagellin of PAO1, suggesting that flagellins expressed by b-type bacteria not only lack the glycosylation island, they cannot serve as substrates for glycosylation. Providing the entire glycosylation island of PAK, including its a-type flagellin in a flagellin mutant of a b-type strain, results in glycosylation of the heterologous flagellin. These results suggest that some or all of the 14 genes on the glycosylation island are the genes that are missing from strain PAO1 to allow glycosylation of an appropriate flagellin. Inactivation of either one of the two flanking genes present on this island abolished flagellin glycosylation. Based on the limited homologies of these gene products with enzymes involved in glycosylation, we propose that the island encodes similar proteins involved in synthesis, activation, or polymerization of sugars that are necessary for flagellin glycosylation.

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          Most cited references 28

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          The genome sequence of the food-borne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni reveals hypervariable sequences.

          Campylobacter jejuni, from the delta-epsilon group of proteobacteria, is a microaerophilic, Gram-negative, flagellate, spiral bacterium-properties it shares with the related gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori. It is the leading cause of bacterial food-borne diarrhoeal disease throughout the world. In addition, infection with C. jejuni is the most frequent antecedent to a form of neuromuscular paralysis known as Guillain-Barré syndrome. Here we report the genome sequence of C. jejuni NCTC11168. C. jejuni has a circular chromosome of 1,641,481 base pairs (30.6% G+C) which is predicted to encode 1,654 proteins and 54 stable RNA species. The genome is unusual in that there are virtually no insertion sequences or phage-associated sequences and very few repeat sequences. One of the most striking findings in the genome was the presence of hypervariable sequences. These short homopolymeric runs of nucleotides were commonly found in genes encoding the biosynthesis or modification of surface structures, or in closely linked genes of unknown function. The apparently high rate of variation of these homopolymeric tracts may be important in the survival strategy of C. jejuni.
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            Comparative genomes of Chlamydia pneumoniae and C. trachomatis.

            Chlamydia are obligate intracellular eubacteria that are phylogenetically separated from other bacterial divisions. C. trachomatis and C. pneumoniae are both pathogens of humans but differ in their tissue tropism and spectrum of diseases. C. pneumoniae is a newly recognized species of Chlamydia that is a natural pathogen of humans, and causes pneumonia and bronchitis. In the United States, approximately 10% of pneumonia cases and 5% of bronchitis cases are attributed to C. pneumoniae infection. Chronic disease may result following respiratory-acquired infection, such as reactive airway disease, adult-onset asthma and potentially lung cancer. In addition, C. pneumoniae infection has been associated with atherosclerosis. C. trachomatis infection causes trachoma, an ocular infection that leads to blindness, and sexually transmitted diseases such as pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy and epididymitis. Although relatively little is known about C. trachomatis biology, even less is known concerning C. pneumoniae. Comparison of the C. pneumoniae genome with the C. trachomatis genome will provide an understanding of the common biological processes required for infection and survival in mammalian cells. Genomic differences are implicated in the unique properties that differentiate the two species in disease spectrum. Analysis of the 1,230,230-nt C. pneumoniae genome revealed 214 protein-coding sequences not found in C. trachomatis, most without homologues to other known sequences. Prominent comparative findings include expansion of a novel family of 21 sequence-variant outer-membrane proteins, conservation of a type-III secretion virulence system, three serine/threonine protein kinases and a pair of parologous phospholipase-D-like proteins, additional purine and biotin biosynthetic capability, a homologue for aromatic amino acid (tryptophan) hydroxylase and the loss of tryptophan biosynthesis genes.
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              Structure of the fibre-forming protein pilin at 2.6 A resolution.

              The crystallographic structure of Neisseria gonorrhoeae pilin, which assembles into the multifunctional pilus adhesion and virulence factor, reveals an alpha-beta roll fold with a striking 85 A alpha-helical spine and an O-linked disaccharide. Key residues stabilize interactions that allow sequence hypervariability, responsible for pilin's celebrated antigenic variation, within disulphide region beta-strands and connections. Pilin surface shape, hydrophobicity and sequence variation constrain pilus assembly to the packing of flat subunit faces against alpha 1 helices. Helical fibre assembly is postulated to form a core of coiled alpha 1 helices banded by beta-sheet, leaving carbohydrate and hypervariable sequence regions exposed to solvent.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                0027-8424
                1091-6490
                July 31 2001
                July 31 2001
                : 98
                : 16
                : 9342-9347
                Article
                10.1073/pnas.161249198
                55422
                11481492
                © 2001
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