1887

Abstract

Sialic acids are nine-carbon amino sugars that are present on all mucous membranes and are often used by bacteria as nutrients. In pathogenic the genes for sialic acid catabolism (SAC) are known to be important for host colonization, yet the route for sialic acid uptake is not proven. contains a tripartite ATP-independent periplasmic (TRAP) transporter, SiaPQM (VC1777–VC1779), encoded by genes within the pathogenicity island-2 (VPI-2), which are adjacent to the SAC genes , and . We demonstrate a correlation of the occurrence of VPI-2 and the ability of to grow on the common sialic acid -acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac), and that a N16961 mutant defective in , encoding the large membrane protein component of the TRAP transporter, SiaM, is unable to grow on Neu5Ac as the sole carbon source. Using the genome context and known structures of the SiaP protein component of the TRAP transporter, we define a subfamily of Neu5Ac-specific TRAP transporters, of which the genes are the only representatives in . A recent report has suggested that an entirely different TRAP transporter (VC1927–VC1929) is the Neu5Ac transporter in . Bioinformatics and genomic analysis suggest strongly that this is a C-dicarboxylate-specific TRAP transporter, and indeed disruption of results in a defect in growth on C-dicarboxylates but not Neu5Ac. Together these data demonstrate unequivocally that the -encoded TRAP transporter within VPI-2 is the sole sialic acid transporter in .

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2012-08-01
2022-01-28
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