1887

Abstract

The genes directing the synthesis of poly(ribitol phosphate), the main teichoic acid in strain W23, were sequenced. They are organized in two divergently transcribed operons, and , as are the genes specifying poly(glycerol phosphate) synthesis in 168. The features of the genes as well as the putative participation of their products in the proposed biosynthesis pathway of poly(ribitol phosphate) are presented. The and genes, which are most likely involved in the synthesis of the linkage unit (the entity coupling teichoic acid to peptidoglycan), are separated by 508 nt. Sequences of the outer segments of this regulatory region are similar to the two divergent promoter regions identified upstream of the and genes in strain 168. However, in W23, these regions, which also included functional promoters, are separated by an additional DNA segment of about 100 nt, on which two new mRNA starts, one in each direction, were identified. The regulatory regions of teichoic acid divergons of , and eight strains of were cloned and sequenced. In four strains and in , their length and sequence are similar to the regulatory region of W23. In the others, including , they are of the 168-type. Analysis of nucleotide sequences of a non-coding grey hole, present in the region of strain 168, revealed higher similarities to than to entities. This suggests that at least part of the genes specifying the synthesis of glucosylated poly(glycerol phosphate) in strain 168 was introduced by horizontal gene transfer into a strain originally synthesizing a ribitol-phosphate-containing teichoic acid.

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2002-03-01
2020-09-21
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