We have analysed the genes borne on a 6.0 kb dIII fragment cloned from the chromosome of type E strain Mashike. This fragment, cloned within plasmid pU9EMH, contains part of the structural gene for botulinum toxin type E neurotoxin as well as the entire structural gene for a nontoxic component of botulinum type E progenitor neurotoxin gene, . is transcribed in the same direction as the neurotoxin gene and consists of one open reading frame encoding 1162 amino acid residues. Western blotting with anti-nontoxic component sera demonstrates that encodes a protein of 120 kDa which forms part of the nontoxic component. is homologous to an analogous gene found in botulinum type C strains (69.3% identity at the nucleotide level and 56.1% at the amino acid level). Two stretches of amino acids at the N-terminus of the protein are highly homologous to amino acid sequences within the type E neurotoxin. The stop codon of the gene is situated 27 nucleotides upstream from the start codon of the neurotoxin gene.


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