1887

Abstract

CluA is a 136 kDa surface-bound protein encoded by the chromosomally located sex factor of MG1363 and is associated with cell aggregation linked to high-frequency transfer of the sex factor. To further investigate the involvement of CluA in these phenomena, the gene was cloned on a plasmid, downstream from the lactococcal promoter. In a sex-factor-negative MG1363 derivative, nisin-controlled CluA expression resulted in aggregation, despite the absence of the other genes of the sex factor. Therefore, CluA is the only sex factor component responsible for aggregation. The direct involvement of CluA in the establishment of cell-to-cell contact for aggregate formation was observed by electron microscopy using immunogold-labelled CluA antibodies. Inactivation of in an MG1363 background led to a dramatic decrease in sex factor conjugation frequency compared to the parental strain. Increasing levels of CluA expressed in the -inactivated donor strain facilitated a gradual restoration of conjugation frequency, reaching that of the parental strain. In conclusion, CluA is essential for efficient sex factor transfer in conjugation of .

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2004-08-01
2019-11-18
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