1887

Abstract

is the causative agent in a wide range of diseases of humans of varying severity. During a study scanning the genome sequence of a serotype M1 invasive isolate SF370 for novel surface proteins, an ORF, designated , was identified. The putative protein encoded by contains both a signal peptide and classic Gram-positive wall-associated sequences. Comparison of the sequences of this ORF with those from a number of unrelated isolates demonstrated that encodes a putative surface protein with a variable N-terminal sequence followed by a variable length tract of collagen-like GXY repeats. A further feature of is the presence of CAAAA repeat tracts immediately downstream of the putative start codon. The number of these pentameric repeats varies from 4 to 15 between strains and variation in repeat number results in the predicted SclB protein being either in or out of frame relative to the start codon. These observations suggest that expression of this protein may be regulated at the translational level as a result of gain or loss of CAAAA repeats. While the function of SclB remains to be elucidated, an -specific transcript was detected by RT-PCR during culture. Finally, it is shown that a second gene, , potentially encoding a protein with a similar extensive collagen-like structure and variable N-terminal sequence, is present in all isolates of tested to date. Thus harbours a novel family of structurally related and surface-exposed proteins of potential importance in the pathogenic process.

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2001-02-01
2020-01-18
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