To elucidate the importance of oligopeptide permease for , the agent of Lyme disease, a chromosomal locus in that encodes homologues of all five subunits of oligopeptide permease has been identified and characterized. has multiple copies of the gene encoding the peptide-binding component, OppA; three reside at the chromosomal locus and two are on plasmids. Northern analyses indicate that each gene is independently transcribed, although the three chromosomal genes are also expressed as bi- and tri-cistronic messages. Induction of one of the plasmid-encoded genes was observed following an increase in temperature, which appears to be an important cue for adaptive responses . The deduced amino acid sequences suggest that all five borrelial OppA homologues are lipoproteins, but the protease-resistance of at least one of them in intact bacteria is inconsistent with outer-surface localization. Insertional inactivation of a plasmid-encoded gene demonstrates that it is not essential for growth in culture.


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