1887

Abstract

To get a better insight into the physiology of the high-toxic JP2 clone of serotype b, which is strongly associated with juvenile periodontitis in adolescents of African descent, the modes of iron acquisition in this clone were examined and compared to those of other strains of the species. None of the strains examined could utilize human transferrin as a source of iron. This was in accordance with the presence of a non-functional gene, which normally encodes the A subunit of the transferrin-binding-protein complex. Southern blot analysis indicated that functional duplications of were not present in the genome. Thus, seems to be in a process of evolution, in which iron acquisition from host transferrin is not essential as in many other members of the . All strains could utilize haem as a source of iron. All 11 strains examined harboured a single genomic sequence with homology to the gene encoding haemoglobin-binding protein A in . However, in all three strains belonging to the JP2 clone and in one serotype e strain was a pseudogene. Seven other strains possessed a functional gene which, according to insertion mutagenesis experiments, was responsible for the ability of these strains to utilize haemoglobin as a source of iron. Thus, the presence of an pseudogene and the inability to use human haemoglobin as an iron source discriminate the high-toxic JP2 clone from low-toxic serotype b strains and most other strains of .

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2002-12-01
2019-10-19
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