SUMMARY: The gene encoding a major protein antigen of has been cloned and sequenced using oligonucleotide probes derived from the N-terminal sequence of the analogous protein from BCG. The gene analysis revealed a sequence encoding a protein of 99 amino acid residues, with a molecular mass of 10.7 kDa. Computer prediction suggests that the protein contains three T-cell-determined epitopes (of which one has been demonstrated experimentally) and three B-cell-determined epitopes. The protein sequence was homologous to two prokaryote heat-shock proteins and the gene possessed heat-shock-like promoter sequences upstream of the initiation codon. A hairpin loop identified in the upstream sequence may also be important in regulation of the gene.


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